Paperback Writer

My NaNoWriMo word count as of the 15th of November.  I should have reached at least 25000 words by then.

Lately I’ve been feeling rather inadequate as a writer, mainly because I haven’t really done much actual writing.  In my screenwriting course, we often have guests come in and tell us about how they write ten pages every day, or they set aside three hours every morning just to write. Over the past couple of months, excluding assignments, I’ve hardly written anything at all.

It was for this reason that I decided to sign up for NaNoWriMo.  I’ve attempted it in the past, but have always found myself preoccupied with exams or work.  This year, I decided, it was going to be different.  Classes finished at the end of October, and I only work one day a week.  I’d have no excuses; I was going to write every single day, without fail.

Well, it’s not quite the end of the month yet, but I failed.  Things didn’t get off to a particularly good start; I didn’t even start writing until November 3rd.  Some days, I was able to tap out a few thousand words without worry, but others I just sat there, blankly staring at my laptop screen before finding myself another distraction.  I had no excuses, really.  I know my story – I’ve been plotting it out in my head for months.  I know my protagonist, and I know her journey – so why couldn’t I write it?

I wish that I’d blogged about NaNo earlier, because it might have given me the motivation that I needed.  Instead, I kept it a bit of a secret, only telling a few select friends of my endeavours.  This was a mistake.  Had more people known that I was supposed to spit out some fifty thousand words this month, then I might have been a little more afraid of letting everyone down.  I think that’s one of the few lessons that the past few weeks have taught me.

Another thing that I’ve realised throughout this failed writing experiment is the importance of writing every day.  One of the hardest things I found was simply finding the time and motivation to write.  As someone who usually calls themselves a writer – this is a bit of a worry.  How did I let myself get so out of practice?

I’ll certainly be giving NaNoWriMo another shot next year [hopefully with a little more success], but in the meantime I have a new writing project to focus on, which I shall post about here in the days to come.  And I’d better not fail this one…

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