If Napoleon Dynamite was a writer…

So, this week I have done precisely zero work on my novella. Ze-ro. Zilch. Nada. And after 3 straight weeks of decent momentum.


Gosh, it feels pretty shi*tty writing that down, and then typing it up as I am doing right now. I’m thinking of the beep…beep…beep of the heart-rate monitor, before that long beeeeeeeep at the end to indicate something is wrong.

napoleon dynamite

Ah man. Annoying. Here’s my trying to break down what happened here:

The previous week was tricky
Last week, I wrote how I had to force myself to write after the novelty of the story had worn off, and it was starting to feel that I was writing just for the sake of writing, and keep the word-count ticking along. This, of course, has it’s benefits – pen-to-paper is the hardest thing, after all! But I’d certainly lost noticeable enthusiasm for writing my short-story-cum-novella.

Meaty chapters lie ahead
I’m over the half-way mark in the story, and from here on in every chapter feels pretty significant. And chunky. Throughout the story we find out more about Joel, the main character, and I have a pretty decent outline of the way things are going to go, and so what I need to write about / let unfold from now. Last week, the last chapter/chunk I wrote had been a pretty tedious one to get through, and it feels the same – if not ore tedious – for the next part. Oh man.

My job search
Having taken a year off last year, I’ve been figuring out what to ‘do’ work-wise. With that has come the anxiety from not having worked in a while and going back to work, as well as choosing ‘the right thing’. At this point in time, I actually feel like I have a semblance of a plan as to what to do. Accordingly, I’ve been making calls, sending emails and even going into places and chatting/dropping my CV off. With a job search, it’s not just the physical time one spends actually applying/looking for jobs, but the actual mental energy the whole thing takes up.

Last weekend, it was just me and bro at home as my parents were away. I spend time chilling with him, and we went out with our cousin and uncle one evening. I also was out with a friend one evening last week. In other words, I did more socialising that I normally would, and so I felt more tired from this / socially-stimulated than usual. (I also had another evening out cancelled, and turned down yet another).

At the end of the day, at any point – I had ample time – I could have just sat down and written. Just like I did last week, when I also hadn’t felt completely overjoyed at doing so. This is another example of how something can start with just missing a day or two, and then all of a sudden turning into a few days of doing nothing. As stupid as it is, once I’d realised I only had a couple of days left to ‘catch up’ and maintain the sort of pace I had been thus far, it felt like I pretty much gave up.

I woke up today intending to write. I didn’t. Truth be told, I did some job-searching stuff, and spent time procrastinating. I’m soon off to the gym, and going to a birthday party tonight. (What’s worse is that the “wig” I’ve ordered for this wig-party was supposed to arrive by today, and it still says it’s going to get here before 8pm, and there’s still no sign of it! Karma, maybe).

I won’t lie, sometimes you can have “too much time’ on your hands, as counter-intuitive as that sounds. And right now, I think it’ll do my good once the whole work-situation is more stable and I can relax about that a little.

But this week’s stats sure don’t make great viewing:

Where I’m currently at
Week 1: 21 pages (A5)
Week 2: 27.5 pages (A5)
Week 3: 21 pages (A5)
Week 4: 0 pages (#fml)

*still* ~15k words written

On a positive note
I have still been writing every day. I continue to journal, write blog posts and I even published my first poem on Sunday. So hey, not all bad. But I have to admit, it feels like little consolation. It’s been a week of thinking over doing, which is a pattern I definitely want to keep at bay.

For the Easter break, I’m away with my family for a couple of those days which I’m looking forward to. However, it’s a four-day weekend and I really want it to feel productive. Even if it’s just a few minutes here and there, I want to get back into the creative writing swing and carry on where I left off with the novella. I need to think of it as “little bit by bit” rather than big, whole, scary important chapter.

And hopefully that darn Napoleon Dynamite wig (+ accompanying ‘Vote for Pedro t-shirt) will arrive in the next couple of hours before I leave tonight.


PS. In case you haven’t seen Napoleon Dynamite (you totally need to), or if you have, here’s a short clip from the movie which feels pretty apt right now.

✏ Written: Thursday, 28th March 2018 @ 5.03pm

A.B. Guy | articles | newsletter 💌

What about you? 🤷🏽‍♂️
How’s your week been? Has it felt like a good one, or a less-than-ideal one? (Be honest, I can handle it, I promise!)


10 thoughts on “If Napoleon Dynamite was a writer…

  1. I have had a rather productive week myself. A bit tiring, but overall pretty effective.

    Also, fun fact: I grew up in the area that Napoleon Dynamite was filmed in, so the film holds a special place in my heart.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. The filming was all done in Preston, Idaho. I grew up in a very small town nearby, though I don’t live there anymore. The “liger” drawing is actually a reference to an event that happened in the town I grew up in… We had an… Incident… If you want to hear a horrific but very interesting story (and learn where the specific town where I grew up) Google “ligertown Idaho”.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. There’s a Preston here in the UK, too haha. Not an awful lot going on there though, from what I understand. Oh my goodness, I’m definitely gonna have to check that out! Yikes.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve had a good week. Working, and then worked from home today. Tomorrow’s Friday. The weather is absolutely gorgeous – Sunshine and warmer temperatures. I’m also submitting resumes casually – I want to start using my new paralegal degree to its full potential, so I’ve been using LinkedIn, etc. I went to an awesome luncheon hosted by the local chapter of the American Red Cross – My dad and two other church members were honored as “Blood Drive Heroes” for all their work on coordinating blood drives at our church since April 2000. Our 18th anniversary blood drive is next Saturday, April 7th. I was an honor to represent my father, who couldn’t be there since he’s currently traveling. Also, I went on an awesome writing streak this morning. I pounded out over 1,100 words in about an hour this morning, bringing my total word count to over 12,000 and 34 pages.I’m very pleased with myself! I hope you have a great extended weekend.


  3. I was completely obsessed with Napoleon Dynamite when I was in high school!

    Also — don’t feel so bad about an unproductive week. I took six full months off from writing this summer, and I was really hard on myself for it. But in the end, during that six months I made my blog, opened an Etsy store, and organized all of my possessions (I was also unemployed). And then, somehow, I picked my book back up and I finished a full first draft.

    I know a lot of people prescribe to the “write every day” idea, but personally, I find that I need breaks every once in awhile.

    And speaking of that book….I put it down at the end of March and haven’t done with it since then. I’m hoping to spend the month of April revising! We’ll see how it goes.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think there’s a part of Napoleon in all of us!

      Thank you for the encouragement 🙂 I’m trying not to be so hard on myself, and acknowledge any teeny-tiny bit of activity as success.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s