Camp report no. 5 – Dancing or: The race is on!
I was stuck at 17407 words for five days. Then I progressed to 22463. And that’s where I stayed. I was in a slump. Total disintegration over a period of days, culminating in me staying up till four in the morning to watch random TV series that I wasn’t interested in and feeling sorry for myself. The reason is mainly my job(less) situation. Having nothing constructive to do all day and feeling not wanted… well, it can prey on your mind. The result was a total down. And with regard to writing and my Camp NaNo goal of writing 50,000 words in June – forget it! I pushed it back, thinking I would get back to it tomorrow, catch up then. The next day I didn’t feel up to it. My mind was blank, my thoughts sluggish, I couldn’t concentrate. The next day, it was the same, only possibly even worse. And so on. So yesterday, after several painful days of inaction and thoughts spiralling downwards, I decided to give up.
Well, maybe decided is the wrong word. I acknowledged to myself that I would never be able to catch up now, that I was too far behind. A part of me really wanted to fail, was relieved that I gave in to that little voice. I decided I wouldn’t even get up in the morning. I would just stay in bed and sleep and read and sulk. Maybe I could induce one of my sisters to bring me a cup of tea or something. So you can imagine my joy when early this morning I heard the door to my room open and my youngest sister’s voice softly calling my name. I’d been deeply asleep, but I do wake up when somebody calls my name. I didn’t move though. Then she said my name again and I could hear from her voice that she was very upset. She said: ‘I have a tick in my leg. Can you help me?’
Believe me, it’s been a long time that I went from deep sleep to being fully awake in such a short time. Within seconds I was out of the bed and kneeling in front of her on the floor, examining the ugly insect that had buried itself into her calf. Unfortunately, I was clumsy in my attempt to rid her of it and ripped the damn thing out while leaving the head in the wound. So we ended up driving to the doctor, to sit in the waiting room for almost an hour, because of course we didn’t have an appointment and had to wait till they could squeeze her in. All of that without any tea or coffee! They cut the thing out and sterilized the wound and told her to watch it for any signs of infection and to be alert as to any signs of illness in the next six weeks. Because of course these little nasties can infect you with lyme disease or meningoencephalitis (in our area – they probably do all kinds of other bad stuff elsewhere). On the way back home we treated ourselves to croissants to ease the pain (in her case) and the guilt (in my case).
By now, you will be asking yourself, or, if you’re like me, your computer screen, what this saga about my little sister and a disgusting insect have to do with writing. Or my depressive phase. Or being able to write more than 25 thousand words in less than a week. The answer: nothing. It really has no connection that I can see, and still, when I was back at my computer this morning, at a terribly early hour, I suddenly wanted to write on the story again. I watched fourty words grow to a hundred, a hundred to two hundred, and suddenly I was writing full out again. I spent the whole afternoon (more or less) sitting here and writing on my story, and because I’m terribly slow, I only managed 5135 words in that time, but hey, that’s more than five thousand words more than I had this morning! I’m quite proud of that.
For some reason, I now feel more determined to make it than even at the beginning of the month. Now that the odds have shifted so much against me and I need to write a minimum of 5499 words a day for four days to just make it across the finish line, I suddenly feel more confident that I will be able to do it. It’s now a quarter to two in the morning, and I’ll be back to my story in a moment. But before that, I need to do something else, and that is dance. Yes, finally, that’s where the title of this post comes into play! I dance. The house is asleep and there is no other light anywhere than the one light behind me, lightening up my screen. I don’t care though. I’ll crank up the music on my mp3 player and get up and walk right into the middle of the living room and dance around in the dark for a couple of songs that nobody but myself will be able to hear. Because dancing helps with anything. Except maybe ticks.
Posted on June 27, 2012, in day-to-day and tagged Camp NaNo, motivation, NaNoWriMo, sisters, writing. Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.
Inspiration comes from the strangest places sometimes. 5k is really impressive! Great job! And I don’t think I’ve ever been able to help anyone get rid of a tick before, so I’m also impressed with you for that. 😀
I think I’ll stick to getting the ticks out of the dog in the future – I’m not that keen on improving my skills in that area, especially not when it comes to my family’s limbs! I’d rather have them tick-free. 🙂
Thanks for the encouragement!
5000 words a day???? incredible. you should have wrote my dissertation and finish it in 3 days 😀
😀 Don’t remind me of that nerve-wrecking time! It started just about now a year ago… Although I miss you guys sooo much, I really don’t ever want to write a dissertation again! Novels really are so much more fun – who would’ve thought? 😉
This is wonderful. You just described — in great, vivid detail, I might add — the affliction so many of us writers feel on a day-to-day. I have referred to it as many things, but mostly as consumption; because that is what it feels like: being consumed — slowly.
Only when we pull ourselves out, or more realistically, someone else forces us out by way of humor or dilemma, can we step back and see the situation as less dire than it truly is.
I currently wade through the trough; I expected it, though, and now will await my tick. 🙂
Thank you for sharing,
Thank you for your kind words!
I’m not sure if it always has to be something with this kind of shock value, but you’re right – sometimes it’s necessary to climb out of the hole that you’ve been digging for yourself and look at the bigger picture. And not only in connection with writing, though it certainly applies there.
Here’s to hoping your tick will not take its name too literally… 😉