Kat’s #NaNoWriMo Week Two, Time to ‘Write or Die’.

It’s been kind of a weird, detached sort of week, where I’ve felt at points that I’m not quite “all there” within myself. Christ knows how my characters must be feeling!

In my NaNo pep talk e-mails, I was told that week two is considered “the bad one”, and with good reason, when you think about it.

You’ve had your first week of wondrous folly throwing yourself into this shiny, new piece of work that you’ve been dying to write for days/weeks/months/years (delete as appropriate — for me, it is years).  You’ve vomited up literary genius with reckless abandon and paid no attention to your inner editor (or you try to, anyway; alcohol helps to shush them even more, FYI).  And while I didn’t particularly like my opening scenes and chapters, I still wrote them with a fair amount of vim and vigour. The ironic part of it is the story itself started to take off this week, and yet I dragged my feet in sitting down to do anything.  Maybe I’m afraid of being unable to do the story justice…maybe I’m just lazy. Probably both.

Towards the backend of the week, I did manage to rekindle some of that lost love with my old writing friend, using Dr Wicked’s “Write or Die” as a crutch, both desktop edition and the free web version.

For the uninitiated, Write or Die is a very simple program, designed to put — as the web site says — “The ‘Prod’ in Productivity”.  You have a simple screen to enter a target word count and the amount of time you want to have it written in. That’s it. Off you pop, you have a text screen in which to enter your next masterpiece.


Anyway, what’s the big deal about that, you ask?  Well, if you stop writing for a prolonged amount of time, it will start screaming at you (screaming in a literal sense, although the web version has crying babies instead, which I can vouch scares the bejebus out of you when your mind and fingers have wandered onto another web site for a second too long!).

“Write or Die” helps keep you focused and urges you to concentrate purely on the task at hand.

Of course, I learned all this last year, which some readers might at this point be experiencing déjà vu, thinking “hasn’t she talked about all this before?”. And yes, yes I have.  To which I will respond in the words of Alice:

I give myself very good advice, but I very seldom follow it.

Or, in my case:

I give myself very good advice, but then I get distracted by something shiny and forget all about it.

I’m still behind on my word count today, but on the Scrivener front, I’m being rewarded for my hard work with a much more pleasant yellow-coloured progress bar, so woot!

Two quick points I’d like to bring up about the coloured progress bars in 2.0:

  • I know (or rather, I know now, after dicking about with backdrops and random other new sparkly settings in 2.0) I can change the colours or indeed set them to one solid colour of my choosing, but whereas I was on the fence before, leading into;
  • Having seen the colour adapt to my progress, I can say without a shadow of a doubt that my initial hesitatance at the frightening and new idea has faded into obscurity.

Moving on!

I’ve also been going to bed at stupidly early times this week (10 o’clock most nights), which not sound bad, but when I’ve always considered myself to be most prolific at night time, it’s had a real knock-on effect to my writing schedule. I’m not sure why I’ve been tired, although I’m starting to suspect it’s pure apathy.

Tonight, I am going to sleep in my office (that’s the third bedroom in our house; I don’t mean I’m going to drive to work and sleep under the desk in a sleeping bag like Manny).  It will hopefully mean I will be less inclined to go to bed early, as I can roll off the desk chair and straight into bed, where I can sit with my laptop in my…well, lap, like it’s supposed to be!

As the second week draws to its close, I’m slowly warming again to the story in general and back to the characters. Having spent a good twelve — or, in some cases, more — months having no ‘contact’ with them, it’s taken a while to get back into their mindsets.

In any case, I’ve hit and passed the trigger point of the story arc, so hopefully things should pick up significantly in the coming days. As always, only time will tell.

Hope everyone else’s Week Two was more productive than mine!