NaNo Day 27: Focus

I’m back at school! Tomorrow’s the last football game of senior year, so my family dropped me off at my apartment on their way to another Thanksgiving celebration out of state.

I’ve spent the day trying to get caught up on things: Christmas shopping (all online, mind you; no Black Friday madness today, thank God), answering emails, working on my honors thesis, cleaning my room, cleaning the ancient icky food out of the refrigerator, etc., etc.

What this has meant is less time spent on NaNoWriMo today than I had planned. (Really, I had planned to spend the entire day on it.) But real life was stressing me out and I knew I had to get stuff done before I’d ever be able to focus.

Despite getting all that work done ahead of writing, I still was having a lot of trouble focusing tonight, though. All I wanted to do was watch Netflix or work out or even do more homework. (Really: anything but write.) And that lack of ability to focus was stressing me out all over again.

Normally when this has happened in years past, I’ve turned to my critique partners for help. That group of writers is all about the word wars. (Last year we got to the point where if you weren’t writing at least 1,000 words every fifteen minutes, there wasn’t even a point in competing.)

But this year none of my critique partners are doing traditional NaNoWriMo. And not being able to get my brain to let me write, sitting alone in my dorm room in an empty apartment with my family off having fun in another state–it all felt very isolating.

So I turned to the NaNoWriMo forums for the first time this year for help, and they reminded me that @NaNoWordSprints on Twitter exists, so I decided to check that out. And after doing endless word sprints from a little after eight until now, a little before eleven, I managed to not only focus on writing, but to beat my goal of 5.5k for the day.

I wrote 5,800 words in under three hours today. They are all pretty terrible (I was aware of how terrible they are as I was writing them), but I’m proud of them just because they’re there. On the page. And I am caught up and a little ahead and SO CLOSE to being done with NaNoWriMo 2015.

The main reason I love NaNoWriMo so much is that it’s such a community affair. For one month out of the year, writers stop writing alone and start writing alone-but-together. We attend write-ins, do writing sprints and word wars, compare word counts, and more than anything we cheer one another on.

I’ve been missing that aspect a lot this year, because of the no-critique-partners-competing thing. It’s hard to focus when you feel all alone. But tonight reminded me that I’m not doing this alone.

Over half a million people are competing in NaNoWriMo this year, from what I’ve heard. More than ever before.

If you’re feeling alone this NaNoWriMo as well, go out and find a few of those writers. Do a word sprint. Cheer one another on.

It’s incredible how much a little interaction with someone else spending the month with the same goal as you can help you focus.

Goal for Today: 5,000 + 500 (from yesterday)
Overall Goal: 47,000
Current Word Count: 47,352

~Julia

 

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3 thoughts on “NaNo Day 27: Focus

  1. Sorry I couldn’t be part of it this year. 😦 I’m still really excited to see what you create. And the NaNoWordSprints Twitter *is* pretty helpful! I’ve used it in the past myself. Good luck making the goal!

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