“Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant.”
Robert Louis Stevenson
Overview: Personally significant accomplishment and a not too bad wrap up of Week 2.
Suggested word count: 23,333
Actual word count: 26,178
Today’s contribution: 4,205
I was up late last night reading and watching the news and I struggled to go to sleep, my mind unable to comprehend what just happened. I still woke up at a decent time and after another hour glued to the news looking for clues as to what on earth is wrong with humanity, I gave up and got dressed.
A short skype session with my mum and I was out the door, returning to my alma mater for the first time in over a year. The place has not changed, although there are some new “No smoking in this area” signs stood outside the main library building, obnoxiously ignored by rude undergrads who puff their poisonous smoke standing right next to the signs chatting to their new best friends. I have to admit seeing others smoke made me want to light up as well and I wondered if I have my secret pack in the bottom of my bag.
Failing to bring any proof of address I was not able to register for a library card (what does it matter where I sleep?! I just want to read!), but I was granted a day long visitor’s pass, and in I went, walking around the building like someone who once owned this place. The atmosphere was the same as I always remembered, the many rows of academic books standing guard waiting to be used on floors upon floors as the busy and panicking students bend over their laptops and message each other on Facebook just how stressed they are about the upcoming exams. I forgot it’s that time of the year until I saw just how busy every floor and desk space was on a Saturday.
I found myself some cosy seats, changing location several times in search of caffeine, the ladies, a plug or some quiet. But being in the library, where I had spent so many hours, some of it genuinely studying, did inspire me to just sit down and write, and write, and write. Not having to worry about deadlines and exams any more but being able to immerse myself in an intellectual and productive environment brought on my long escaping focus and I made good progress, very good indeed.
By three pm I had typed up half of a lengthy section, and when I could no longer sit comfortably from my rumbling stomach, I decided to search for some food and looked with surprise at my accumulated word count having reached 25,000! That’s right. Twenty five thousand glorious words have been typed up in the last two weeks, totalling more than my two dissertations together! To say that I sat back with a sigh and some feelings of accomplishment and pride would be not too far from the truth.
Giving myself a two hour break in the café and filling up with some rather horrid cheese and onion sandwich and even more horrid news reports, I returned to the still-bustling-at-5pm-on-a-Saturday library and finished the section I was working on today. I felt good, like I purged all those bad experiences and thoughts that have accumulated in me regarding some of the incidents that I recalled in my writing today, like I finally managed to banish those demons from my mind by freezing them in the letters on my screen, never to be looked at if I so wish.
I got home and made some dinner then sat down to watch tonight’s Doctor Who to wind down, but I felt a little cheated by the monster-of-the-week style episode with little overall addition to the larger plots in the Who-verse, especially after the brilliance of last week’s episode, which is especially poignant after recent events…
Still, I guess it was as good an excuse for some Rioja as any, even if I would have preferred some Pinot.
With Week 2 now closing its curtains, I am happy to say that while I did not quite meet my original plans of writing 2,500 words per day and finishing at 30,000 words, hoping to complete Part I and II by today, I still managed to write every day, even if just a little, despite the personal set backs.
In the end, I finished writing Part I, and wrote most of Part II. I have three more sections of Part II that I am planning to write, but that will be left for Week 3 now. I wanted to leave the last two weeks of NaNoWriMo for Part III as it has a lot more sections planned, but I will see just where I go with it. I do believe that some of the sections can be merged as my initial little draft of a plan was quite ambiguous. First I am planning to get Part II finished, maybe by Monday, and then I can get on with the rest. While the plan is to write at least 50,000 words in November, the plan does not include stopping when I reach that point if I am not finished with my stories. I have a few things that I really want to get out of my system and that may take longer than November or 50,000 words. We shall see.
Now, I shall give in to the beckoning lull of the pretty green bottle next to my elbow and maybe even read a book. I was planning to go to a special screening of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde (1920!) tomorrow in honour of Robert Lewis Stevenson Day (#RLSDay), but I am one of those people who does not like to attend social events alone. Oh well. I attended other events organised as part of RLS Day earlier this week, so I guess I paid my honour.