Post NaNoWriMo Depression and (hopefully) the Road to Recovery

Life during NaNoWriMo

Here’s how my November went:

Every day, goal of writing at least 1700 words culminating in 50k+ words on Nov. 30.

I had this sense of urgency – get it done, make it happen, meet the goal.

Because I had that sense of urgency, because I wanted to WIN (did I mention I am a little, tiny, teeny bit competitive?), I arranged my day so that I WOULD meet my goal.

Somethings had to be sacrificed because if you want to do something different from your status quo, then things have to be changed, moved around, different priorities rise to the top, and some things fall away. What fell off for me?

Twitter – I only checked in once a day, and that was for mentions.

Facebook – ummm… I don’t think I checked in one time during the month of November.

Email – once in the morning, once in the evening.

I couldn’t cast work aside – that’s the bread and butter right now. But, I was much more organized – here’s my list of what has to be done, here’s what has to happen to get that accomplished… work, work, work, boom – done.

And, I wrote. I wrote when I didn’t feel like it. I wrote when I didn’t know where the story was taking me (even though I had my worksheets!). I wrote when I thought it wasn’t going to be any good (ugh, writer’s doubt, yuck).

But, I wrote. Until Nov. 30 I wrote.

Life After NaNoWriMo

December 1 – I thought, wow, I did it. I WON! I need a little break, a little recuperation. I’ve earned it. Just a few days, just a couple, and then I will get back to it.

But, it was December, and we do a lot of celebrating in December, so the month rolled away from me and no new writing and no work on editing or revising, not really, not real, solid work.

Soon, it was January. I didn’t need any more recuperation. But, instead of reading through my draft, I was back to the heavy hitting with Twitter, and I mean a lot.

And, no surprise, January was ripped off the calendar. I had read through some of the draft. And, when I read through it and worked on it, I liked it. I think it has potential to be strong, solid, engaging writing.

But here’s the thing – and it’s no secret – if I don’t DO THE WORK, it won’t get done.

Or rather, I should say, if I don’t do my work, then someone else will do theirs, and it will be their work out in the world, not mine. No, if I don’t do MY work, it will be in a file on my lap top or printed out and stuffed in some drawer.

So, back to it, back to the process. Less Twitter time, more writing time.

How about you? How are your writing goals coming along for 2012? Still on track or is it time to re-focus?

photo credit: rishibando via photopin cc
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About melindamcguirewrites

The young man or woman writing today has forgotten the problems of the human heart in conflict with itself which alone can make good writing because only that is worth writing about, worth the agony and the sweat. ------ William Faulkner, Nobel Prize Speech, Stockholm, 1950
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10 Responses to Post NaNoWriMo Depression and (hopefully) the Road to Recovery

  1. Lisa Olsen says:

    I’m very competitive in my writing too, so I never stop after hitting my first goal until the book is ready to be edited. I find I’m chomping at the bit to get through my edits because I can’t wait to see what the final result looks like. Then when I’ve sent it off for the next round of edits, that’s when I breathe. I’ll lounge and watch tv, I’ll read a book, I’ll work on lazy fanfic until it comes back and I can work on the next part.

    After it’s completely done, I allow myself up to a month to recharge and market, and then it’s back to picking which project I’m working on next and starting the next outline and research. Honestly, I’m happiest when I’m working on a book, and it’s hard for me to keep from starting on the next one during my downtime.

    But… that doesn’t mean my way is the healthiest way to go. I’m working on finding more balance to my process. For me that means 2k words per day instead of 3 I might do for NaNo, getting it written in 40 days instead of 30 makes a huge change in my stress levels. It helps me to compartmentalize my day too, giving myself time to unwind after work, check my email, facebook, twitter, but after an hour it’s writing time without fail. Consistency is the key for me so I don’t lose interest in a project and move on to something else because the plot bunnies are always a-hoppin’.

    Right now I’m on track, in the final part of the 1st draft of Mercy for the Damned. My goal is to write 4 books this year, and so far, so good!

    • I always think of the word “prolific” when I think of your writing. It amazes (and inspires) me the number of words you write per day! 🙂
      What does your time spent marketing look like?

      • Lisa Olsen says:

        There you find my Achilles heel! I’ve spent very little time on marketing lately. Usually I do better, try to post to my website at least once a week and get on facebook more, but I’ve been so busy at work, I haven’t had the extra bandwidth to fit everything in. I’ve got a book giveaway going on goodreads, that’s picked up some of the slack and generated some interest, but now that I’ve bot my 1st draft done, hopefully I’ll have more time for marketing soon.

      • Lisa Olsen says:

        I’ve been happy with the exposure I get on the Goodreads giveaways. I did one in January for Angel of Mercy and had about 670 enter to win and about 150 people ad it to their ‘to read’ lists. Then I did one for Wake Me When the Sun Goes Down and had over 800 people enter and about 170 added it to their list to read. I’ve got one going now for The Touch and have 234 people entered, but it goes for another 21 days. Will it translate to more sales? Who can say? But at least I had more people take a look at it who might come back to read it at a later date.

  2. DM says:

    My writing goals? Well, I never quite do what I hope I’m going to do or what I’ve scheduled. Sometimes I get caught up fixing sections.

    • I notice when I let my editor cap appear while writing, it never ends well. I constantly have to battle against editing as I am writing!
      And, what is this “schedule” of which you speak? I am not familiar with such a thing 😉

  3. Roger Lawrence says:

    With fresh MS’s I try for 5K words a day. Most of it is gibberish but I always go for quantity before quality. There’s probably something wrong with that philosophy but it’s mine.

    • Roger,
      I think there is something RIGHT about that philosophy! 5k a day. That’s incredible!
      If you and Lisa co-wrote something, we’d have the next Sironia, Texas (1.1 million words) in about three months. WOW!

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