Friday, 15 June 2012
Camp NaNoWriMo Day 15: rest and relaxation?
I have no idea what to say at the end of Day 15. I only wrote about 500 words and while that still puts me a little way ahead of par, it also makes four days in a row when I haven't met the daily goal. Things are not going well and I'm struggling to find reasons to post something other than Doom and Gloom. You may have noticed that by the talk of kittens and stretching lately.
I could really use some helpful chatter about now, but not surprisingly everyone around the WriMo-ing world loses their enthusiasm at the same time and so chatter of any description at all is rather thin on the ground. Thus, Siana Blackwood's feet stray ever closer to the precipice and the catastrophic descent into Doom and Gloom is about to begin...
Maybe I'm already there, though. Maybe I've been at the bottom of the chasm for a while now and I'm walking along in the darkness hoping so see a ray of light in the distance so I can head towards it. All this "hanging onto the crazy" and stuff like that... Nothing but self-delusion?
The thing is, though, I knew this story was going to be hard. I knew it was going to invalidate what I thought I knew about an entire trilogy. It's performing its intended function of giving me the tools to write the trilogy the way it should be written and whether this fourth book ever sees the light of day doesn't even matter. Writing Doom is difficult, but both necessary and rewarding. The problem isn't with the story, even though it's tempting to blame it.
The problem is that I've been pretty good about telling my fellow writers to take breaks and look after their bodies, but not so good at it myself. I should have taken at least November and December last year to recover after spending August, September and October hand-milking a herd of close to fifty goats. That's a whole story in itself and I'll probably tell it one day, but right now the point is that I didn't take the break my hands and arms needed when it was over. Hand-milking fifty goats is... I don't know how to compare it to anything. Imagine writing about 15,000 words a day every day for three months at a badly designed desk where you have to twist sideways to reach the keyboard. Oh, and take up some kind of sport that involves repeated bruising blows to the hands and a near-dislocation of your shoulder every couple of days.
I don't know if I'm exaggerating or not. That three months doesn't quite feel real in my memory, but I still feel the effects of it now. I have one goat I still have to hand-milk and she's all I can manage. I can write 2-3k on a good day, but the good days are getting less rather than more frequent.
Thus we arrive at the point of this post. I'm coming to realise that while I often give out the advice to take a break, I still haven't taken one myself. Maybe it's time I did.