Hitting the wall

I’m fifteen days into NaNoWriMo, and have written twenty one thousand words. That’s a world record for me, although I won’t hide that I’m jealous of people who have already broken fifty thousand.

Yes, I am a little bit behind target, but I’ve had a rather demoralising experience. Not because of any incidents in real life (although in all fairness, it has been a saddening and depressing week for many of my friends), but because I have hit what long distance runners call The Wall.

It’s a little different from writer’s block, which can happen to anyone, anywhere, any time. It specifically happens at, or around, the halfway point of a predefined venture. In this case, it’s the end of the second week of NaNoWriMo, the point where I should have written around twenty five thousand words. I’m four thousand behind. I’ve had an almost completely stagnant four days in which under twenty words, cumulatively, were written. I gave up trying yesterday and replayed the entirety of Sonic Adventure 2, surpassing the final boss battle that had eluded me since I was fourteen. I do think there’s a benefit to giving in those moments, and distracting yourself with something completely ridiculous, whether it’s getting out the house for the day or just slobbing around eating pizza and playing videogames. I think I got most of it out my system, because today I’ve started writing again, and have another couple of thousand under my belt. Hopefully this means I’ll be back on track, and I hope my friends taking part in this writing challenge overcome their personal walls too.

It has been a very emotional week, and I know it’s a combination of personal relationships, terrible health, wider world events and my own internal landscape. I’m not writing about very healthy or fun topics, and this world I construct in my head does colour everything I do in reality, even if only a little. It’s made me want to fall back on some very old habits, and I’m glad that for the most part I turned to playing Sonic instead. From this I could postulate that Sonic is the cure for hitting the wall, and yeah, I’m happy with that.

 

 

November begins

And so does my writing. For the remainder of this month, I will be partaking in NaNoWriMo, and for the first time in years. I’m feeling more enthused than usual about this, largely because of my writing network having expanded – I am now in touch with a lot of writers who are serious about what they’re doing, and it lends me a lot of motivation to take myself as seriously as I wish to become.

So this month I’m using to finish up Trees in November¬†and City of Dis. It’s the perfect month, as both those stories are terribly depressing. November’s good for that. I’m only about 20k into Trees, but am much further into City of Dis, so that’s coming first. If I can get first drafts for both by the end of the month, it would be fantastic!

After Sunday I’m already off to a good start with 4k in the bag, bringing City of Dis to a total of 60k words – almost enough for a first novel – and I’m especially happy that I’ve tackled some tricky scenes from the point of view of a rather unpleasant character. I’ve had real trouble trying to connect and make that character sound natural, because there’s so little in the way he thinks that I can emulate genuinely. But last night I got some great scenes down (well, I say ‘great’, but the truth of that will become apparent in the later editing…). I’m feeling positive about tonight’s writing. With a bit of focus and application, I might actually beat this year’s NaNo challenge!

If anyone’s on the NaNo site, why not add me? My author page