Writing Scenes in Preparation for NaNo

writing scenes

This is the month before NaNoWriMo. As some people call it it’s Prep October… and I am starting to feel the pressure. 

I have been working on a manuscript, for a couple of years now, and in this year’s Camp Nano I saw myself setting its first two drafts in a limbo on uncertainty (more than usual) and started to test writing an english version instead.

I can tell you, it has been a wild emotional ride.

But first, some backstory. I’m writing a novel named ‘The Shapeshifters’ since 2021. You can read more about it the article: Drafts, writing plans and mind the gap

I have been imagining, and reimagining, and trying to create a story that has been with me for a long time. Mainly because I choose some difficult themes to work with… but this is personal, and it’s not for full disclosure at this point.

I was so happy when, in the beginning of 2021, I was able to put pen into paper and craft the major parts of this story.

Then I started working on a second draft, adding to the story, and getting my sub-plots aligned. Second draft completed and then…

I started writing the third draft in English.

It just came out that way!

This change gave me a pretty good amount of difficult feelings. I was supposed to continue this project, as planned, just trying to get it written in Portuguese, and polished to the best of my abilities.

But there I was… writing a new first scene, in another language.

It’s not that I want to translate what I have written. No, I want to write it anew, as if the first two drafts were totally exploratory.

And this added to the complexity of the writing process.

Very well, then!

What now?

One of my main goals/tasks for this Autumn was to finish my third-or-first draft of ‘The Shapeshifters’. Third draft because it’s the third time I’m rewriting this story. Or-First because it suddenly got rewritten in English.

It was reiterated in July’s Camp NaNo but I am still struggling with it.

As I wrote before… 

I need to go back to the drawing board and write a new plan for this story. There are some changes, that I want to make, regarding characters and story line. I’ve noticed that I designed a lot of backstory but failed to put it to good use. 

Characters backstory, connections and past traumas are important and need to be carefully embedded in the story. How could I write a story with 79341 words and not put enough density is beyond me.

I’m always careful about not overdoing on what might be considered the boring stuff, an excess of whatever isn’t required. But it seems I trimmed it too much, leaving out even the important story details.

As much as I see the need for all of this, the overthinking about the details, the decision making process, I was feeling a bit overwhelmed with the subject. I needed to get my real bearings and find a way to get back to ‘The Shapeshifters’.

And the Muse has to find me working, so…

Five days ago, in a fit of “I am really fed up with all of these thoughts that lead to nowhere, and mind as well stick with the program!

I took a seat in the most improbable place of my apartment, (not the toilet, it must be the only place where I don’t find myself inspired to write) at the kitchen table. Accompanied by somme draft papers (basically A4 sheets, half used my my daughter’s scribbles, cut in A5 format) and a pen, and started chipping away at the work of putting all the scenes I had in those.

Oh, and it was after dinner, a writing schedule I usually don’t think very well of, since I’m more of an early bird, than a night owl.

It took me 4 blocks of about two hours to finish that work.

Looking ahead

Now, I’m on a crossroads… again. I need to have a visual of the whole project and need to make a better effort.

So on the fifth day I went back to the drawing table and started rereading and adding and adjusting. 

I do not know how this will turn out. I know I’m prepping this project to be properly written during this year’s NaNoWriMo, next month.

But let’s see how all of this goes.

So this is the situation at this point… and you? Are you doing the NaNo challenge? How’s your writing process going?

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Bye and Keep writing! ✍🏼

October’s Plans and Writing Goals


I was rereading the blog post of September’s kick-off, reliving a bit of the post-summer-vacations feelings, and figuring out if I had sticked to my plans.

I did eased myself back into writing, but not to all of my writing projects. Now I feel it’s time to prioritise my fiction writing.

But, first let’s look at September.

September’s Writing Efforts

I’ve started September with a dread. I was feeling a bit overwhelmed with ‘The Shapeshifters’ project.

Why? I have two drafts in Portuguese and, suddenly, as I’m starting a third draft, I caught myself writing a new opening scene in English. Was it wise? I don’t think so. But it felt natural, so I went with it.

Sometimes I feel I keep putting stones in my way, just to see if I can destroy or go around them. But there I was, attempting to write my first full fiction book in English.

Quick reminder that I am Portuguese and even though I have been learning English since I was a kid, and have taught English to adults, and write quite a bit in this other language, I wasn’t prepared to make a full change to this project.

But I did. And here we are: a bit overwhelmed with the process…

September also brought me a few difficult days. I suffer from migraines since I was a teenager and they are back with vengeance. To make things worse, now my daughter has them too. She’s still a child, fresh out of pre-school… I am still torn apart with this. Talking about family painful inheritances!

September’s Goals

1. Get back to writing

I did. With happiness even if not effortlessly.

2. Find a new work rhythm

Also something that I manage to do, after a few different approaches.

3. Jumpstart my creative practices

Writing requires calmness and inspiration. I had to search for both using strategies that I try to keep at hand… like meditation, music, reading, series, walks and other activities.

4. Tending to my blogs

I have been putting in the work to get this done. I have changed the quantity of articles I expected to publish each week. And I feel it’s better to manage my expectations with some reality instead of wishful thinking.

5. Managing my YouTube Channel

Yes, I mentioned it in the article but I purposely left this one out of September’s Goals. I wasn’t feeling at ease with it… but VLook has made a big part of my efforts, and I hope you go and take a look at my videos. I know! I have a lot to learn.

6. Other goals

I have mentioned other goals on September’s post. Goals like Reading and productivity measurements. I failed to set a proper goal to Reading efforts but managed to read 9 books, and got 2 ongoing.

My Goodreads Challenge is looking good. Read 53 books of the 60 I planned to read in 2022(88%).

I found out that I mainly read in three categories: Classics, Chic Lit (I hate this designation) and Non Fiction. I like it!

As for the Book Club I kind of have fallen behind and am a bit unmotivated to keep going. Also, the book list released for next year envolves 12 books that aren’t a priority right now and that require a great investment… in books that won’t serve my bigger purposes.

I am kind of contemplating reverting back to my own book list… or find another Book Club more in sync with my wants and needs.

October’s Goals

They will not differ much from September’s, I guess. I will shift my attention a bit from writing poetry and revising short-stories to constructing “The Shapeshifters”. I have a list of scenes to work on and am, reluctantly, taking it seriously.

But, above all, I have a goal to keep working on my writings. Whatever the form or genre.

Keep writing! ✍🏼

Share with us your goals for October. Please comment in the section below.

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Bye and see you soon.

How books get us writing

writing craft books

I always get inspired when I read. I feel this a lot, specially if I’m reading non-fiction books.

Don’t get me wrong, fiction also gets me inspired, but in other ways. Kind of a different type of resources input.

If I read some fictional stories I usually absorb the inspiration of new ideas without giving it much thought. It’s like if the nuggets of wisdom get inside my head without effort or, let’s be upfront with this, get picked up in a less conveniente usable order.

Reading in our genre of choice can be a well of inspiration and, at the same time, a comparison tool that gets us crippled in our thoughts, if not in our actions.

When I pick up a non-fiction book, if it’s really good, usually I get a bit hung up on it, trying to take all of the great ideas, underlining it and even taking pictures of entire pages, so I don’t forget what I read.

I did a pretty good job of underlining almost every word of books like “Turning Pro” from Steven Pressfield.

This feeling of discovery of a meaningful work is the best inducement for my own creativity. I read it and I wish to share it with the whole world!

But then I hit the meca of inspiration…

Books on the Writing Craft 

Reading what others have written about the Craft usually represents a well of inspiring information.

And not just from the nuts and bolts part of it (“The Art of Fiction” by David Lodge comes to mind) but also from those inspiring essays and articles which form a lot of a writer’s daily work.

“Why I Write” by George Orwell is a good and inspiring essay.

It’s feels like we are given access to the minds of these esteemed authors and creatives, and we get to learn from their personal struggles.

Learning about the particulars of their writing craft, how they see writing related themes, the importance of taking notes and more. Through their experiences we get to work things out for ourselves, and use it all to advance in our own practices and ultimately, to know more about how to be a writer seems like.

“Bird by Bird” by Anne Lamott comes to mind here. It is one of the best books on writing ever!

Reading about the Writing Craft (and other related crafts) give me tools to practice on composing my own works, testing how to’s, and giving me insights and choices.

I always feel that, through reading I am given the lay of the land and a compass to help me find my bearings, through other writers thoughts and experiences on the matter.

I recall reading Rainer Maria Rilke’s work, part of his letters and his biography of sorts, through different sources, and got an immediate sense that it was okay to write in formats not attributed immediately to literature, like letter writing. 

His work lifted a boundary for me on what I thought was a formal writing practice.

Writing letters was fine too. And this got me more at ease with some of my writing activities and abating in that sense that if I wasn’t writing a long genre novel, I couldn’t consider myself to be writing at all… even if I had other ongoing projects at hand, like poetry, and short-stories, notebooks of sorts and (even) blog posts.

This notion was a major breakthrough! And reinforced my belief that books can bring us invaluable knowledge.

I do not consider myself a fast learner. Sometimes I take a really long time to perceive the obvious of a situation. But I always believe I capture other informations, less obvious, about a subject, theme or situation. Sometimes, how I feel about something is my firm indicator of an approachable way to get to know something more profoundly.

I also feel I lack the formal education part of the writing craft and I have found my teachers in books. I feel they help me learn about craft in ways that are more palatable to myself and less structured than a three years degree.

Sometimes online courses are an option and are a great pastime. But they kind of feel like a vanity pursue more than a formal experience. Which is fine, but not always to my liking. Specially because the very good one’s tend to be expensive and it’s crucial to manage all of my resources wisely. 

Books are a teacher of sorts. Through them we get access to formal knowledge, find some good contemporary mentors, or non contemporary ones, and they propose to take all our doubts away… specially if we read a lot and in different fields of knowledge. 

Books are great helpers, good friends and excellent teachers. They answer all questions, patiently give their support in our pursue of knowledge, are always available to repetition, and nurture our creativity.

Finding the answers through books is just a more slowly process to entail. But I like slow. To know is to repeat. To create is to live. To read is both.

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Bye and see you soon.


Is wanting a Writing career enough?

wanting a writing career

A while back I came across a response from Kate Cavanaugh to Cam Wolfe’s vídeo ‘Is wanting a writing career enough?’

I admit that I got engrossed by trying to answer this… because it is a question that haunts all of my days.

Cam Wolfe stated some good points and made some questions.

I’ll redirect you for the original vídeo here: ‘is WANTING a writing career enough?? Discussion‘ and you can watch it fully on YouTube.

Here are his main points:

  1. Writing is hard: want to write; procrastination; earn a living;
  2. The cost of the dream: contentment? how much is enough? Wanting it is not enough; hustle for it; do all we can?
  3. My endgame: money, full dedicated to writing and videos (my vision); what’s your dream scenario? self-publishing or traditional publishing? or both to be believed? how to make it happen? how to understand what this dream requires? business aspects of the thing…
  4. Plans and updates (like marketing…).
My ideas on this subject… but, prepare yourself! There are more questions than answers here…

How to convince myself to get back to my writing projects?

back to writing

I started September thinking about all the things that I had to include in my To Do’s List (lists)… and I got a tiny bit upset with the activity.

Last week, I mentioned the need to get back with my writing program and how I was getting along with SMART Goals (read all about it here…).

This week, was the moment to deepen the knowledge of my perceivable tasks. So it was time for:

To Do List

I am quite self-conscious about what I put on my To Do List. Mostly because I feel there is a connection between the making of a To Do List and how I manage my feelings, and general willingness, to do those mentioned tasks.

I always feel I refrain from getting too specific on each item because I am afraid I will back out of doing them if I contemplate the general volume of them all. So I simplify and cut them to the most achievable parts.

I have been using these lists for quite some time, and occasionally, I have perceived myself to be quite overwhelmed by them.

When I am in a turning point for starting something, lists usually get too intense. Even if not at the moment I am working on the list itself, but afterwards, when it’s time to walk the talk.

By now, I assure you, I have handled my list issues, and already tackled my Goals Revision, Tasks Update, and have started to include all my ongoing creative projects onto my daily routines. 

But it has been a few hard days because…


And this was a wretched beginning indeed! 

Reminding me of the following quote from (a most beloved) “Pride and Prejudice”:

‘This is a wretched beginning indeed! My sole dependence was on you; and I am sure nobody else will believe me, if you do not. – p.312 of “Pride and Prejudice” by Jane Austen, Wordsworth Classics Edition

I kept wondering about…

  • I had a list of ongoing writing (and creative) projects.
  • I knew what each one entailed.
  • What tasks should be added in a day’s work.
  • I believed I had diversity enough on my creative endeavours.
  • That my engagement with each project was healthy enough and that I could assure my output flow.
  • They were sufficient in quantity, and different in quality.
  • And were complementary to one another in most cases…

So… why couldn’t I just get on with it?!?!

Figuring some things out

Mulling over all of this, I crossed paths with the definition of procrastination, on Daily Calm (meditation on the app).

Why was I procrastinating? What is a coping mechanism? Which strong emotions? Why couldn’t I just (re)start?!?!

I kept trying to give some answers to these questions and got to the conclusion that the avoidance mode was ON.

I may know what I have to do but… what if it’s worthless? what if it’s not? what if it’s just tolerable (another ‘P&P’ reference – p.17)enough?

What if I go back to them and perceive they are terrible? And I will spend the rest of my days in a poor, sad, alone, and in the verge of a ‘not fit to be seen‘ state? (okay, I’ll give it a rest with the ‘P&P’ quotes)

Worse yet, what if I (somehow) can perform a (nothing short of a) miracle, and write something that may succeed? How will I deal with THAT?!

Or, the most hard of them all, what if I put all the efforts and then, it will never amount to nothing more than okay. Not too bad, not too good, just existing in a kind of perpetual state of nothing special? (UAU! This hurts!)

How to cope with this?

coping mechanisms

We all have our coping mechanisms. Something we think, or do, in order to deal with a cause of stress.

What occurs to me, as best known examples of coping mechanisms, are unhealthy or addictive behaviours. But that’s just me being narrow-minded.

I am sure there are lot’s of healthy coping mechanisms… like walking, exercising, talking to a friend… what else? Add to healthy coping mechanisms in the comment section below, please.

Avoiding a task as a coping mechanism

Can we cope if we avoid? I don’t think so, and yet… it’s just standard operation mode kicking in.

Adding up to my To Do List is a coping mechanism? If I just keep adding but never get to do something, I believe it is.

Delaying the starting point of a project is a coping mechanism? If I never start, it is.

Avoid committing to a plan, schedule, output is a coping mechanism? Ohhh, yes.

As for strong emotions… aka stressors

By delaying restarting my projects, what am I avoiding here? And doesn’t this avoidance mode gives me more strong emotions?

I decided to include this phrase here about stressors:


We are all different and must care for ourselves the best way we can. 

So, what strong emotions? What am I avoiding here? Grief? Shame? Impostor Syndrome? Uncertainty? Fear?

Of what? The outcomes? The efforts? The lost opportunities? The ‘I should be doing something else‘ plague?

Avoiding strong emotions with strong emotions? Substituting the uncertainty of it all, with the certainty of quitting my writing projects? Because strong emotions cannot be avoided, they are interchangeable. Today I worry about THIS and tomorrow about THAT.

Identifying the most important tasks and breaking them down

Can I identify my most important tasks? Can I distinguish among them all, which are those that really matter? And why they are the most important?

And, in the lack of external rewards, am I devoted enough to these projects?

Am I really interested in doing these specific projects? And if so, why?

And this reminded me of the following quote…


Going back to the drawing board, aka my journal, I started to remind myself of the basic of setting smart goals.

And, let me remind you and me both that, Journaling always helps when a troubled mind keeps struggling to sort things out. Writing about our conundrums give us a safe space to think about them and disperse false notions.

I took all my Goals and tested them out.

smart goals

Smart Goals imply that they are:

Specific – what I want exactly to achieve?

Measurable – how do I know I have achieve it?

Achievable – am I genuinely able to achieve it?

Realistic – will this goal be worthwhile?

Timely – when will it be achieved?

A more visual approach to these, which I printed out and sticked right in front of my nose.

smart goals


I kind of concluded that it doesn’t matter to set big, unattainable goals. What I can do is set my goal for each project and keep my wheels turning towards a much bigger dream.

And it was important to remind myself of this, because:

  • I started lists,
  • decided on ongoing projects,
  • defined completion times,
  • content
  • and my commitment to the bigger picture and… 

finally, got myself some writing time in almost all of my projects.

So I just pulled up a google sheet and started typing away at my goals for each on going project and, this time around (yes, I periodically do this exercise) tried to juggle my schedule to fit all the demands that each project ensue.

From writing a fiction book, to manage my three blogs, to creating YouTube content… I am trying to be specific on this, while still feeling like it’s all a big mess.

But if you want to know more about setting smart goals and achieve them, please let me know in the comment section. I’ll be glad to give a more in-depth perspective on this.

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Bye and see you soon.


Back to September. Setting goals. Back to Writing.

back to september

Hello, September! We meet again.

My big break, also known as summer vacations, have ended. After a few bumps on the road… like recovering from surgery, failing miserably my Camp NaNo goal, and general discouragement… I’m back to my writing work and…

I like it!

A few days ago, I wrote this on my notebook:

Do my thing. Use my system. Do what works for me. Coming back after disruption is a bi***! – sf

This was set as a reminder for myself, meaning that I should take it easy, avoid being too much focused on what I didn’t achieve, or on what I couldn’t work out like I wanted, and just accept that it’s okay to have downtimes.

I can work with downtimes. [Look at me convincing myself!]

I can work not just ON downtimes but WITH downtimes. [am I whining enough?]

Usually I get a bit overwhelmed with changing rhythms. [And this is the understatement of the year!] But after a few days, I tend to focus on what I can do instead of what I should be doing, and get on with my creative life. And this summer wasn’t any different.

I didn’t wrote as much as I would have liked to, but I read a lot… for my standards at least. And used my time to do some sightseeing, be in nature, and in the water (salty and otherwise), and be with family. Filling the creative well as it is known in my creative dictionary.

This reminded me: Have you read “The Artist’s Way”, by Julia Cameron? I recommend it vividly.

Setting Goals

quote easy job

I also needed this reminder.

This means that there’s no other option than to pursue the work we want to do in this life. When we are working on something, it never get’s easy, whatever the work is.

I had other jobs that showed me (one time after the other) that I may devote myself to other occupations, but none of them were easy, or done without sacrificing something.

Creative work isn’t easy, but neither is working in whatever it is that we choose to do for society.

And, at the end of the day, choosing other work made me pretty angry with myself for not pursuing my desired occupations. Resources are finite. Personal resources are as finite and as (more) precious as all the others.

Work-Life balance is something I still struggle with and I guess will always be a thing. Family comes first. Sorry… not really! And writing comes as a close second.

So, after the unsolicited ramble…

Goals for the upcoming months:

smart goals

1. Reestablish Creative Practices

Quite vague, isn’t it? No, it isn’t. I’ll explain. 

I have a few things I need to do to get me on my creative zone. These practices, that keep changing over time, started with the above mentioned “The Artist’s Way”.

The Morning Pages and Artist Date’s (see the book for more info) are tools that helped me get out from a writing slump and understand myself better as an author and a creative person.

Periodically, I set some specifics on the needed resources to get a certain project done. Not all goes as planned but, usually, setting the constraints of a creative project help me get focused and achieve results.

For example, to write a book I need to put in the hours to discover all the details. This means I need to have a project, with daily hours set, an output format predefined, and clear motivational aids, culminating in a space (mental and physical) where I sit myself down and let my brain work things out.

Another example is to get ideas for an article. I need to have a constant influx of material, reading books, taking notes, surfing the w.w.w., watching movies and documentaries, going places… and other experiences, that need to be maintained no matter what. Usually I have some routines that get me this information, like listening to audiobooks when cooking dinner or reading material that I had subscribed through email. 

Back to work means back to creative practices.

And because in the last two months, I was forced to choose and adapt (read more about this on this article here…), I have not been able to maintain all my creative practices and forced to adhere to other one’s… like going to bed and getting up later than usual. Now it’s time to set my clock right and shift the creative hours for morning’s instead of after dinner.

This goal divides itself into small tasks and has a bigger impact than I care to admit even to myself. 

Please, let me know in the comments if you would like to know more about Goal Setting, Tasks and Project Management for Writing Projects. I’ll be happy to oblige.

2. Get back to writing

July was a b****! Movement was painful and a sitting position almost inexistent. The few typing periods I got were used on note taking, journaling and very few blog posts.

August brought noticeable improvements, but I had spent too much time in the dark, laying down, and in pains. All of this combined and my mental space got a bit clouded.

And then I had my daughter with me full time. And it was time to give her a proper summer time. Not forgetting that we have been cooped up in a small apartment for two years, in her infancy! Children missed a lot, in their formative years, with this pandemic.

One of my main goals/tasks for this Autumn is to finish my third-or-first draft of ‘The Shapeshifters’. Third draft because it’s the third time I’m rewriting this story. Or-First because it suddenly got rewritten in English.

I have a few other projects on hold as well, that I intent to get back to. Including the maintenance of this blog and my Portuguese one…

Hello, September! Are you well rested?!

3. Other Goals

I have a few other goals, concerning Reading, a new Book Club I joined recently, productivity measurements, the YouTube channel VLook (come with me to a visit of the Lisbon Book Fair 2022), and a few other stuff. But I’ll not get into them for now.

Each goal requires different times, and complementary resources, and I’ll be talking about them when applicable.

Let us know how was your summer writing efforts and if a middle of the year goal revision applies to your writing efforts. Please comment in the section below.


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Bye and see you soon.

Drafts, writing plans and mind the gap


How does it feel to achieve a most desired milestone? Awesome!

But how many times we can boast about achieving one? Not as many as we should.

If we could just stick to the writing plan!!!

Nevertheless, I believe writing must be thought in increments, different phases, almost all of them composed by long and arduous stretches of work, that culminate in a finished piece.

First, the idea. Then working out all the most relevant aspects of this idea (plot, subplot, characters...). Research and first draft. Then first/second draft... and all that are needed. Then multiple revisions... and so on... until beta reading... alfa reading... submitting...

At least, that’s how I’ve been working all this stuff in my head. Some milestones to get me properly focused on minor parts that contribute to the major work.

For those who follow my other blog – in portuguese, my vlog – VLook, or my social media presence – Instagram, there is no secret about my last writing milestone achievement:

I have finished the second draft of my currently-working-on novel. 

Originally named ‘Os Metamorfos’ and a straightforward translation as ‘The Shapeshifters’.

book covers
I do love to design covers for my writing projects.

By the time I’ll hit Publish on this post, another milestone has been achieved…

As you may have read in the previous article, and even though it wasn’t what I planned to do, it was a most welcome change.

Building this story is a roller-coaster of emotions. Mainly because, I have been trying to formulate it, without seeming to find the right way to make it work.

I’ve tried some former iterations without any result to show for. 20K and I would abandon the manuscript and would go sulk in a nearby sofa… I’ve tried this approach for three times.

It has been a not so joyous procedure.

What changed? What got me from Idea to Writing things down?

Last year, in 2021, I decided to enroll in a challenge called the 100 day challenge.

It was my second time participating, so I chose to do a writing related project. For one hundred days straight, I would write approximately for one hour, and this time around – because I had enrolled twice before with some mixed media projects – I chose some short quotes from other authors as a starting point, or a theme for each day, and would allow for a short text, in whatever form or genre, to evolve from that.

Another cover design for the 100 day project, named Impromptuarium.

I wasn’t planning to come back to this story concept but it kind of materialised itself that way.

In my the 100 day challenge I’ve written a few poems, short-stories, snippets of texts, sorts of diary entries and, right about the 47th day of the challenge, I started writing about these characters, and this story, that have been trying to get out of my head, and into the page, without much success.

It’s been years since I first thought about this story for the first time.

In the middle of Impromptuarium this story started to emerge. And right in the middle of itself. The long, dull, big bulk of the middle… and I had to work my way to the end. After that, I resumed to the starting point and wrote the beginning. It took me an extra twenty days of this challenge to complete the first big chunk of the work.

The 100 day challenge ended for me at 120 days straight of writing, one hour a day, of whatever fit my fancy. Which helped me getting the writing flow going. And I ended up with a very unpolished first draft (can I call it a first draft?)

What now?

After finishing this first round, I got a bit lost. I let it stew for a few months without looking at it, in pains that it would show me another big chunk of wasted time.

feeling tired
This is what imposter syndrome feels like. Exposed, broken, cold, water in a bedroom kind of feel and a bed calling for our bones to hide from the world…

In the meantime, I felt like crap. All of it felt like absolute sh**… and then I started to remind myself of that speech of shitty first drafts and all (from a very wise writer called Anne Lamott). I couldn’t fix what didn’t exist, but I could work with a shitty first draft.

And then came September… and October… I felt November approaching and knew I should give this story a go… again.

It was my tenth year on NaNoWriMo and I couldn’t forget that I had a pretty successful run in 2020, producing another novel (which, until today, I haven’t reviewed… yet).

And, it was NaNoWriMo that got me going into a second rewrite.

Mind the gap…

I finished November with a little bit more than the 50k needed to complete this challenge, but Oh, I definitely went through a hard time.

The story was born crooked, missing big chunks of information. In a very confusing manner by being thought out from the middle to the end, to the beginning, to the middle again.

I got really confused with myself.

I had a huge gap somewhere in there, that I fondly named ‘mind the gap’ in tribute to my love of London and its tube. And was just trying to smooth out a part that was driving me crazy.

November comes to an end…

The end of November approached and I was not even near finished my second draft.

So, I put it on a new goal. I would finish my second draft until the end of 2021. How’s that saying ‘man plans, god laughs’, or something like that.

December came, and went, and ‘The Shapeshifters’ kept being slowly written. Then I got kind of lazy… or had an impostor’s syndrome attack.

Dealing with the imposter in me…

I started feeling a huge amount of fears, and doubts, regarding the quality of this story, and a lot of shame associated with the high fantasy concept that I BELIEVED I SHOULD be writing.

I had to convince myself, all over again, that I didn’t need to come up with some high whatever concept, difficult to craft, boring, unsellable, gender and cultural dominated, and just NOT ME, to finish this story. And let all that nonsense go.

All I care about is giving it all I have, do my best, and keep crafting stories. 

I had to remind myself, again and again, that I know my soft spots and strengths in my writing. That I could finish the draft and then make it better. I ended up with 79341 words on this draft.

As for making it better, I will leave it to the following efforts to prove or disprove me. But I am carving the will to start my third draft, to put in the work I think it needs, and make it one of my stories, full of those nuggets that turn a simple tale in something to think about.


Still working on it…

I am not near completion with this story but I am focused and willing to give it my best… and to edit like a maniac, cutting all darlings out of there.

Meanwhile, this isn’t my only ongoing project, so I’m trying to be organised here, and juggle a lot of projects all around… including all of life’s projects.

But, about these other writing projects, I will tell you all about it in another post.

Hope to see you soon here at writer.sarafarinha.com and please let me know…

How are your writing projects going? Do you find it hard to finish a second draft? And if you use NaNoWriMo as an added motivation to write your stories?

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Bye and see you soon.