Saturday, November 03, 2007

And so it goes...

“The best laid schemes o’ mice an’ men / Gang aft a-gley.”
-Robert Burns

Marcia Colette (who is still riding high on her first print contract) asked for the final numbers of my two-week challenge.

Sadly, they are what they were in the last post - 84 pages out of 280. My best laid plan was to write as much as I possibly could in the two weeks before November first, when I knew I would have to do some serious job hunting. I decided to try to write at least 20 pages or 5000 words a day (depending on which came first) for those two weeks. (This was an effort to break out of some serious writer's block - or laziness, whatever you want to call it.) :)

Well, as it turned out, I got off to a good start the first 3-4 days, then I got two contract jobs that I needed to take (in order to take care of little details like food and shelter) and those contracts ending up being so much work that I've been putting in 12-15 hour days for the past week and a half. In fact, I need to work this weekend, but I'm taking a short break just to save my sanity. (Not to mention I'm fighting sinusitis with accompanying pain and dizziness.) Nevertheless, I have a lot of work and a Monday deadline looming, so I'll have to get cracking soon.

In the midst of that, I actually even signed up for NaNoWriMo - what can I say, I'm a glutton for punishment.

Soooo..... how did/do I think I'll accomplish all this? I had commented on Spyscribbler's blog recently that I was completely clueless when I started writing. (I'm still fairly clueless, though I like to think I've learned a little.) In some ways, that complete ignorance served me well when I was just starting out. See, I hadn't as yet learned that writing is hard, and getting published even harder. In my naive enthusiasm, I thought I could handle it.

It reminded me of a time, many years ago, when I moved five large bags of something - I believe it was cement mix. See, back then, I only weighed 103 pounds. My (now ex) husband and his brother had left these big bags blocking the back walkway to the porch and I went outside and moved them to the side of the house.

When the guys came home, they wanted to know where the bags were. I showed them where I'd put them. They asked how they got there. I wondered how stupid could they be, and said I put them there. They didn't believe it and asked me to show them. Still mind-boggled at what idiots they were, I picked up a bag and moved it. Sure, it was heavy, but it wasn't impossible.

They were stunned and I still couldn't figure out what the big deal was until I looked more closely at the bags. They weighed a hundred pounds each. The guys had left them in the middle of the sidewalk because they were too heavy to carry for any length of time, yet I'd moved them all several feet away.

There is not a doubt in my mind if I had actually read the weight on the bags before moving them, I wouldn't have been able to do it. In fact, after I knew they weighed only three pounds less than I did, I suddenly couldn't carry them as easily. I had been working on the assumption that they weighed about 40 lbs each. I knew they were heavy, but I had no idea. My ignorance gave me the belief that I could carry them, and I did.

I gave this post the tag "Magical Mondays" (even though it is Saturday) because that experience illustrates the power of belief. I might have done better with my challenge if I hadn't allowed the belief that I was too tired/too stressed to overtake me. On the other hand, since I did so well on the days I wasn't working, I now believe that I can handle Nano. Heck, if I could write 5000+ words a day (the equivalent of moving 100 lb bags for me) I'm sure I can write 1667.

That's all they figure it takes to complete NaNoWriMo. 1667 words a day.

Piece of cake. :)