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.
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.