23 Mid-NANO slump


Khale: Welcome to loose-leaf a multi-author writing journal where we talk goals, the ups and downs of writing and where we try to warn you off our greatest pitfalls. We'll keep it short because you don't have much time and we'd rather be writing what's up gang 

Charity: how's nano going for everybody. 

HIllary: Fricking horribly.

I hate nano

Charity: to make us do something this month. 

All: Yeah, 

Khale: this, yeah.

All: Should we, 

Charity: should we compare notes and see what our word counts are? Cause I can't see what your word count is. Oh, shoot. 

HIllary: I have to go look. I have to good luck to you. I 


Charity: know. I know it's less than 10,000. 

HIllary: It is more than 10,000. I have a decent amount of words.

I just don't like them, 

Charity: but that's okay. You don't have to like them. 

HIllary: Okay. Okay. That's fair. But I have to like the book when it's done. So yeah, that, that is 

Charity: true. That is true. Cause you're revising. So 

HIllary: I guess, no, I'm not revising. I am writing the motorcycle. Romancer fun. Fun fun. Yeah. Which is part of my annoyances.

I don't really have time to ride the motorcycle romance, but that's what I committed to. So I'm like, I'll just do it. It'll be fine. And then I'll be done. I'll write it in a week and it'll be done. It'll be great. It's not happening. It's like, it's not what my brain wants to do. And so I cannot write it.

Like I physically can't make the words come out of my fingers and you need 

Charity: to do something else. 

HIllary: I did. I've been doing other things. All right. I just gave up on it though. That's all. Oh, I'm not going to that page. I'm going to actual men pages. 

Charity: You know what your word count is kale? 

Khale: Probably like 1300 

All: words.

He's like, I'm not going to look. I've 

Khale: spent, I've spent about a whole hour working on it this week, so 

Charity: awesome. Hey, but that's an hour 

HIllary: that it's an 

Khale: hour and it was at like, 1245 this morning until one 30. Yeah. 

HIllary: Why were you up at 1245? Is that what you were taking a nap today? 

Khale: Because I showed the fricking mountain Dew at like nine o'clock.

I picked it up and I went. I went, I know I don't need this. I don't need this. I don't need this. I was like 

All: why 

HIllary: I bought myself a couple of months or so I can stay up later this week.

Totally vaguely. Well, in kale, have you not been updating on nano? Cause I know you've written some words. 

Khale: I have not been updating on nano. I've just been keeping to myself like I do. 

All: Yeah. 

HIllary: I can see your word counts if I go to your pages and then you can go look at like the individual projects too, because.

Like charity has like 405,000 words written. I know it's like crazy. Right. But it's all your projects. Oh, Oh, okay. How's like the ones at the top. So I've got 18,900 written. Ooh, that's fairly accurate. I need 50 and I'm still, I haven't even had 20, but you're 

All: close. 

HIllary: You're close to 20. 20 I'm close to 2050 is really far away from 20 

Charity: well, we're only halfway 

HIllary: through the month.

That's true. But basically what I've decided is like I spent an entire day where I'm supposed to be writing. I'm like sitting here, I'm just like, I was supposed to be getting 10,000 words a day. This thing's supposed to be done in a week. And I pretty much spent the entire day hiding from my story. So it was not a super effective day, but I did learn some things.

I decided I can't write this story right now. I have other things that are more important. And this was one that I wanted to do, but I was supposed to get my other things done before it, I didn't, we all know I didn't meet, meet my goals, coming up to this, but I had a whole bunch of other life stuff happening and I'm okay with that.

I'm going to get better at meeting goals. Eventually I'm gonna get better at figuring out what I can do and what my goals need to be. That's maybe part of my process right now. I, I stepped back and I finished up some work that I was doing on a website for. Tamra my other writing friend. And, um, I've gotten a big chunk of that out of the way.

And the rest of it is kind of like, there's still a few things that need to be done, but they're simpler, you know, it's things that can be done here and there. Less stress. We like less stress. Then now I've got my cozy mystery out and I'm like, I really have to plot this and figure this out and get this one done.

And I'm working through that today. And that's been a really good process, but I've kind of figured, you know, I'm like, if I don't finish this this week, the motorcycle romance it's okay. I will finish it this month. I still plan to use it for nano. I don't have to finish it this week for it to be an animal.

Right. Right. I have a month. Yeah. Less than half a month. 

All: It's good for guys. How about you?

Charity: It's time to reevaluate our goals. I mean, that's what Hillary's doing is reevaluating. What's important for her to work on now. So, so kale, maybe. You need to figure out what, what feels realistic that you will be satisfied with by the end of the month, because that's the only goal is to come out of this month, feeling like you accomplished what you wanted to accomplish.

Khale: Um, um, I think it's going to be like finishing a chapter honestly, will be enough for me this, because. Every time that I try to write, I realized how unbelievably unprepared and, uh, all the hundreds of hours of writing podcasts I've listened to. 

All: Oh, 

HIllary: he's sitting heavy and imposter syndrome.

All: I see.

Khale: I am so bad at writing. It is so 

HIllary: painful, but that's the thing. The first draft doesn't have to be good. Really? Doesn't and my first drafts are not good. 

Khale: I've gotten, I've gotten to that realization, but I haven't gotten to that. Uh, actualization. Does that make sense? Like I realized that it's not going to be great, but then I'm like typing and I'm like, this still sucks.

All: I'm still upset that it sucks. I reread like 

HIllary: one step ahead of UK on that process, because I totally feel you on that. I like charity and Tamra and some or other writing friends and the other writing contest people we listened to and this kind of stuff, they all have like. Sailed through this. They knew they probably you're like far beyond it at this point.

And the drafts that they write are pretty clean and they write a draft and they fix it up and then they're ready to go. And for me, I'm like I write a draft and I come back and I look at it later and I'm like, What the heck was I, and I like muddled through it again, like okay. Drop to the story and then try to have someone look at it.

And they're like, this is not a story yet. I don't know what you're saying. 

All: So I'm like, okay, we'll try it again. 

HIllary: I'm still at a point where I'm like dragging the story out of me and trying to beat it with a, with a pencil. I think I've said that before, like the seriously, it's not pretty. And I think that's okay though, because at the stage that we're at, we really are still figuring out what the story is.

I mean, we have a story to tell just because it's not coming out the way we want it to look all finished college and pretty is okay. We're figuring it out and it will get there. The story will likely change too, as you write it. Like, even though you think it's pretty clear in your head and you've done all this prep work and all these things, maybe, you know where you're going, but the way they get there's likely, likely going to change.

Khale: Well, all the blocking points that I, that I've made, I realized that I really only need the last three to make this a story. And so I'm like, great. So now all that other planning and blocking is like backstory. That the reader doesn't need to know. 

HIllary: Well, that's a good thing that you have to do it well. And then you take those last three blocking points, which may be, you may have to still fill in some of the beginning part too, or maybe the blocking has enough on it, but you take those last three points and you say, okay, what else can I do to these people to make this story longer than three blocking points?

Khale: Yeah. And how can I put more people into it to make it a real immersive world? It can't just be the main characters. There needs to be a ton of other people. And like people that are mentioned that you never even meet because this is a world. 

HIllary: Yeah. But in your type of story, that does happen a lot. Cause you write fantasy.

Right. Yeah, that does happen a lot. 

All: So,

HIllary: um, but you do, and that does happen. So, I mean, that's cool, but start with the main character story and then you'll find someone along the way, like, Oh, he needs to learn this from someone I'll find someone in here. You don't have to worry about having those stories completely solid in your head before you start writing, just start writing.

And then the story 

Khale: becomes. Well, one of the, I I've, I remembered you guys mentioning it. And then I remember hearing it a few other times, and then I read it last night on somebody's post about nano. And they were like, Hey, when you get to a point and uh, some action needs to happen, but you don't know what it is.

Put. In brackets, the protagonist does really cool thing. And then keep writing, 

All: like come back 

HIllary: and get them all out before you publish. I 

Khale: can do that. Yeah. 

HIllary: It's making me laugh really bad, actually. I don't know. I'm not sure if we can put this part in the podcast is Tamra and I are working on stuff right now in our retreat.

And, um, She keeps coming across these scenes that she's written and she'll have written like 300 words. And then it says, insert scene here. And she's like, I thought I brought this book. 

All: I'm just like, I need to see me 

HIllary: here. Just like dying over it. 

All: Cause she'll be like, I just finished that one. Okay. Moving onto the next one.

It's going to be better. 

HIllary: And she gets opens the next thing. And it's like in certain scene 

All: here.

HIllary: She did enough writing that she now, she like basically went through her whole first four books and now she knows where it's going. So as she gets back to the beginning and is doing it again, she actually can insert the scene. She knows what has to happen. So it's cool. That's the best way to just a lot of work.

Yeah. Oh yeah. That's 

All: amazing. Holy crap. 

HIllary: It was describing, she said something and I was just like, I 

All: thought I wrote this story, which is like I finding out that I did it. I don't think I've done any of it.

It just made, it made, it gave me a lot of comfort

Khale: charity. Where are 

All: you? 

Charity: I am sitting just a little over 7,000 words. Um, and I've changed Michael again. So the, the book that is listed that I'm working on, I'm no longer working 

HIllary: on. So should we update our stories? Cause I did the, I mean, I'm in the same spot. I don't 

Charity: know. I was wondering about that today because.

HIllary: Um, the story, the story I'm going to be writing, isn't actually 50,000 words. So it's never going to get there. Right? Exactly. It's only 15. Yeah. 

Charity: Yeah, yeah. And see, that's kind of what I'm doing right now too. Cause I think I have rebel prints and I'm not going to start drafting that until next August. So yeah.

HIllary: Okay. So kale, this is what I did yesterday. 

Charity: And or two days ago and it, it helped me to rainbow. I made a rainbow. I graphed out when, what month of the year I was going to start drafting a certain book. What I would be revising, what would be with beta readers, what would be on second revisions, what would be going to edit?

And it made me feel so much better because I think sometimes for me not knowing what the clear goal is, I feel like, Oh, I have all the time in the world. There's no reason to make myself sit down and do this because I can do it anytime I want. And, um, yeah. And obviously this year, 2020, I didn't, 

HIllary: we had all the time we wanted, I 

Charity: only wrote what I had to because it was on deadline.

So I basically sat down and made a schedule, all of my goals. And I started with the one, two, three, four, Five half finished books. Those are, that's what I'll work on first and I 

HIllary: into excited too. I can relate. 

Charity: Yeah, well, well the, the five, four of those are, are science fiction. I believe one of the half finished is romance.

Yeah. But it was good. Cause it's sitting down and looking at what was actually possible over the next year. It really energized me. And so that day, um, I actually sat down and got 2000 words, which is. Almost, you know, a third of what I've done all month and, uh, right into, but just having that clear goal of this is what I can do if I sit down and actually do it, because we talk about that all the time, just sit down and do it.

It's not going to happen until you sit down and do it, but it's still like this. It's like a credit card. It's not 

HIllary: real money. They're not real words. They're not 

Charity: real words. You know, it's not a real goal. I mean, I can do it whenever, but I, I guess it's, um, getting more specific with what I want to accomplish and then putting it down in a color coded chart so that I could see it because I'm visual.

I was like, Oh my gosh. I mean, seriously, if I follow this that's 11 books in two years, that will double the number of books I've written. It may not actually happen, but if looking at this will will help me move forward. I mean, even if I got half of those, that's more than I normally do. I'm excited 

HIllary: again.

And kale on your side. I was actually thinking about it this morning. I'm like, man, I hope we don't burn kale out because we're pushing you real hard right now. And I don't think that needs to be the goal. I mean, you need to, I think it's going to be important that you're like, what, like you said, you're like, I'm, I've been a fantasy writer for two weeks now.

All: It's like, 

HIllary: Okay, that's awesome. What is this an add on done for you to write the words you've been thinking about this story forever, and you are starting to write it. So maybe you don't actually plan to reach the 50,000 this month. That's okay. Maybe it is just that chapter that you get done and you can say, Hey, I have a beginning of a story.

Like this is a real thing and it's on paper and these are my words. I mean, that's kind of powerful. Yeah. So I think any of it, any of those goals that we can set and get clear in our minds is going to be important. And that's like with my stuff where I'm like, uh, I can't do what I serious. I think I was honestly hiding from my story.

It was like, I. I don't like what I'm writing. I started writing it and it like, started to go like this and I'm like, no, no, no, no. That is not the 

All: story I'm writing. So I had 

HIllary: to like cut it all off and be like, okay, we're trying that again. And I just, I couldn't, I just couldn't. And so yeah, I had to step back and be like, okay, I think right now there's just more important things for me to be working on.

And I'm still gonna try, still gonna try I'll try and hit my 50,000 with this month. If I can do a couple thousand a day. That shouldn't be too terrible. And, um, I can work on my other things. I don't know when after this week that, um, I will work on my other things then instead. So I just have to have more than an hour a day.

Charity: Yeah. Yeah. But even an hour, a day is better than nothing. 

HIllary: Well, that's true. I think I'm still learning what my, um, what my reasonable goals need to be. That's okay. I'll I'll shoot. Hi. As often as I can, because if I don't shoot high, then I don't ever figure it out. What I, what I can do, so, right.

Charity: Well, kale, what do you want to talk about?

You're so quiet. 

All: Um, 

Khale: man, I just, I, I made a, a realization about my character, Bruce, and that basically he was super flat and had zero development through the entire arc. And so I made him. A 

All: jerk.


Khale: he's a total jerk and he can do fun things.

HIllary: I tend to just kill people when I'm having a hard time with them. I liked your plan. 

All: He's the main character 

Khale: I 

All: didn't want to just makes for a very short story. 

Khale: I won't give up on it. I won't give up, but it's not going to be done in November, 

HIllary: right? No, that's okay. 

All: That's okay. 

HIllary: It's good stuff. You'll get there.

Khale: Okay. I like Bruce so much that I'm either going to have to like, make him a bigger part of the story or like kill him in the main book to make him like so impactful. I don't want to do that, 

All: but the story will tell 

HIllary: you what it needs. Yeah, 

Khale: exactly. Exactly. 

Charity: Okay. Who wants to say it? But you weren't here last week.

Hillary. We want you to say it. 

All: I wasn't

Good to see ya. Oh my gosh. Hey guys, how are you doing? 

Khale: I feel like I'm in a daze right now.

I just woke up from a nap 

All: and 

HIllary: he's in that drug to stage, huh? 

Khale: No drugs. Just. Just all natural sleep 

All: stupor

and the blue eyes and some gentlemen running across the Walters. But I mean, if that's what you're in, it's Jesus.

Whoa, where did we just go?

Christian romance, for example,

Khale: they're putting on a play. They're putting on a play.

All: Oh, my gosh. 

Khale: Do you care? Do you want 

All: to hear this? I feel like, I feel like I'm just like, 

Khale: no, no, that wasn't what I was responding to. It's just, 

HIllary: I talk with someone. 

All: No, no, nobody was, 

Khale: nobody was, it was me hovering above myself, looking at 

HIllary: myself and going. Nobody cares. We do.