Week one of camp: Procrastination and doubt

Camp NaNoWriMo started last Sunday. I didn’t add any new words to my project until Wednesday, when I managed to eek out a measly 142. Part of the problem is that it was spring break this past week and the boys were off from school. To save money hubs and I alternated days off with the kids. On my days off, instead of my usual writing time, I hung out with the boys and we visited friends and family. It was fun, but draining. I love my boys to pieces, but they have entirely too much energy. A quick trip to the grocery store is like taking monkeys through a tree farm.

I love springtime, but the weather this week has been cold and ugly, and it’s making me feel restless and trapped. I want to take walks, breath fresh air, and warm my face in the sun. It doesn’t help that my WIP takes place in winter. Those 142 words? They were all about how much we look forward to spring.

On Wednesday night I met up with a few of my writer friends for coffee and conversation. It was great to see them and reconnect. But I continued to feel listless and uninspired. Sometimes when I work on a project, it calls to me. I can’t wait to get back in front of the screen and get lost in the world I’ve created. The characters meet me in my dreams, tell me their secrets, beg me to get their stories onto the page. Right now? All I feel is doubt. I’m often crippled by decisions required at the beginning of a new project, and this is definitely one of those times. The creative flow is blocked by my inability to commit to an idea. Remember that outline I talked about in my last post? Yeah, that totally hasn’t happened yet.

Saturday morning I sat in my usual place during soccer practice and decided to do a bit of stream of consciousness writing in the hope that I could dislodge the dam of doubt in my brain. It helped, and I walked away with 695 new words, bringing my total for the week to 837. To reach the goal I’ve set of 10k, I need to average 2.5k a week.

I need to pick up the pace.

Life returns to normal this week. Kinda. My parents are home from their snowbird place down south and my dad likes to bring the boys to soccer, which means less time in the chilly yet muse-filled indoor arena. (Although my days were numbered anyway – the outdoor season will start next month and it’s difficult to type while sitting in a camp chair. In the rain. I have little hope for a decent spring to ever arrive.)

The bottom line? I allowed myself time for family this week, and time to wallow in the murky pool of procrastination and doubt. Now it is time to light the fire of let’s-get-moving-already. My goal for week two is to spend some solid time at my desk, not worrying about what is or is not working; simply writing. If the words are garbage, then the words are garbage. Hopefully they’ll lead me to where I need to be headed with the story. And hopefully it will stop snowing and I can get outside and talk a long walk full of positive brainstorming energy.

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