Camp Nanowrimo July 2016

Holy crap I haven’t posted for 2 and a half weeks …

Well, the past 2 and a half weeks have been great. It’s been 2 and a half weeks of “personal days”, bascially, and boy do I feel personified. I’ve started exercising a crapton, and after 3-4 weeks of walking every other day-ish I feel fitter and more healthy and relaxed and cleansed and all of that good endorphine-generating shit than I did spending almost all of last year doing every other-nightly workouts. I’ve started feeling more comfortable with myself, just being in my own company and not seeking to escape from it, not feeling lonely or lacking just being by myself. I’ve started feeling veeeeery midly less anxious on a day-to-day basis. In general, I’m just doing pretty damn well.

And so, it’s time to keep the ball rolling and get some serious fucking writing done.

I have danced around the idea of turning writing in to a daily routine for about the past decade. From the days when I was a naive little adolescent counter-culture acolyte to the present, it has felt like something that I don’t need to do in order to get shit done. And now I realise that, actually, that’s true – I have other shit to get done besides writing. But on the other hand, I have other shit to do besides do exercise every day, and I’ve gotten myself into a pretty solid routine after only a month, maybe even less – I haven’t been keeping exact records or anything, but it hasn’t been long and already I’m feeling the benefits. I mean it’s already at the point where I can walk up hills now. I’m sure some of you can appreciate the gravity of that achievement.

The point I’m trying to make is that getting shit done is no longer the point for me. It’s about enjoying myself. And I enjoy getting into habits of productivity. I have finally finished my painful, laborious slough through the second chapter of my thesis, and have 2 more to go not counting the intro, conclusion and bibliography. I’m getting an extension, which will hopefully be taken care of by next week, so I’ll have enough time to get it done. Aiding me in my quest to blast this shit out as fast as possible will be developing a stronger writing muscle, a deeper reserve of writing stamina, just as I have cultivated the stamina and tolerance to lactic acid require to walk up hills. I’m still not over that. My life has changed completely.

So, what better way to get into the habit of writing a whole shitload, all the time, than to write a whole shitload all the time?

Enter Camp Nanowrimo, July Edition. Yes it’s a month away, but why not get started right now? Here’s the thing: the silly 5-part plan I devised for my shitty YA werewolf novel is actually a fantastic fucking plan. I need to write. The whole point with the shitty YA werewolf novel in the first place was to write as fast as possible in order to stress-test my storytelling capabilities, to see how well I can steer when going at top speed – to see how well I can craft a story while not giving myself any time to really think or reflect on what it is I’m writing. It kind of worked. The speed part worked for the two big chunks of time I worked on it, to be fair, it’s just that there was another huge chunk of time in between them where I wasn’t working on it at all. This time, I’m going all the way through.

This year, I am writing a five-part series of shitty YA werewolf novels.

Bring it the fuck on.

This year is also the year where I’m trying to sort out my life, because this is a turning-point. I am no longer convinced that the best thing for me to do is leave academia – not because I’ve suddenly realised it’s my life’s calling, but because it would allow me to do certain things that a more conventional job would not, or at least that’s my understanding. The time-management aspect is what I’m mainly thinking of; obviously there’s a lot of work involved, but at least at the level I’d be entering into right off the bat – as a tutor and PhD student – it comes and goes in waves, where a lot of the time you just have to attend lectures for your assigned papers and then teach the tutorials. And then the essays come in and you have to work through those – which sounds pretty grueling, to be fair – but my point is that at least some of the time your schedule is fairly flexible. It’s definitely not a decision I’m thinking about lightly, but I’m certainly weighing the pros and cons. It’s actually because I haven’t been writing very much of late that this has started to become a concern of mine: it’s all the other stuff – the exercise, the Me Time, the sense of fulfillment that I have being able to dictate the pace of my own life. That’s the stuff that’s important to me, and wanting to get back into writing is because the rest of my life has become much more fulfilling. It’s like the better my life is, the better I want to make it. Kind of like how the more time you spend, the more time it feels like you have.

And I think that’s the main thing: for the first time in a very long time, I actually want to write. I haven’t felt this excited about writing since I first started doing it “seriously” when I was 13. I feel like bouncing around a few projects and seeing what sticks. The only thing I need to do for certain is write, every day. Just to get into the habit. What I use it for is up to me.

And then, in July, I’ll get started on … something. For now, I’m just going to write. And I’m looking forward to enjoying it all over again.


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