NaNo 2016 Update #1


Target: 30,000 words
Words written: 2,234
Words left to go: 27,766

The Ballad of Bettie Frass is happening, but it’s happening slowly. I’m already off track–I should have 4,000 words done by now. I wrote every day so far, but my highest word count was 876. I’m hoping to put in some extra writing time today and tomorrow to get closer to on track again.

I am not actually surprised about this. Frankly, I’m just really happy I’ve written consistently four days in a row, even if it’s only been a couple hundred words here and there. I haven’t consistently written since I broke my ankle back in February. Between being laid up with that, where my days had no routine, to being totally overwhelmed by my old job, I’ve had no balance in my life, and thus no energy or space for writing. But I have two (mostly) functioning ankles now, and a job that allows for work/life balance, and NaNo is the perfect time to set up some sustainable writing routines.

I’ve found a great coffee shop for morning writing. Good coffee, good pastries, good tables. It closes at 5pm, though, so it’s not doable for after work writing. But! There is a Starbucks (not great coffee) in the lobby of a building not far from where I work that stays open much later and has good squishy chairs. So I think I have a good place for afternoon writing, too. Check and check.

I can’t write on the bus anymore. My commute changed, and now I take the express buses, and they are often so full it’s standing room only. Not writing compatible, hence the need to show up very early and find An Ideal Writing Spot or stay late and hunker down in A Different Acceptable Writing Spot. I have found that I can’t write at work, because if I am work I will just…keep working. The change of location is key for me to actually switch to writing and away from doing other things. During the week, my time at home is so limited that when I’m home I want to be present and not sequester myself away. During the weekends, it’s a lot easier to lock myself in my room for a couple of hours a day, write, and then clue back into my bustling family life.

The story for Bettie Frass is really just getting started. A lot of what I’ve been doing–and why I’ve written so little so far–has been about stretching atrophied writing muscles. Getting back into the swing of things again. Remembering how and when I work best. I think next week will cover more ground.

Are you all doing NaNo this year? What are you working on? How is it going?