Anything is Better than Nothing

I… haven’t got much going on right now. Don’t get me wrong, I have goals. Both long- and short-term. I know what I want to do in the abstract but making any of those ideas reality is challenging. Not because of roadblocks or anything, I’m just… lazy. I’m working on it. My current mantra is “Anything is better than nothing”.

Like, going to the gym and struggling on the elliptical for 30 minutes while smiling maniacally at a Friends rerun is better than being pestered by cats while I sit on my couch playing Dylan O’Brien 2048 while watching a rerun of Friends and smiling maniacally.

Or, researching grad programs is better than re-reading my favorite fic. Eating yogurt, blackberries, and cheerios for lunch was better than going downstairs to Chipotle. Making my own gifs of my favorite shows and posting them on tumblr is better than scrolling through tumblr lamenting the lack of gifs for my favorite shows.

Anything is better than nothing.

Which is also why I participated in Camp NaNo this year. It was the first time that I participated in any NaNo event because NaNoWriMo is in November and until very recently that was the lead-up to finals and, well, that wasn’t going to help me be any more productive or write any better. But now, now that I’m out of school and have all of this free time, I figured I’d give it a shot.

Spoiler alert: I didn’t “win”. To win NaNo you have to hit a specific word count. In November, for National Novel Writing Month, that means writing 50,000 words of a new novel. For Camp NaNo, participants can set their own goals. I set mine at a much more modest 15,000 words. I did not write 15,000 words. I added about 10,000 words to my draft in the month of April. I wrote another 1300 words or so as part of an outline, but that doesn’t count.

So I didn’t “win” Camp NaNo. But I wrote. I wrote a lot. I wrote in DC and Virginia and even in Boston.

I wrote up to the climax and then I froze.

Which is dumb. I’ve known how the climax will play out in this novel/draft/manuscript/whatever you want me to call it for ages. I know what’s going to happen next and I even have it written out in what is, for me, a surprisingly detailed outline. I just need to write it.

So that’s where I am. Trying to be a more productive human. Trying to finish this goddamn draft even though it’s already 99k words and I haven’t even written the climax. Trying to figure out what programs I’ll apply to for graduate school.

But I am working on those things. I’m being proactive instead of reactive. I’m writing, and planning edits, and thinking up the outline of a short story. (I’ll need something to work on after this draft is finished and I shelve it for a month or two to really let it ferment before I cut it to hell and back.) I’m still madly researching grad programs, and thinking of which professors to ask for recommendations. I’m making gifs. I’m occasionally going to the gym and trying to eat healthier. I’m reading books and impatiently waiting for new ones to be ready for me to pick up at the library. I’m marathoning TV shows to be prepared for ATX Festival in June. I’m looking for concerts to go to. I’m planning game nights with my friends and day trips to amusement parks and paintballing, and to trampoline parks.

Anything is better than nothing.

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