Disguised as unproductive

As I’d suspected, I didn’t get much writing done this weekend, leaving me approximately one day behind in NaNo goals.

I would hope to catch up this week, but that might be difficult, given my plans and the possible disruption made evident by reading my editor’s Twitter stream:

Kristin_Daly: Reading c/e’d MS of @dpeterfreund’s For Darkness Shows the Stars. Goodness, I absolutely love this book. Romantic, heartbreaking, beautiful.

When I get my copy edits, those will be priority number one.

The rest of the weekend was pretty uneventful. Queenie is in a nap-resistant phase. She spent most of Saturday afternoon loudly and crankily insisting that she didn’t need to take a nap, but this mama does not take no for an answer, and we had “quiet time in the crib.” Then, she slept the whole way to a family party we attended in Virginia. She was lovely and charming the whole time, though, and played beautifully with her 2.5 year old cousin, who was the only other baby at the party. I think she was quite the hit.

On Sunday, she had a three hour nap, but I think she was still tired out from the party and the late bedtime the night before. We spent most of Sunday afternoon driving around town looking for a new pool floatie for her, since we tore a hole in her other one. Q loves her pool floatie above all things, except possibly Rio. But then it ended up raining, so we wouldn’t have made it into the pool, anyway.

Wild times Chez Diana, huh?

Feeling unproductive, once we got home I roped Sailor Boy into a discussion about how best to display some of the beautiful artwork we have collected but never use (we have four beautiful paintings chronicling our lives together that were a wedding present). We progressed as far as making newspaper hanging guides and taping them up on different walls of the house and deciding we didn’t like their configuration.

Which brings me back to writing. Sometimes, work is being done even if the word meter isn’t climbing. I know that goes against the spirit of NaNoWriMo style drafting, but one must also remember that NaNo is about writing for the fun of it — it was designed by hobbyists — and occasionally, this business is not fun.

So, while my girl was resisting admitting that boy was she cranky and needed to take a nap, I was resisting admitting that however cute the scene I’d just written for my WIP, it took the characters in a direction I wasn’t entirely comfortable with. I have long known that, nine times out of ten, “writer’s block” is a name for having taken my characters and a story in the wrong direction. Hence — backtrack. So though my NaNo counter says I only wrote ~500 words or so this weekend, when you consider what I deleted, I’m still moving forward with my story.

And while Sailor Boy and I didn’t get those pictures up on the wall, we did achieve something: figuring out where the pictures DIDN’T belong. It’s okay to try to do something and fail. I put something in my book that wasn’t working at all, that was holding me back from writing the story that it was supposed to be. So I took it out. To the outsider who sees our blanks walls, it looks like we haven’t hung our paintings. To the outsider who sees my wordcount, it looks like I haven’t been writing. But I know I’ve been moving forward.


Posted in diversions, Queenie, SB, writing life

3 Responses to Disguised as unproductive

  1. Tiff says:

    Yes! Absolutely! I was talking to my writing mentor when I first started writing, and saying how a lot of the writing was coming very easily…and I was about why that was, and why the heck I didn’t start earlier. She was like, “It was all up here. You were sorting through things – not just things with your writing and story, but also all those negative thoughts that were telling you not to write.” It’s true. The thinking and planning that happens between the writing can sometimes be just as important as the actual word count.

    Of course, now I kind of have a bit of block. Trying to work through it. There’s no way I’m going to reach 50,000 words in one month now, but maybe in two?

  2. Diana says:

    25k a month is still insanely fast, for me anyway.

  3. Tiff says:

    Yeah, that’s a gentle deadline – sorta like in your first query letter to Deidre Knight, where you said you’d be finished in two months. =p I’m very quickly realizing that I might have to do a bit of research into a lot of topics I know nothing about (veterinary science? Ocean grass? GAH!) in order to make this work.