Leave it to a writing contest to completely turn me off from writing for a solid 4 months.
To those of you who missed me, I apologize. To those who were happy I was gone, I apologize.
This may have been one of the greatest failures of my writing career. However, from every failure comes a learning opportunity. Now I know to never attempt to write a novel when I have no story line, plot, or remote intention to publish a book. I did come up with some good story ideas, however. I suspect that the beloved Raezana, Se’Quasha and Ricardo will one day have their full stories told. If I decide to continue writing during next year’s NaNoWriMo, apparently not a lot of progress should be expected.
Five days in to NaNoWriMo, I was burned out. I was tired, stressed out, anxious, and felt chained to my computer. Every moment that I didn’t spend writing was full of guilt and self-doubt. Why did I think it would be fun to impulse-write a novel? 2,000 words per day? What was I thinking? I normally write a 300-word blog post once or twice a week, if that. So where were these 50,000 extra words going to come from?
For the first couple of days of NaNoWriMo, I did okay. I had some momentum from writing a tight prologue to my novel the day before the contest officially began. The next day, I hyped myself up by perusing the message boards on nanowrimo.org and conversing with other participants.
Then, I hit a wall. As I started to run out of ideas, I realized that my characters were haphazardly developed. Where did they come from? What were their motivations? Why did they exist? On day 3, I decided to spend a few hours turning my characters into people. Afterwards, I forced myself to spit out 2,000 words of story.
As I read over what I wrote, I started to become disappointed in myself. Normally I consider myself a talented writer, but the sentences and paragraphs I had thrown on to paper were just as haphazardly formed as my characters were. I had rejected my “short and sweet” writing style in favor of run-on sentences and unrestricted rambling. I started searching for ways to throw in more words. I stopped using contractions. I became wordy.
My main character started to develop ADD. It took her hours to wash her face in the morning because she just could not stop “daydreaming.” Microsoft Word’s Readability Statistics dropped me from grade 12 to grade 5 over a matter of hours. I was officially becoming illiterate.
I hated what I wrote. It wasn’t my style. And I wasn’t enjoying writing. I didn’t feel proud of what I was producing. So I quit. I stopped writing. I took a few days to sit around and play computer games. I watched television. I voted in the election.
But now, I feel like I abandoned my characters. They are begging me not to forget them. They need love and a place to stay, just like any other human being. So, I will continue writing my story.
I have, however, determined that the goal of writing 50,000 words in 30 days should be reserved only for the insane. Or at least those who have a lot to say. If you are the annoying person at work who just won’t stop running their mouth, then you might have a chance at winning NaNoWriMo. However, if you are naturally quiet and reserved like me, then it might not work out so well.
This is the longest workday eveeeer! I’m ready to run away. I packed up all my stuff.
Every time I get ready to make a break for it, my boss walks by. She doesn’t say anything – but there she is again. She must have a sixth sense for potential escapees or something.
8 hours is so long! It’s not fair. Being a grown-up sucks. Who invented the 40-hour work week?
Work would not be as painful if we had recess. Why don’t we have recess? Now our only options for freedom during the day are to either take extended bathroom breaks or develop a smoking habit. Neither of which are much fun. Has anyone ever really enjoyed bowel issues or lung cancer?
Plus, your coworkers will inevitably notice your extended absences from your desk.
If you try to cheat by taking extended lunches, you will have to stay in the office longer to make up for it. Took an hour and a half for lunch? Tack that extra 30 minutes onto the end of your workday. Otherwise, expect to see that money gone from your paycheck.
This is so bogus! Back in the day, if you “got lost” on the way back to the classroom from the school cafeteria, you didn’t have to stay a proportionate amount of extra time after class. Teachers did not care if you missed class.
Why is the office norm sitting at your desk pretending to work? Normal behavior should be skipping down the hallway singing. Recess for grown-ups.
Sometimes, I ponder whether I’m allergic to work. I tend to develop headaches and become irritable in the afternoon, probably because I don’t get paid naptime. Wtf??
If corporations modeled office rules after kindergarten classrooms, employees would be a lot happier. We’d get recess, naptime, playtime, milk & cookies, songs, occasional learning and friendships! Yay! What could be better?
To my fellow office sufferers:
Is it suspect if I post a standard “Out of Office” message on my email just in case I make it out of here? I wouldn’t say anything too obvious, just something like:
Wow, those two weeks went by quickly! I haven’t had time to do much of anything lately. Between working full-time and yelling at my husband, who has time to write?
I’m kidding. The real reason that I haven’t posted anything is because it’s hard to write a coherent blog post when you’re drunk. I decided to stay sober today in an effort to reassure the Internet that Raezyn has not disappeared. Is anyone actually tracking these things? You can call off the search party.
I haven’t even had time to read other people’s blogs. There are a few funny writers that I have completely fallen out of touch with. It is a shame. Not only am I isolated in real life, I am isolated on the World Wide Web. But today, I have returned to entertain you, Internet. Hopefully my friends will call me back so I can go out and do something fun afterwards. I’m kidding again. I don’t have friends.
This morning I woke up to a half-full glass of Merlot and an open box of Milk Duds. Leftovers from my wild and crazy Friday night. So I had Milk Duds and wine for breakfast. Given that I was still kind of drunk from staying up drinking until 3 AM, those last sips of wine were all the alcohol I needed to pass out and sleep some more. I’m not an alcoholic.
I woke up at 2:30 PM with a sugar high. Go figure. After scolding my husband for exhibiting man-like behavior, I remembered that I had abandoned my glorious blog. So, I made myself some coffee and powered up the ol’ laptop. After surfing the Internet for a couple of hours, I started writing. I hope this post is satisfactory, because it’s all you’re going to get today, Internet.
I’ve got to start getting ready to hit the bumpin’ comedy scene in D.C. I don’t have time to edit this post and add pictures and what not. Do I seem moody? I feel moody. I’m a little moody today. I’m not sure why.
What motivates you to become a stand-up comedian? Is it that you are a loser?
Last week I attended an Open Mic night. This open mic took place in the back room of an improv studio, inside of a mall at 7:00 in the evening on a Thursday. I knew that it was going to be bad before I got there.
The first question the emcee asked the audience was, “How many of you are not comics?” Five of the 20 people in the room raised their hands. He then wondered, “So why are you here?”
The first comic told a story about asking his high school teacher out on a date after graduation. Then he stared at the audience for a few minutes. He was high.
One performer paused after a series of bad jokes and pleaded with the audience:
The next entertainer ran on stage singing a lively song about watching bad comedy in a mall. Then he confessed that he’d drank four beers during the show. He could tell that his life was on track because this was exactly where he wanted to be on a Thursday night – telling jokes in an abandoned mall. A few seconds later, he became agitated that the audience had “lost energy” and stormed out of the room.
We were laughing at his jokes.
This open mic was an emotional roller coaster for the audience. More than one unstable “comedian” would abruptly cut himself off and berate the audience for not laughing loud enough or at all.
One guy did his set in a French-like dialect (?). He was the only comic who completed his set without incident. He didn’t care that no one “got” his jokes. He even politely told us to have a nice evening as he left the stage. He was definitely my favorite.
Hopefully, now you understand why I asked my opening question. All of the aspiring comedians at that open mic were high, drunk, depressed, or [insert uncomfortable adjective]. I understand that this was a substandard comedy show, but all comics start at the bottom. It makes me wonder whether everyone who pursues a career in stand-up comedy is fueled by intense psychological issues.
Obviously, I will attend another open mic before committing to an opinion. Probably not the same one, unless I need something to write about.