#Fail: My April NaNo Update

Sometimes, it’s just not time for somethings. You want them, but they are just not for you at that moment.

This is my relationship with April Camp NaNoWriMo. I wrote a whopping 9,818 words out of my 70k goal…

Do chapter titles and headings count?

Ugh.

I tried y’all. I really tried. I consulted with three of my writing buddies for motivation and everything they said was spot on, but my time, energy and mental strength was just not there. I started off strong but in the process of starting NaNo a lot of other things started:

  1. We are starting to move. Because of the way we are doing it and the distance we are traveling to relocate, we need time to pack and slowly empty our apartment. Also, me and my boyfriend don’t have all of the same off days so packing and moving is real strategic and time consuming. Not to mention all the other stuff that has to be done for the move – utilities, visiting the unit to make sure it meets our standard, job hunting…
  2. Speaking of job hunting, I have been in negotiation with my current employer for an opportunity to work remotely. This is a big deal and it has actually stressed me out quite a bit. I need very little money in order to survive once we move, but my initial talk with the owners at my current job didn’t yield even that, so I thought I might have to work a second job. This would have been challenging for a number of reasons. The stress was unreal as I job searched. Good news though, eventually, we did work out a better amount of hours which will get me the money I need to work remotely, but it took all of April!
  3. My jewelry shop, SkyHi Earring Co, released its spring line. When we release new items, I always get swamped with orders and marketing.
  4. I’m planning a trip to L.A. for my daughter’s birthday! This is me managing 3 other adult family members and some of my daughters wishes. This is me double balancing the budget and saving and spending for this and a move and so many other things.
  5. All of this created a strong feeling of anxiety on a regular. When I’m anxious, I sleep a lot. I also read The Antidote: Happiness for People Who Can’t Stand Positive Thinking. This book REALLY helps me reduce my anxiety and gives me good perspectives on life, worry and happiness. I’ve read it about 8 times this year. All the extra sleeping hasn’t assisted my writing…

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not bothered by not finishing NaNo, but I want to chronicle this event for my future reference because I did come to some great conclusions with this failure to win NaNo.

  1. Check your schedule before commuting to NaNo. It’s only #### words a day! But with all these other things on my plate, I had such a hard time getting any words down. Unlike November NaNo, I had already released my fall line in the earring shop and it was still 7 months from my move date…
  2. Be truly prepared, YOUR WAY. If it ain’t broke don’t fix it is the other way I am going to address this one… I started NaNo with NO OUTLINE! What the f@*% was I thinking?? I am the queen of outlines. Why would I think I can just pants it all the way to 70k words?? Sheesh. I’m just not capable of working without an outline. I see that now. I’ve learned my lesson.
  3. Understand your characters, above all. One friend gave me the number one, hands down, best advice. He said to set the stage and let my characters just do what they need to do in the scene, and that could guide me through despite missing my outline. Well, unfortunately, I don’t know my characters! I don’t know what they would do so I can’t see them doing anything… Shame. As you embark on starting a new writing venture, make sure you know who you are writing about.

So, now what? How am I going to deal with this?

  1. I have been getting to know my characters. I did, literally, stop writing in April but I could never get my characters and my story out of my mind. I am thinking about my characters in a more constructive way and starting to see who they are. I really do love them, it’s not a bluff, we’re just not as close as I am with my other characters and that is my fault.
  2. I am going to FULLY OUTLINE this thang! If you don’t know, my outline game is detailed. Not the most detailed I’ve ever seen but it’s pretty deep! I know my story end to end when I’m done and those little details and character takeovers happen naturally when I have my outline as a map.
  3. I am going to time this right! I believe that July Camp NaNoWriMo will be perfect for me. We will have been moved and settled in, I will be settled into my work schedule at home, I will have a FULL OUTLINE and I’ll be more mentally calm. Once everything settles down and I have a grip on what direction my life is going in, my anxiety will subside. This will make the time right for a 30 day novel.

All and all, I am excited to get back on the horse! Sometimes you just need a reboot. Life’s happenings are in charge sometimes but that doesn’t mean that we don’t move forward.

Love, Tiffany

Thank you for reading.

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