It’s less than a week before the end of this month’s camp NaNo and with 4.5 words behind schedule, I’ve been thinking.
Not just about NaNo, but about writing in general.
I’ve been thinking a lot and I’ve been stressing a lot.
When April rolled around, I set my monthly word goal at 30K, knowing that I’d be busy this month with things other than writing. Nevertheless, I expected to exceed that number with at least 10K. Well, obviously I’m failing at that.
So what happened?
I could blame it on engagements in my non-writing-related life.
I could say it was because I had computer problems. I could say that my laptop was given for repairs, because while Ella (my laptop) was away, I was typing on a borrowed spare one that was dreadfully slow; I was grateful that I had that laptop, but working on the old machine was terribly frustrating. I could say that transferring the files from Ella to the spare laptop and then back to Ella when I had her on my desk again was irritating and time consuming. And so was installing all the programs I use (there was an issue with Ella’s hard drive so all information and programs were deleted).
That would be true.
I could also go for a happier note. I could say that preparing for my birthday and name day, that receiving guests and going on visits (my grandma and one of my cousins also had a name day) took a few days and although pleasant, was tiring.
That would also be true.
I could say it was a combination of all the laptop ordeals and the celebrations.
Another thing that would be the truth.
But there is something else as well.
When I announced that I’m taking the camp NaNo challenge this month, I told you that I would be working on three different projects – my two ongoing wattpad stories (We are the Answer – Paranormal Romance, and This Girl Just Wants to Have Fun – Teen Fiction) and on a third story that I had not named back then… Or even now.
Again, what happened?
Seems like I overestimated myself and big time. Yes, I worked on We are the Answer and This Girl Just Wants to Have Fun, yes, I took some notes on the untitled story, but I don’t have chapters or even a blurb for my unnamed project. Things aren’t much better with my two ongoing stories – I’m falling behind on my updates because the chapters – especially those for This Girl Just Wants to Have Fun – don’t sound right and I keep deleting and re-writing parts of them.
And that is mostly due to stress; it’s because I put too many things on my plate – blog updates (the Tuesday Tiny Writing Tips series, Part I and Part II of the character interview with Rhys and Riley, the downloadable character sheet, etc.), wattpad updates, a new story for camp NaNo, running a new short story contest, giving out reviews as rewards for the previous one, reading Heart of Thorns and reviewing it and beta reading on wattpad. In the words of Bilbo Baggins: “I feel thin. Sort of stretched, like butter scraped over too much bread.”
This shouldn’t be a surprise to me – I’m quite a glutton when it comes to food so why not when it comes to writing? – but I should know better by now. And here are my words of wisdom:
—→ DON’T PUT TOO MUCH ON YOUR PLATE ←—
NaNoWriMo and camp NaNo were created to encourage you to write, not to put stress in your life. Yes, challenging yourself can be a good thing, it can motivate you to reach new heights, but you shouldn’t do it at the expense of your wellbeing. The stress of falling behind on a deadline and not reaching your word goal is detrimental to your health and it transfers to your writing.
You can feel it and if you are posting your NaNo project online, so will your readers.