Those of you who follow me on Twitter will already know this, but I’m participating in NaNoWriMo for the first time in five years. I’m also rebelling because I literally write for a living and couldn’t do 50k on top of all that I do for the blog and for work. I’d never sleep or do anything else, and that’s not good for my mental health. 

My goals for NaNo were:

  • Write 25,000 words of journalistic work & blog posts (together)
  • Write 25,000 words of a new novel

Now, chances are I’m not gonna make it to 50k, despite writing my ass off at work and at home. Sometimes the words just don’t show up, and that’s okay. I’m about 6,000 words behind as I write this, and will probably be further behind tomorrow, but I’m okay with that.

After this election, I’ve been having trouble getting fictional words out. I’ve got so many words about the real world that they’re tumbling all over each other to get out, but I have nowhere to put them, so I’ve been trying to put them into my work. It hasn’t worked that well.

SNIPPET TIME:


To: Ma (hazel.mclaughlin@gmail.com)

From: Cora (cemclaughlin@gmail.com)

Hey, Ma,
I hope your day is going well and that Da’s new meds helped both of you get a good night’s sleep. Writer’s block has hit me pretty hard today, and I’ve written like 200 words about a book, despite having loved it a lot. I think you’ll like it, if I can ever get the review written to send to you!

I have a weird question. Did you give Elena’s phone number to a lawyer named Hugh Robertson? She got a call today from him about one of our relatives that died and left me something in their will, which is weird on so many levels, but mostly because I figured you’d tell me if I had a funeral to go to. Got any ideas as to who it might be?

I won’t be able to focus until you tell me! Please, for the sake of productivity and my (lack of) sanity, tell me what this is about! I love you lots and I can’t wait to see you guys for Thanksgiving. I’m bringing the mashed potatoes, like always! Give Da a hug and a kiss from me.

Love your favorite (and only) daughter,

Cora

Now that the email was written and sent with a computerized whoosh, I had run out of good excuses to not work on my review of a new anthology. I put my headphones back in my ears, closed out of my browser, stared at the mostly blank document on my laptop screen, and waited.

I had really enjoyed the collection, but nothing was coming to my mind, so it must be time to switch gears. I opened Photoshop and started playing with the collage I had begun earlier that morning, and surprisingly that was working for me at that moment.

“I don’t know how you change gears so much and get stuff done,” I jumped at the voice that I heard through my headphones. I pulled one out, and looked over my right shoulder to see Gil watching my screen with an amused smile.

“I don’t make the rules, Gil. This is how my ADHD works.” He laughed out loud when I stuck my tongue out at him. “Now go away, you’re ruining my flow.”

“Fine, fine. I want to borrow your eyes when you’re at a stopping point. I’ve been working on a piece all morning and I need another perspective on it.”

“Sure thing. Give me like twenty minutes?” He waved his hand at me in acceptance and wandered back over to his desk across the room. I put my headphone back into my ear and as the electronic music washed over me, I realized I knew exactly what I wanted to do with this collage. It was time to get down to work.


This is just a snippet, but I hope you enjoyed it! As I’m writing this post on Friday evening, I’ve got roughly 5,000 words directly in this manuscript, and half of that is just scenes that are adorable and fluffy and queer, and haven’t been worked into the book yet. Come back next week for another snippet, and maybe I’ll be somewhere close to my word count goal for that time.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: