Finding My Way

I am really sucking at writing on the days I work this month. I think there’s been a total of maybe four days I worked that I also managed to write. You know the sad part to that? They were during the first week of NaNo when I was so exhausted off my ass that I could hardly think straight.

What is wrong with that picture?

Oh well. I’m still making it work. I’m finding my own way through the craziness that is retail during the holidays and NaNo.

I don’t want to say I’ve had a breakthrough for the second half of the month, but, well, I kind of have.

I’ve been struggling all month a little to write, and not just find the will or time to write. I was okay at the beginning because I knew what the next couple chapters were coming up, and then I sort of got to a part that I knew what had to happen, I knew little ideas, but I didn’t really know how to make those ideas happen just yet. Nothing was forming in my head.

For instance, normally I can picture little snippets of scenes and then hand the reins to my characters and let them tell me how it plays out with those scenes. Sometimes the scenes would change a little, but I still got to point B.

This time I wasn’t getting much though, and I’m wondering if it’s because I’m at the end of the book. There are less than 10 chapters left to write. (Not counting the epilogue if I write it, I’m tossing the idea of it around yet. I originally wanted it but I’m wondering if it might be too spoilerish now. We’ll see.)

But seriously, less than TEN chapters left to write.

To most of you that probably seems like a lot. To me, after working on this book for two and a half years now, that’s freaking short and so, so close to the end. I’m getting excited just thinking about it.

Wait, I jumped ahead of myself here. *Rewinds tape*

Okay, so I said I was struggling this month because I couldn’t figure out where I was headed exactly. I had the ideas but then again didn’t. I was off today and I knew I had to get writing because I fell below par, again, but I was also stuck because I didn’t exactly know where I was going after I finished the chapter I was on.

Now normally I plan out a few chapters in advance so I know what direction I’m going, but I haven’t been doing that for, oh geez, a lot of chapters now. I stopped doing that at Chapter 20 because I was more focused on making Camp NaNo goal and now this goal. I’m now on Chapter 33.

Since I made up my mind to do NaNo at the last possible second this year, I definitely did not have any chapters planned out when I started this month. I’ve been totally pantsing it and seeing where the characters take me. (I do have a rough timeline guide of how things work, so I haven’t been totally blind. Thankfully.)

For the most part I have no issues with pantsing it, the ideas and direction just come along as I write. This time, however, it was beginning to deter me, and that realization finally slapped me in the face today and screamed, “Hey! This is your problem this month! FIX IT!”

Well, I listened and fixed it.

Before I started writing today I spent a good half hour or so talking to myself and pulling my hair out as I jotted down ideas and questions coming to mind and how I could possibly make it all flow together on a piece of scratch paper. I’ll be lucky if I can read all of my handwriting later, or if it makes sense to anyone else who sees it, but at the end I came out with a direction for the remaining chapters, and even a why and how I was looking for.

So I found my own way, and now I’m back on track and excited to keep going without the nagging worry of “where am I going after this chapter?” that was deterring me.

Today I managed to write roughly 6k words so far. I needed 7k to hit par once more since I again fell behind with work. I’m going to make that before midnight. I even held myself to shutting off the wifi and logging out of all social media earlier to write for 2 hours non-stop. I managed 4.2k words in that time frame. Don’t ask how I managed it, I’m not really sure, I just kept going. Right now two of my characters are rather talkative. Which is good.

In even better news, in less than a thousand words I’ll be breaking 30k.

I know this book is going to take more than 20k to finish now, but I don’t think there’s going to be that much more than 20k left to it. I mean, I do only have about eight or nine chapters left to write. I’m determined to finish this book this year, at least the rough draft.

And I will get my first November NaNo win. I don’t care if the real craziness starts next week, I will get this win. I’ve got two days off before Thanksgiving hits. If I keep up this write 5k — or more — on days off, and still manage to write something on the days I work finally, I will be up to 40k by Thanksgiving.

I can do this. I will do this.

I just had to find my own way again first.

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