NaNoWriMo: Days 19-20

november 19I took Tuesday off. That is to say, I did a bunch of other stuff on Tuesday. I cleaned the whole house and cooked a super labor intensive dinner for Shaun’s parents and grandmother.  It was actually a really fun and positive day, and having left off Monday with my heart full of novel-love, I thought picking it back up yesterday would be a breeze. It felt like the perfect time to take a day off.

I was woefully mistaken.

Yesterday was the worst writing day I have had in years.  I spent all day staring at my novel, reading passages from No Plot? No Problem!, gazing at pep talks, starting my timer and then stopping it. I told myself I would be able to write with Shaun. I could make up my missed day over a few days. It would all be okay, but I felt awful about it, even though I knew that these things were true.

Part of my problem is that I outlined some last week. I know where the novel is going and some of the surprise is gone. I love when my nanowrimo runs away in some unexpected direction and I can’t help but feel like my outline is railroading it. I tried to leave lots of gaps for surprise, but instead they’re filled with me rushing through mundane exposition so I can get to the next thing I outlined. It’s just really boring to write like that. Next year I’m going in completely unprepared. I’m always full of what I’m going to do next year around this point. Next year I’m going to write a story about a family of stoats who stop an ancient evil from rising up while their daughter is participating in a child beauty pageant.  Next year I’m going to write a romance between a dorito and a cheese doodle. Next year my novel will have tap dancing corgis.
Shaun came home and proposed we write for a solid hour. I panicked a little and Shaun helped me through it and I did write. I wrote for a half hour or so, but I was feeling very negative and it wasn’t a productive session. I got 703 words written yesterday and I’m glad I wrote. I’m glad I got through yesterday because of course I feel much better today and I am grateful to my yesterday self that I don’t have to make up two complete days because I did get something down yesterday. Even if it all has to be scrapped after November, it was part of the process. Of course everything is going to be okay. Great, even. It always is.


30711 / 50000 words. 61% done!


2 thoughts on “NaNoWriMo: Days 19-20”

  1. That’s normally how outlining affects me, too – which is one reason I usually avoid it like the plague. I’m not sure if you could really say what I did this year is an outline but I guess it is. Mostly I’ve been noting down great ideas. “Oh, what if the kids did this! Oh, I bet they’d enjoy doing that.” and I have a vaguish idea of where we are going and I have them sort of in a vague chronological order but it isn’t as if the book has a plot like a mystery or anything – it is just “slice of life” after all. The notes have been super for days when I’m staring at a blank page and blinking cursor…”well…uh…well..hey, I’ll write about when Joey taught Hannah to fly” (which is what saved me last night) and then they seem to sort of naturally move the story itself forward. Learning, always learning – and of course it will all be wonderful!

    1. For some reason this was in the spam comments so I didn’t see it! Very weird because there aren’t any links or anything weird in it! My outline-ish stuff is totally helping me now that I have gotten to the end. Initially I just had a bunch of little scenes I thought would be fun to write but for some reason they ended up being the hardest to get through! Your novel sounds really fun this year, yay!

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