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Archive for November, 2011

Day 10 Goal: 16,666 / 50,000
Actual Word Count: 36,127

The actual word count wouldn’t be so bad if you didn’t consider that between the course of Day 9 and Day 10 I only wrote 315 words. Which is just a few words shy of being a fifth of the daily quota that some Wrimos go by, as all of the different participants write at their own pace. Last year when I was participating, I wrote three projects in one month and just barely made it to my goal of 150k. And I wanted to do it the same way this month, three different projects – but trying to aim for 200k or 250k. Being that I participate in crazy things such as the 50k Weekend challenge or attempt to write 50k in 24 hours or less starting at exactly midnight, I know I could make it.

But then I ask myself: Is it really even worth it? There is always a price to pay. Last year, I wasn’t able to be productive regarding schoolwork because I was too focused on NaNo. Too focused on my goal, when my priority should have been getting assignments done ahead of time and passing all of my classes with decent grades, instead of trying to figure out how to execute the perfect sequence of events in the next couple of scenes of my novel. Yes, I was still able to do well enough last year Fall semester to pass everything, even if just barely – but I could have done much better if I didn’t put all my attention into writing challenges right away, instead of homework.

Normally NaNoWriMo doesn’t interfere with my student life this much, but it’s happening again. I would have had the option to opt out of the third paper for my Western films class if I wrote the one that was due on the second day of the month, and that way I would not have had to worry about writing one this month to submit in December. I would have been able to write up the script for my comics class group project much sooner. It’s due NEXT WEEK and I still haven’t written a whole lot but I do have something to go off of and I’ve written two pages already. Not good enough. Also, I had a paper (and a revision of a paper I turned in back in September) due this week and I skipped class because I didn’t have it and I was working on them last minute but I could not finish the revision and I’m only just starting on it now. I’m going to get ten points off for turning it in on Monday but I need the weekend to work on it, as well as some other things I also need to get done for other classes. I have an exam on Monday that I have two review sheets for, but I doubt they’re going to be any help at all. I have a journal sort of like thing and a presentation to finish for a class, that I’d rather finish sooner than later since I’ve already been putting that off for months.

It’s not the week two slump that’s plaguing me this time around, it’s just that I knew that November was going to be too busy of a month for me and I wasn’t going to write until the 25th and 5,000 words would have been written for each day. I should have gone with that plan. But then all of sudden, I don’t know why, but I decided to start off when we usually do – on the first night. But now we are eleven days into the challenge, and I suddenly realize that it was a mistake to do so and I should have gone with my original plan. I guess it was because I let my past victories go straight to my head, thinking that failure isn’t an option and that I have to win at all costs. Yeah, as though that wasn’t selfish enough of me to torture myself like that.

Now I understand what one of my friends meant when she said she couldn’t finish NaNo the past two years due to being overwhelmed by college stress. While the challenge is a fun way to spend your November, it is more important to focus on your schoolwork and/or other priorities. Especially if you feel like you are already working yourself to death and participating in NaNoWriMo at the same time, it can be tough. It’s tough for me right now – three papers due, (one that I did not write and now regret not writing because I had the choice of not doing the third if I did the second, and one that’s going to be LATE. again.), an exam, a project, and a bunch of other things to worry about – that’s a lot to work with, and I knew that before going into this mess but everyone else I knew, whether in my own region or in other regions, people I’ve gotten acquainted with and/or befriended, was probably going to start right away and I didn’t want to miss out on a “tradition”, for lack of a better word. But there are people who do start late. Remember that. And don’t make the same mistake I made. If you know you’ll have too much to do regarding school or work or whatever – wait until after everything has calmed down (or after Thanksgiving) and then start.

To anyone else that is participating this year and also feels overwhelmed by this sort of stress, I recommend you sit back, relax, take a break from writing for a little while, catch up on work or responsibilities or whatever it is you do, and then come back to it later in the month and still pull through. That’s what I’ll be doing, starting today. I’m not sure when I’ll write again. But I really do need to focus. At least, for now.

To everyone else participating: Happy writing, everyone!

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