Well, day five was pretty much typical of how I expected a standard National Novel Writing Month day to go, despite staying at work a couple extra hours to prepare for a meeting I’m supposed to run today (and am running as this blog post goes up. Yay technology!) I’ve gotten over three thousand words written before working on this blog post and it should put me over four thousand. After this goes up, if I still have some energy, I’m going to do a little romance novel work or write another two hundred and fifty works in “What You Know You Need” so I’ll only be about three hundred thirty-three words behind, which is about the average amount of “extra” words I write in a standard day.
That being said, I’m still super wiped out from not sleeping enough over the weekend and still pretty emotionally distraught about what’s going on in my life. I may have had a busy enough day to avoid thinking about anything too deeply, but it’s still there, just beneath the surface, waiting for the right moment to rise up and make me want to cry again. I usually manage to keep my face pretty much neutral, which is important at work. It’s hard to run a meeting about the process you’re trying to implement as a part of your software coup if you look like you’re about to cry.
My German coworkers are in town (which is why we’re doing all this stuff now instead of waiting a bit longer) and it’s frustrating to need to be putting on a social face when all I really want to do is keep my head down and work alone. Coincidentally, they were also in town the week after I broke up with my ex and I had to do the same thing then. If I were a more superstitious man, I’d find it entirely plausible that their visits to the US are harbingers of pain and sadness in my life. I’ll have to watch out for it in future just, you know, to make sure. Honestly, I’d kind of like a bit of quiet in my life, next year, so I’m hoping that this year was the only year were we have my German coworkers are harbingers of doom. I need to work with those guys. I can’t do that if my every interaction with them brings doom and loss upon my life. I’m got pretty good emotional fortitude, but even I don’t think I could manage that amount of tribulation.
Anyway, writing is going well. I’m making good progress despite my emotional state. I’ve passed the twenty thousand word mark and I’m rapidly approaching the twenty-five thousand word mark. I still suck at writing romance novels, but I think I’m figuring it out. I’ve already read two of them this month, so I’ll figure it out eventually, I’m sure. I even managed to wrap up a draft of a Coldheart and Iron post for tomorrow! I’m still waiting on review, but it should be up at some point! Two updates in ONE DAY! That’s a first. The only other thing of note going on is the ongoing war with my computer chair. It refuses to stay at its maximum height so I need to continuously adjust it and it also makes this incredibly creepy, animalistic squeak if I lean on the left arm just right. Which I do. Constantly. Because I forget it’s there. And then my heart-rate skyrockets and my lifespan decreases.
I’m rambling. I’m going to go sleepy-write some words for my other projects until I actually fall asleep at my computer. I hope day six goes well for you and I hope you’re making progress on your goals. Good luck!
Despite the fact that Humans are incredibly complex individuals, our first reactions to surprises or big news tend to fall into a bit of a pattern. I tend to give placebo responses immediately and then either give a genuine response after catching myself being non-specific or give a genuine response after taking the time to examine my feelings about it. One of my roommates tends to respond logically first, entirely devoid of emotion, which he adds later on as needed. My other roommate tends to respond emotionally first but then fills in reason and shows you the logic behind his responses upon request. How does your protagonist respond to something unexpected or portentous?
Sometimes, I really just want some good music to stick in the background with an upbeat tempo, a fun sound, and a great rhythm. On those days, I always turn to Matt and Kim. Their music, which I’m pretty sure is “electric pop,” focuses on a delightful mix of keyboard synth and drums for some great dance music to listen to in your own home. Their early albums have a great deal of similarity to their songs, but that words really well for when I want to shut down the busy parts of my mind so I can focus on my writing. Their more recent stuff has a greater variety to it and it’s really good for jamming along to and signing when I don’t need to focus as intensely.
If you’re struggling to come up with what to write and taking a fifteen minute break isn’t helping, I suggest going for a walk. The soothing back-and-forth motion of a steady walking pace coupled with the movement of both sides of your body stimulates both sides of your brain. While you’re walking, try to think about stuff other than the story you’re working on or the frustration you’re feeling at not being able to figure out what comes next. Focus on the trees or houses around you. Do you best to be present in the moment and watch the world spin its way through the universe by observing it all around you. You may not find the answer to how to continue your story, but it’s a lot like unclogging the drain in your mind. Once things start to flow again, eventually the right idea will show up. Stagnation is the enemy and the best counter to it is a simple walk around the neighborhood. Seems too good to be true, right? That is where you’d be wrong. There’s actual science behind this that supports the reasons why the therapy I use for my OCD and PTSD is effective. Stimulation of alternating sides of the brain is linked to processing thoughts and feelings and emotions that feel stuck in your head. Clear whatever’s stuck on your mind up and you should be good to write again.