So, last night didn’t go exactly as planned. I wound up working from home after an appointment and then, instead of going right into dinner preparation or laundry folding or even bill paying, I loaded up Destiny 2 and started playing that. Whoops. I still managed to get some stuff done, though, by applying willpower and making a commitment to not play for so long that I lost all opportunity to spend my time on anything else. I got my bills paid, ate dinner, and wrote a bit. Laundry is going to have to wait until tonight (and I am not allowed to play video games at all tonight).
I did still get some writing and review (just reading, not editing) done, which was good. Writing my NaNoWriMo project is important to me, even if I never look at it again once it’s done. Primarily because I’ve been away from consistent writing for long enough that I wasn’t entirely sure I could still manage a challenge like this. Heck, nine days into it and I’m still not sure I can handle it… Secondarily because I’m using this writing project to work through some stuff I’ve been dealing with this year. I have no idea where the story is going or how I’m going to wrap it up because everything the protagonist is going through is a metaphor for something I’m going through. I’m hoping that, if I just keep writing, I’ll figure it out for both my story AND for me..
I want to say that I’m confident I’ll accomplish both of those things, but today I am unsure. I wouldn’t exactly say I’m lost because I know exactly where I am, but I am not sure I even suspect where I’m supposed to be going. “Directionless” would be an apt descriptor. I really want to just sit tight and figure out where I should be going, but I’ve been doing that for most of this year and gotten no where. I really need to just start moving and figure out if I went the right way once I get somewhere. Better to fail early and quickly than to spend a lot of time planning and fail too late to fix anything.
Having a character act in a void can be fun because it makes you focus on what they’re doing and who they are, but it also can make it harder for the reader to feel immersed. By the same token, adding too much description and sensation to the story can distract from the action taking place with the characters. However, if you set the scene beforehand, using narration, you can get the world established enough to immerse the readers but without distracting from the action that takes place later. For today, focus on creating scene settings. Just set up a few important locations for your character until you hit your word count for the day and then wrap up that one.
Today, my inspiration is good friends. It’s a hard thing to share because it takes so much time to build, but having friends and other creators you can talk to can really get you fired up about your project. I couldn’t count the number of times I was able to work through a challenging bit of a story because I had a friend and fellow creator to talk to. The number of times my friends have given me the support I needed to keep going when I wondered if I should just give up is a (sometimes) frighteningly high number. Talk to your friends, find the people around you who love to create, and embrace this aspect of you, them, and your relationship as a whole. The joy and excitement that builds between you will provide you with all the motivation and willpower you need to get to work.
While the idea of filling every spare moment with writing is not only appealing but also something I’ve advocated here, that strategy might not work well for you. If you’re struggling to actually get something accomplished during your hectic flurries of writing scattered around your day, try making time for writing using a schedule. Specifically, MAKE the time. Scheduled writing time is not something you will ever find because there are so many other things that feel far more urgent. It is something you will need to set aside and wrap in iron so that it cannot be used for anything else. Set up a period of time you can make clear and use it for writing. It doesn’t need to be the same time every day, but actually schedule it into your day, ahead of time. Take the time on every Saturday to figure out what the next week’s writing times will be. A schedule adds a degree of accountability (if only to yourself), and can help eliminate distractions if you actually dedicate the time to writing.