Officially underwater: Nanowrimo update 3

Day: 18
Goal word count: 30,000
Word count: 25,013
Mood: Overwhelmed
Prognosis: Need to sit down and write.

So much for all that planning I did last week.

To be fair, I think the planning did help me — when I sit down and stare at my screen with the sinking feeling that I should be writing words and instead I am drawing a blank and wishing I could watch youtube videos, I can latch on to something in my outline and make it happen. It’s a good outline. It’s even color coded.

Green means I've written it. Brown means I've tried to write it? Yellow means I'm not sure I even want it in the story. White means WRITE ME.

Green means I’ve written it. Brown means I’ve tried to write it? Yellow means I’m not sure I even want it in the story. White means WRITE ME.

But here’s the problem: life got in the way this week. For the past month or so, I’ve been taking a SCUBA certification class, and this weekend was the final certification — I was literally underwater for much of the weekend. In the pacific ocean. With, in one case, actually zero visibility. (That is just about as terrifying as it sounds — I couldn’t tell where I was or where I was facing until a kelp stalk hit me in the mask. Actually. For real. And when I was a few inches away from said kelp stalk, it would loom out of the murk in a dark, reddish, tendrilly shadow that looked like something out of a horror movie. Ick.)

On the plus side: I survived!

On the minus side, my word count did this:

See those four days where I just stall out? Yeah. Underwater.

See those four days where I just stall out? Yeah. Underwater.

That’s right. Literal stagnation. When I wasn’t literally underwater this weekend, I was generally asleep. And now I’m back to “regular life”, and feeling underwater in my word count.

I know the solution to this: write, darn it, write.

But in the meantime, the work I’m doing to prepare for my job starting in February is coming up, as well as preparing for the move, as well as the things I still need to do while I’m in California. Like that SCUBA certification. And balancing them isn’t going super well so far.

My goal: to budget time to write, and time to do other things, and go one day at a time.

I think I can still pull this off, but it’s an uphill battle. To the shore. Where, hopefully, there will be a warm towel and hot tea waiting for me.

And with that, I apologize for the short post, but I have a novel to write.

Previous post

Mad Quickies: Porcelain Fractals, Potato-Head Wedding, Bacterial Gloves, Geek Accessories, LEGO 11th Doctor and More!

Next post

Saving Oceans by Saving Otters: The Marine Conservation of Sandrine Hazan (Women in Science 25!)

Elizabeth Finn

Elizabeth Finn

Elizabeth is a geneticist working for a shady government agency and therefore obliged to inform you that all of the views presented in her posts are her own, and not official statements in any capacity. In her free time, she is an aerialist, a dancer, a clothing designer, and an author. You can find her on tumblr at, on twitter at @lysine_rich, and also on facebook or google+.

1 Comment

  1. November 18, 2014 at 7:08 pm

    Ha! Literally underwater and stagnant. The symbolism of it all is just too much. But kudos for making the halfway point!

    Whatever you do, don’t stop thinking about your novel. It can go on the back burner for hours at a time, but never completely out of mind. No matter what, you must try write every day. Even on a day where there’s no time, open your novel before bed and toss in one scene, a few hundred words at least. If you stop thinking about it entirely, it can sink like a stone and you’ll have to dredge it up just to get back where you are now. It’s okay to be underwater, especially at this stage. You already know this, I’m sure. You’ll make it back to the surface before the 30th. That’s all that matters.

Leave a reply