Gearing Up For Camp NaNo

The Evil Day Job and writing don’t always mix nicely, especially when you work in soul-sucking retail. Sometimes it seems impossible to be able to unplug from work and find time, or energy, to write once you make it home — hopefully in one piece. And other times…it really is impossible.

I am going to hate myself for saying this, but I have begun to associate this work week as a third Christmas. (Easter is the second Christmas when it comes to retail, and actually Back to School could be the third mini Christmas instead, so maybe this is like my fourth Christmas.) Essentially this week is Hell Week when my boss decided it’s a great time to take an eight day vacation — for what I swear is the third time in only a couple months, throw myself and the two other managers under the bus more than once, and leave all of us to pick up her slack the final week before the biggest boss visit of our store’s life.

Thanks, bitch! NOT! I don’t care what’s going on in your life right now, you should definitely be here for this.

I do not get paid enough for this amount of stress, frustration, and responsibility now sitting on my shoulders. I should also not be going into overtime this week, but guess what? All three of us managers left to deal with this bullshit are probably going into overtime, even when we’re technically not allowed.

You know it’s time to find a new job when you’ve got to the point that you really just don’t care anymore. You do what you get done and the rest… “Well, fuck it. It is what is anymore. I don’t care.”

I get it though. You’re the general manager and you’ve adopted an “I can do whatever the hell I want” attitude because of it. Whatever though. I don’t care anymore. I’ll look for a new job unless things start shaping up as fair again, or I’ll leave and laugh while I watch you scramble to fill an already shorthanded position.

Well no wonder I’m going into overtime then when I’m not supposed to!

*Rolls eyes* Idiot…

I shall forego a longer rant about work though and move onto writing. If there’s one thing overtime kills, it’s free time at home and the energy to do anything once you get home. It also doesn’t help when you work so many messed up shifts that you have to choose between eating, sleeping, or getting things done once you finally do get home.

The bad thing about all this happening right now is that it’s the week before Camp NaNo starts for me. By the time Saturday rolls around I’m going to be so fed up and exhausted that I’m going to need all of Saturday just to recover some sanity and motivation — maybe longer than that at this rate, which means I only have Sunday left in my request off days to get a head start on Camp.

I should have taken the first three days of July off for Camp, but then again, even if I did, my boss would be taking away the approved third day just like she took away one of my approved days — approved in FEBRUARY — this week because her life took precedent over mine.

I did not do it for you, bitch, I did it for the two other managers getting stuck with your bullshit too. Don’t you dare thank me for it, or I might just have the balls to finally say to your face I didn’t do it for you. (The other two managers know straight up I did it for them.)

Despite how much hell this week is going to be I did manage to start my Camp NaNo  project on Sunday. For the first time in two months I finally picked up some of my writing and got to work. Since I’m using Camp to work on the concordance and some minor editing of Fated to Darkness, I wanted to get a head start so I could play around with the best way to go about this project.

I’m glad I did get a head start because I spent a good hour and a half just organizing pages in my concordance and figuring out what sections/categories needed added yet, and making lists for what to include in certain categories (like character sheets, and chapter summary information for easy access to arranging plot lines, and so forth).

By the time I did call it quits Sunday night since I had to be at work early Monday morning, I had a better basis for how to do things, started a rough note notebook to keep track of things for said pages above, had managed to get through the Prologue of my story with the minor editing, and created a reference and question Word doc I can consult and use when I begin the major editing.

My hope is by making this Word doc I’ll better be able to organize the notes I left myself in my rough draft. I’ll be able to use it to answer questions of past events or miscellaneous things, or note that I need a character name, or a chapter title, or that this section needs more editing, or that I need to watch my “telling words” in this section, or this scene needs more description, etc. etc. etc.. By transferring and noting where those references and questions are in my rough draft, I should be able to eliminate lots of unnecessary words and some pages so I’m not printing — or paying — as much when I start paper editing the book. (I plan to put the Word doc on a flash drive and take it to an office supply store to print it instead of using all my own paper and ink.)

I think it’s going to work based on how things started out for me, and my hope is to get up to at least Chapter 11, which is about 146 pages, by the end of July. If I want to stick to my original goal of getting through the whole book by November, that gives me four months, and there’s about 40 some chapters in this book. Roughly ten chapters a month, not too bad — I don’t think. By doing it this way I can use the minimal free time of November and December to organize the rough notes I’m putting in the notebook into my concordance, and also print my reference Word doc and the actual book.

(Wait, what free time in November? That’s NaNoWriMo! And the start of the holiday!)

The more I think about this, the scarier it is to see how far I’ve really come. At the same time it’s exciting. It’s hard to believe I’ve really come this far.

Now if only I can figure out how to regain energy and motivation in the face of work’s hell to keep pushing forward this week — I would like to get through Chapter 1 before Camp starts — and in the future at this rate… Music only helps so much sometimes. I need another way. Like maybe taping the logo of my company — or maybe my boss’ face — on my target and practice shooting my bow at it. Bet you I’d hit a bull’s eye…

How do you unplug from work to shake off it’s exhaustion and frustration to be able to focus on writing and/or editing once you’re home?

7 thoughts on “Gearing Up For Camp NaNo

  1. I find I can focus on editing better than writing after a shift at my job. It’s been really stressful and hectic in there lately, which kind of crushes creativity, but I think since my job can be rather detail-oriented at times it’s not as much of a shift in focus from work to editing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That makes sense. And mine is just soul-sucking period so I can easily see how mine drains creativity just as much when you deal with stupid idiots and assholes all the time. Of course, being an introvert doesn’t help that. LOL


  2. A piece of advice a wise woman once gave to me is to try and make yourself a regular schedule: as painful as it is, as hard as it is, as gruesome and hellish it is, there has to be a certain time that you no matter what sit down to write. That can be hard if there are distractions and you don’t have a quiet place to be, but if you manage to stick with that schedule for 17 days, it becomes habit. It doesn’t even have to be every day, but maybe every Wednesday and Friday, or only every Sunday. Either way, schedules help hold you accountable.

    Also, for your concordance, I just discovered a really cool program called Scrivener that helps organize your manuscript. It helps divide chapters, leaves room for notes and summaries on each chapter, and really helps you get your whole book wrapped up into one place, but helps you keep notes on each individual chapter much like a concordance does. The bright side? Winning Camp Nano gets you a discount on it. I HIGHLY suggest checking it out; it seems like an editor’s dream.

    Good luck with the Job-that-must-not-be-named. Hopefully things lighten up soon.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Unfortunately, when you have a job that has no set working hours and can be so sporadic and spontaneous, it makes it near impossible to make such a set time. To make a time that would work around the job would be to cut out sleep or eating time. It just wouldn’t be possible to manage with my job, as much as I would love to make a time like that.

      I have heard of Scrivener but have been reluctant to try it because I hate paying for those kinds of applications, and I also like to do things my way to what works best for me. I’m a bit OCD like that. One reason why I make a lot of lists and charts and other plans and why I redo things a lot to help myself stay organized with my writing. I find I may take ideas from this or this, but I tend to stick to making my own methods.


    • Did I seriously never reply to this comment? I am so sorry! It’s been an…interesting month, and not in a good way mostly.

      I definitely hear you. If I could afford to just up and quit without it looking bad on my resume (I’m in a manager position), or without needing to worry about bills to pay and many other factors that really only apply to me, I probably would have up and walked out in that week. Thankfully things have smoothed over some by now and I don’t think I am looking for a new job — not currently at least — but when my frustration and bullshit meter runs high, I certainly think about it a lot more.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: Progress Is Progress | Darkling Dreams

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