On a personal note

I’ve completed ten days of National Novel Writing Month, having written almost 17,000 words so far. A pretty decent showing. I’ve had days where I get completely immersed in the writing and it flows like a river. And there are times where my mind wanders, I come up with a great idea for a short story or a scene from Here Lies a Soldier and I have to stop and make notes. But beyond that…

Writers understand writers the way no one else does, so this is my rant to you who know how it feels…  I’m struggling. I’m struggling  and not because of the pressure of sticking to the writing pace. Because I write a lot anyway. This month has had it’s share of other distractions – a weekend away –which was mostly good, the election coverage… And it seems like every single person in my life needs something from me right this very moment. The truth is I’m not receiving very much support for this endeavor. Its importance has been minimized. – mocked, even. I’ve been made to feel guilty for writing in the evenings. Anyway, the joy and whatever excitement there was for it is slowly seeping away. One month apparently, is too much to ask.

I haven’t given up yet. I am going to see if an adjustment in schedule will help. But I’m not optimistic. Writers how do your family and friends feel about your writing?

35 thoughts on “On a personal note

  1. First things first, Meg: You’ve made fantastic progress so far! Don’t give in to guilt or stress, keep going! You’ll get there.

    I think this is just the way works, sometimes. You can set aside your schedule to do something productive, take some time for you, then suddenly it feels like all your responsibilities come crashing down around you. Life just gets in the way. I think it’s often more evident BECAUSE we’re trying to do this other task, this event we’ve set time for. I bet you if it wasn’t NaNo, things wouldn’t feel like they stack up quite that much.

    In terms of support, I find it important to seek the like-minded (just as you are here). It’s why I wanted to host Weekly writing guest posts, as a little encouragement for all of us in NaNo. I’ve had moments at home where the rest of the household don’t seem to quite ‘get’ that I need that quiet, writing time. They’ll try to be supportive, encouraging, but if I’m in the lounge I get talked at, and they take offense if my headphones go in… It’s a battle you can’t really win, I don’t think. Again, why it’s important to seek out the likeminded.

    I suppose what I’m trying to say, in a lengthy and not-very-helpful comment; is stay strong! You’ve done great so far. It’s quite implausible to think we’re going to write tons each day, especially as we have lives going on, it’s about just carrying on. I barely wrote anything in the first week of NaNo, because: Life. I’m a bit more on track now, but no where near where I wanted to be. In the mean time, I’ve tried to read peoples blogs, share comments, keep up to date and be inspired by other writers. Finding a writing buddy or group can be a big help too. Hope you keep going!

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    1. Thank you, Shaun. It’s exactly why I posted this little update. I am buddied up with five other writers and that definitely helps. I appreciate your lengthy and thoughtful comment! And your advice is sound. I will keep writing and hoping things get a little bit better. Thanks again.

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  2. I think you’ve done amazing work… I’ve loved what you’ve shared. I seriously doubt there’s anything I can say that would actually be helpful… but…

    Sometimes it seems that as soon as I’ve got the words ready to come gushing out… that’s when I’m interrupted (90% of the time by kids). And when I’m back, my thoughts aren’t. Oh, I love them but sometimes their timing sucks.

    The other thing is… when I write at night, which is when I do most of my writing, well… no one cares. What I mean is… there’s no one and nothing pulling me away from it. (Okay, except some important tv I’ve got to watch…) So it’s good for writing… but not so great that the mister doesn’t really care…

    Yet despite this, I’ve been trying to write something much smaller since before Nov began… And I’m STILL not finished. So… you’re doing GREAT!

    Like I said… I’m sure none of this is helpful. I think it’s a balancing act that’s very hard to establish and maintain. What I picture is the circus dude holding up a bunch of spinning plates… and then… someone plops a sandwich on one of them.

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    1. Thank you, my friend. I’m so glad you’re enjoying the story so far. I am enjoying writing it. I am not enjoying the circumstances in which I find myself writing, however. And perhaps its just the pressure of the deadline (although I don’t think it is) that is making the rest of my life seem intrusive. I compare this to training for a race. If I had to set aside x amount of time for running, no one would question that at all. But to complete this challenge, it seems like its not carrying the same weight or importance. I’m sick to death of not being taken seriously when it comes to this. Oh i could go on …

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      1. I do understand. Only some activities are accepted as “important” while others are cast aside as “only when you have spare time”… I’ve been there with regard to other things. Though I may have told you before, the husband has used it against me… “Well, I don’t do [whatever] because you have your laptop so you must be busy.” It’s a bs excuse. Totally different from what you’re going through, but yeah… xo

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  3. I’m sorry to hear you’re getting flack for doing something you enjoy doing. I think, from what I’ve read so far, you’re doing a great job! Keep it up. As for the flack, compromise is key in any relationship. But, that’s a two-way street. If you need encouragement though, you’ll find plenty around here, I suspect. 😃

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    1. Yes, thank goodness for other writers who face the same challenges. I don’t know how else I could get this off my chest. It’s one of those things… if you’re not making a living at it, then it’s just a time consuming hobby. And if it’s just a hobby, it’s not that important. Unfortunately, that kind of thinking is common among the friends and families of aspiring writers. And so I vent here among the folks who get that. Thanks, Beach, for being a friend!

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  4. Hi Meg! You’re doing great. I’m so impressed with all that you’ve done. At our house my family only seem to want to talk to me when I’m writing! After explaining how writing FEEDS MY SOUL and how a hungry soul makes for an unpleasant mother and wife I’m getting interrupted much less. 😉 It’s okay to put your foot down and say, “This is important to me. This is my work. I respect it when you have work to do and I’d like the same in kind.” Keep going Sister! xo

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    1. Thanks, Whitney. Yes, I have to be a little more determined to get my way here, I think. The story is going pretty well. I have it plotted out somewhat so I just need to follow my map. Thanks so much for your constant support!

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  5. Since others were feeling the same, maybe this is a common time to feel discouraged at ten days in. It’s a huge undertaking and whatever you get done is probably more than what you’d normally have written… I agree, people who don’t write don’t really get it. My family thinks my blog would be a nice distraction to take my mind off pain and emotional upheaval, and I’m having trouble putting two words together 🙂 I’m loving your story and if it’s not all done at the end of November, well, it will be done soon!

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    1. Thank you Diane. I’m so glad you’re enjoying the story! I will keep going, maybe reducing my expectations on finishing, but taking solace in knowing I’m that much further along. As always, thanks for your friendship and encouragement! It means so much! Hope today is a better day for you?

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      1. Thanks, Meg, today is better. Saw nurse practitioner, she tells me I’m right on course and to expect the same each time. One bad week and then two good ones except for the fatigue which is kind of cumulative. Then I read about a 7 year old who died from neuroblastoma which he was diagnosed with 4 years ago and never even got to go to kindergarten 😦 makes my life look downright stellar and my complaints pretty minimal, you know?

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      2. I’m glad you’re feeling a bit better. Going forward, you will know what to expect, too. Be better prepared for it. Maintaining that positive attitude and gratitude, will sustain you, Dee!

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  6. Hi Meg. Sorry for being a rubbish buddy… Have been trying to completely avoid WP to prevent getting distracted, but life’s doing a mighty fine job of that on its own! Work and family and illnesses have all squeezed on the writing time… Not to mention those crawling through treacle days. I am fortunate in having a very supportive partner, and have managed 12,500 words so far, plus a rough plan for the rest of it… For a haiku-ist, I’m pleased with this! The point I’m getting to (slowly) is to run your own race. If you come out of the month with a bunch of words written, and progress on your novel, then you’re a WINNER! You know how you work best, and what motivation you respond to. Make that a force for good, rather than a monkey on your back. And keep writing! ❤

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    1. Thanks, Al! As far as the writing goes, my biggest problem is not going back and editing! I can’t stand not doing that and its really slowing me down. I realize that all writers flourish with different methods of doing things and the NaNo model is not really one I would normallly follow. Anyway, it has served the purpose of getting me back into my novels series universre and making a good start on the book. Now if I could just get everyone (IRL) to leave me to it! Best of luck with your book! And thanks again for being a good friend! ❤️

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  7. Well, first, 17,000 is amazing! That seems crazy to me but I hardly produce anything, lol. I’m sorry you’re not getting the time you deserve and that people aren’t taking it seriously. That’s, well… shitty. 😦 I hope it gets better and feels easier to do what you want to do. But still, you are doing an amazing job and I love the story so far. 🙂

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  8. Congratulations on doing so well! I am sure you will complete the challenge well before time. Just want to say that even if you finish on time or need more time it’s totally fine, the idea is just to write and that you are already accomplishing, so don’t let the timing and word count stress get to you.
    I am not a regular with the writing, but am still here to support you.

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  9. Since I’m in catch up mode with my blog reading, and I’m going in date order, I have yet to learn if you got there! I bet you a very large malt whisky that you did though. Non bloggers have some very strange ideas about what we do tip tapping away and certainly don’t consider it REAL reading if we are reading a blog. How TRUMPISH is that!!!!!! If you can be self satisfied by your efforts then you are a huge winner. If some others are satisfied along the way then you are a GINORMOUS winner. I consider that you are definitely among the latter Meg!

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    1. I did not finish the 50,000 words by the ned of November. However if you read on, you’ll see that I did come close and that I actually didn’t finish on purpose! Out of sheer defiance! LOL! Thank you so much Peter, for your kind words and support! And yes, sir, I did have me a whiskey or several!

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