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?

Finding Topics

summer solstice

Blessed Summer Solstice, folks!

It seems like just yesterday it was the start of spring and here we are already at the longest day of the year. I hope many of you get to enjoy the beautiful weather and extended light, I unfortunately have work. It sucks to think the days are going to start getting shorter already. Didn’t the nice weather just start?

Solstice aside, I didn’t get a chance to write and post my first helpful post last Friday. Lots of things got in the way and I lost track of time, and at that point after finally deciding what I’m going to go forward doing from this point on, Morgana struggled to come up with a topic to babble about.

That doesn’t mean I haven’t been thinking about it though. I’ve started a list of topics that I can use for those posts — including things like the benefits of Camp NaNo and NaNoWriMo, where to find inspiration, brainstorming and outlining and world building — and whenever something strikes me that I can use I add it on. It’s not a long list yet, but it’s growing slowly.

Other than my brainstorming for topics, I have failed to be productive at all this past week. I’ve had the want to be productive, but not the will and motivation it seems. I suppose the want to be productive is a good start though considering my past weeks. If only I can get myself moving on the actual act of being productive now that’d be great.

I do seem to have decided what I’m doing about Camp NaNoWriMo in July though, and it’s not going to be my normal kind of decision. (I believe I’ll explain more next week about it.) We’ll see how this decision works out because I want to be able to start the project before Camp starts just to get a feel for how it will go, and if I can manage to make it work. Hopefully I’ll be able to have a chance to start before Camp, but at the same time… The rest of this month is a giant clusterfuck of things going on. If I’m not working, days off will consist of not being home to get any work done. Go figure, right?

(I’m mostly blaming the Evil Day Job because I’m about fed up to my eyeballs with all the bullshit going on there.)

As long as I have some opening shifts next week I should be able to manage it, but, you know, for whatever reason I’m getting the short stick for the past month or so and only getting closing shifts which leaves me NO time to get anything done at home, so who knows what I’ll really end up with.

For now I will do what I can I suppose, and try not to throttle anybody in the process. I should have the time to write and schedule a post for Friday this week now that I have some topics to use. I’m undecided about writing a Shard this week so I’m not sure if there will be a Wednesday post just yet. If the prompt gives me an idea by the end of the night perhaps I will write something for it and post again, but in the meantime I do have a question for my dear readers.

Whether you’re an author, a publisher, a writer as a hobby, a journalist, or a reader, or anything at all; when it comes to stories, writing, and everything in between, what kind of topics do you want to hear about, and maybe learn something about? What kind of suggestions can you give me for a topic to write about that’s a little more informative than just my rambling? It can be anything from involving characters to involving publishing to involving a certain genre or research or more. What do you, as my followers, want to see me post about from this field?