camp nano april · writing · writing update

Writing Update #4: Early Starts

Hello! I know I have been terrible with blogging last week, but I am going to still try and keep up with these writing updates. Like last week, it is a little late and I am sorry about that, but I have had a little bit of a hectic week.

Lockdown in England finally lifted last week which meant that non-essential shops could reopen. This also meant that I could return to work. I work part-time in retail at the moment. I also had to face something that I have been talking about, but kind of avoiding at the same time, which is: balancing work with writing.

On the days that I do work, I am usually too tired afterwards to be creative. Interacting with so many people all day really drains me. Back in December when I was trying to balance writing with work, I would go to work all day and then come home sit at my laptop, and no words would flow. I was just too fatigued from work to even begin writing creatively. I had assumed that the same process I had used for balancing school/university would also apply to creative work, but this wasn’t the case for me.

So, with this first week back, I decided to try something different. Now, for a little bit of context before I begin: I have always considered myself a night owl and a night-time writer. I have always thought I get my best work done at night. But this week I decided that I should attempt getting up early in the morning.

Like 6am early.

My first day of doing this was Monday 12th April and I managed to get 4,039 words written. That was a huge word count for me and especially as it was during the morning too, so I continued it throughout the week. Between Monday 12th April and Sunday 18th April, I wrote a total of 13,109. I was not expecting to have this much success with it, but I am so happy that I did!

On the days that I worked, I was able to still get my writing done, and then attend work without having this worry in the back of my mind that I wouldn’t get my writing for the day done. My start time varies with work, but the earliest I would start would be 9am, so beginning at 6am still gives me enough time to get words written and actually get some quality words written too.

I am still working on my mermaid fantasy project, and I am really getting into the depths of these character and world now, even though I am still in the early stages of the project. I think it was last week where I mentioned that I was aiming to get 20k by the 30th April. When I finished writing on Sunday evening I was already at 15,824, so I am fairly confident that I will reach this goal by the end of the month.

Now this brings me to my next ‘issue’. I spoke briefly in my Camp NaNo Project Announcement post about my year long plan. I had this idea that I would only work on a project during April and then move back onto my Rapunzel retelling (and main project) in May. However, I am finding that I am a huge fan of fast drafting and I am thinking about shifting my year plan, so that I can get draft 0 of my mermaid project finished and have that ready for a rewrite whilst my rewrite for the Rapunzel retelling is completed and in the hands of beta readers.

I feel like if I were to stop at the 20k mark or whatever word count I hit on the 30th April, I will lose my flow with the story, and I will be more hesitant to return to it at a later date. I am also concerned that if I do leave it in the middle of it, I will be distracted by it when it comes to changing projects again.

I hate going back on my original year long plan, but I think this is the most beneficial way to do this. I also still have hope that I will be able to still finish this project and get a good chunk (if not all) of the rewrite finished by the end of the year. I just love where this story is going and all of the characters and dynamics within the story, that I think this will be the best thing going forward.

I have also started thinking a bit ahead with the publishing process, and I don’t think it will be a negative thing to have another completed project behind me when I go forward with querying with agents. I am so excited about all of the writing things going on right now and I cannot wait to get back into this.

I am going to continue waking at 6am and beginning writing a lot earlier in the day. I think I am so excited about my story at this stage, that I am eager to wake up and it is taking a little bit of the harshness of the hour off! I also think it helps that the sun is rising at that time in the morning too, so I would be interested to see (if this becomes a long-term thing) how I compare in the winter, darker months.

I’m so happy the country is finally opening back up again, and more and more people are being vaccinated. It also makes me so happy that I was able to, at least for the first week, find a schedule that helped me both attend work and get my writing in for the day.

How did your writing week go? Please let me know!

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7 thoughts on “Writing Update #4: Early Starts

    1. Yes I definitely follow that advise too! I think it’s the best way for draft 0. I also heard somewhere (I can’t remember where), but they said that the first drafts only purpose is to exist. That really took a lot of pressure off of me to be honest.

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  1. Incredible job!!! I know exactly what you mean about feeling so tired after work to do anything… but you’ve worked out a way that seems to be doing great things for you! Good luck with writing the rest of your WIP! Can’t wait to read it one day 🙂

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  2. I’m glad to hear you’ve been able to find a work & writing schedule that’s been working for you! As another night owl, I cannot even IMAGINE getting up that early to write… (Thankfully, while people interaction also greatly wears me out, I can usually use writing as a way of a cool-down, as I learned in college…which is one reason I did most of my writing in the dining hall where I worked, haha. Now I do much less writing.) Also, anything before 10 am and I will no doubt be asleep in less than 5 minutes of sitting down.

    I also agree with your decision to change your plans and finish your mermaid draft! I rarely finish full novels because for example, the rush of NaNo wears off at the end of the month, and I get caught up in other pieces or ideas without that “pressure” of needing to finish. So being able to sit down and finish a piece is always a huge help. And as you mention, it can be a huge positive in querying!

    I’m happy you’re still loving your project and you’ve gotten so far in it!

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