Saturday, 7 November 2015


Being between assignments, I rashly signed up for this year's National Novel-Writing Month. I've wanted to have a go at writing those 50,000 words for a couple of years, but have never found the time. So I created my account on 31st October and have now typed the grand total of 501 words. The stats page on the website says that, at my current rate of writing, I will have completed my 'novel' by October 5th 2017. It started off well. I had the idea of something I wanted to write, but it took me all evening to write 200 words I was happy with. I then decided that, actually, I wasn't happy with them, deleted everything and started again with something totally different. 498 words-plus-a-title later, and I've got a page of rubbish. The NaNoWriMo website says that the idea is just to write, and you'll probably end up with 50,000 words of sub-standard stuff, and that's okay. But that's not how I write. I write a couple of sentences and re-read them, twiddle about with them, delete them and re-write them. I then read through past paragraphs and change bits. I constantly have a thesaurus open on Word and I spend more time editing than writing. I did try to 'just write' and not edit, but found it resulted in mild panic that I may have mistyped something or used the same word in two consecutive sentences. I looked around on the internet for tips on how to manage Editing OCD and found a good blog-post (which, predictably, I now can't find, so can't link to. Sorry.) which said that, actually, it would be of more use to aim to write one amazing paragraph in a month, rather than 50,000 words of crap. (To illustrate my problems, I have just spent ten minutes looking up whether it should be 'aim to write' or 'have the aim of writing' in that last sentence. I tried both, to see which looked the least clunky. I'll probably change it again or decide on something completely different before I publish this. If anyone knows of a self-help group I can join...)

I have just deleted my NaNoWriMo account because I'm fed up with it sitting on my desk-top nagging me. I very nearly cheated, I have to admit. I was tempted to copy and paste a year's worth of blog posts, a few shopping lists and all of my RE assignments, call myself a NaNo-Rebel (i.e. not writing fiction or sticking to the rules in any fashion) and say 'Yes, I did it!' on November 30th. But I didn't. Mainly because I couldn't be bothered. 

So, what to do to fill in all that time that I'm not writing? I should be reading about how to write a script, but...nah. I'm checking my emails a lot. I applied for my Children's Literature Masters last week, and the university replied, saying I'd know within the week whether I'd been accepted. I thought I wouldn't be told until about June or something, so that's an added bit of 'Oh Blimey' I could do without at the moment. I'm expecting the mark for my assignment as well, so I'm wearing out the refresh button on my keyboard. 

To update you on the prison librarian job I've applied for: I've got an interview on Wednesday. I'm hovering between, 'Hey! I've got an interview!!' and, 'Oh bugger, I've got an interview...'. I am wearing people down with my indecisions about my life. Do I actually want another job? Am I being an idiot? What do I want to do? Can I just go home, please? On a school library conference, Ms Fab and I went to a motivational thing by Andy Cope, which was actually really good, as these things so seldom are. He reckons that about 2% of the population are truly happy, and some people are what he called 'Mood Hoovers'. I am aware that, after ticking all the boxes as a two-percenter, I have now turned into a mood hoover and am risking losing friends because I am pissing them off so much with my whinging. The Boss Lady wants to talk to me on Monday. I need to get through a whole meeting with her without crying, which I'm not good at. Not because she's horrible or anything. She's actually been incredibly supportive over the years and wants me to stay in my job and has asked how she can help me. So, what I need to do is go in there, say that I don't feel challenged any more and not just say, 'I'm fine' and burst into tears, because she's probably expecting that. We'll see. 

How do I start doing this?

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