After getting off to a bang on November 1st and plunging into my goal of writing 50,000 words this month, the enthusiasm has tapered off and now I have hit the halfway mark – November 15th – short of my goal. I am only a measly 1,235 words behind schedule, which I could write in a half hour if I really focused, but these last few days have been so tough. I thought I would breeze through this year’s Nano attempt since I am officially self-employed, but while I am the master of my schedule, I am not the master of my body, and being 8-months pregnant has taken its toll energy levels and attention span.
So far my writing environment has consisted of:
- Starbucks (trying to sample all the holiday drinks before the christmas music kicks in and working there becomes unbearable)
- My house: dining room table and, surprisingly, my office (which is supposed to be a sanctuary for my business)
- Cafes of Astoria, Or. This year’s “writer’s retreat” was a little underwhelming, but at least served as a nice escape from the city.
- I don’t have any collaborators this time around. With all the collaboration I'm doing for my consultancy (meeting with other consultants and prospective clients), and all the collaboration I'm doing for my baby (meeting with other new moms), I don’t feel like investing the energy in meeting new people for Nano right now. I wish I had current friends that are participating but sadly I do not.
- Pregnancy fatigue is real. While my second trimester was the best I’ve felt in my life, entering the third trimester has made me feel lazy, tired, sluggish, and unmotivated. My mind and body are so synched that when I feel tired, I can’t get up the mental strength to force the create process.
- I discovered I HATE writing in the midday. Even though I work for myself and enjoy taking long breaks in the afternoon to read or do housework, it is impossible to write for my novel. I have to switch gears majorly and can’t get back on focusing to work. Alternatively, if I'm too wrapped up into work, I never get to writing for my novel, it always gets pushed to the evening.
- Mornings are not working for me either– I cannot wake up that early and when I get up at my regular time, I need to get right to work. People are waiting for my response and I need to be active during business house.
- Nights were working well but not working this past week. I had two evening events which completely wiped me out, and on the other days, somehow I also didn’t manage to get anything done at night.
- I got started right away on day 1 and made good progress. I almost didn’t write that day but I forced myself to because I knew if I couldn’t get this off the ground on the first day, then I would set a sluggish pace for the entire month.
- I had a conference on November 2nd and didn’t think I would write on that day but I did. In fact, it was a fruitful time for me. The conference was so intense that I welcomed the mental retreat into my novel.
- I am writing much faster this time around, clocking in more words per minute than I ever had before. I think this is due to having a good outline for my novel already, so I don’t have to get stuck on plot points, as well as just growing more efficient as a writing professional.
- I kept on track with my word count and wrote almost every day through the 11th of the month.
- I wrote more on the weekends than I thought, owing to some particularly crucial scenes that needed to be written out all in one sitting.
- Not too far behind my word count….1,235
- My novel is structured really well and I’ve been developing a lot of fresh content.
You might notice the word count broken up into segments over the course of the same day. This has to do with the corresponding scenes or chapters, which is helpful for me to track on the more-detailed spreadsheet I keep but don't publish online.
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