Writing Check-In

November’s almost over, as is 2018 (thank Athena), so it’s time for me to be really honest about how writing has been going for me.

My goal for 2018 was to finish a rough draft of at least one novel, so roughly 70k words. That sounded super doable, and for the first month, I thought I would make it. But then I basically stopped writing until November.

What happened in January? Well, I had a writing buddy at the beginning of the year and that person left me. Now, I obviously can’t put the blame for my failure to live up to my goals onto that person, but that was the catalyst that led to a lack of motivation on my part.

The real base problem is that I do not believe in myself, so I really felt like I needed that positive voice to buoy me up and someone I could talk to about my projects whenever I felt stuck or blocked. Honestly, even though I’ve gotten going again, I still wish I had that. Believing in myself isn’t an easy thing to do and having someone to talk to really did feel like it helped my writing. Even then, they’re not there to hold your hand every chapter of the way, so I really do need to learn to have enough confidence to not give up. The loss of that friendship should not have been enough to shake me out of writing, but mental health being what it is that’s what happened.

With the end of the year so close and my goal so far from being accomplished, it’s hard for me not to feel frustrated with myself. If I had just stuck with it, I would have a couple of rough drafts at this point, but I didn’t and beating myself up literally never helps.

Anyway, with November rapidly approaching, I decided I should do NaNoWriMo to kickstart myself back into writing again. I’d been feeling the itch strongly once again, so it was time, and I wanted to accomplish my writing goal. If you follow me on Twitter, you may have seen me talk about that earlier in the month.

Spoiler alert: I will not be winning. My manuscript I worked on is at 24.5k, and I could have gotten to 50k. Only problem is that, most of the time, I did not enjoy my day’s writing, and I don’t feel especially proud of most of what I wrote. Because of that, I made the decision to give up no NaNo. After working my day job, 1700 words a day felt like more work and took way too much energy. I know some people can do it, and holy fuck do I admire you guys.

That said, I’m grateful that I tried, because it did get the fire relit under my ass to actually write. It burned me out a bit, so I took the Thanksgiving holiday off to basically do nothing, but this week I’ve started writing again. NaNo made me realize how much more creative I feel and how much more I like what I end up producing if I don’t set such a high word count requirement for myself each day. Since there’s no deadline I have to reach, I’m now aiming for just 500 words a day, though I’ll write more if I’m on a roll.

My progress will be slow and probably continue to be hampered by the fact that I don’t like to work on a single project non-stop, but I plan to keep going. Admittedly, I planned to finish a rough draft this year and to finish NaNo, but, hey, what is life but continuing to try?

For those interested, the NaNo project is a historical romance retelling of Twelfth Night and the one I’ve switched to is a modern Pride & Prejudice, both LGBT af. I really hope I finish them both someday, because I’m in love with my concepts. I just need to learn to love my writing.

4 responses to “Writing Check-In”

  1. Both of your projects sound fantastic. 🙂 Don’t beat yourself up too hard (easier said than done, I know) but 24k words is still incredibly impressive!
    Bonnie @ For the Love of Words recently posted…Something To Look Forward To – Week of November 19th, 2018My Profile

  2. Heather says:

    If you ever want to talk about writing stuff, let me know! My life is going to stop being a dumpster fire in like 24 hours, so I’ll be regularly available again 😀

    I’m super proud of you. I didn’t finish this year either, and I’m 100% okay with it. I think I made it to like 18k words before my life became chaos, and honestly, that’s 18k words I didn’t have before, so that’s a victory in and of itself. NaNo always fires me up, too, and I can’t wait to tackle my project again when everything calms down. Don’t beat yourself up; you did great!

  3. Leah says:

    I feel you! I have all these ideas I want to write about that I have all mapped out in my head, but actually putting them on paper is another thing. I don’t believe in myself either most of the time but then my heart breaks at the thought of me never completing an idea. I’ll keep trying. One word at a time, Christina. What matters is that you continue to the best of your ability.

  4. Lana says:

    For what it’s worth, I would read ALL THE WORDS of a 12th night historical romance retelling. That sounds amazing!

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