NaNo Diaries // An Ode to Writing

Hello everyone!

As I am typing this, it is Day 5 of NaNoWriMo (although when you are reading this, it may be Day 6), and I am taking a break from my 16-hour work shift. I’ve been reflecting these days about why I write, and what keeps me writing.

Writing is hard work. I make up characters in my head and give them a story. I create worlds and (somehow) make them seem realistic. I try to find words to match the exact ideas that I imagine, but when I reread my writing later, the scenes sometimes have the same intensity as they do in my head. Sometimes when I write, I get into the flow of things and I think, “wow, this is awesome! I am a good writer!” Sometimes I think I suck at it.

Writing is also the reason why I probably don’t sleep as much as I should. I drag myself up every weekday to get to the cafe before work. Sometimes I stay up late writing because I really want to finish a scene and get it out of my head.

As a writer (or some may say, aspiring writer because I’m not published yet), I don’t get much in terms of positive reinforcement. I don’t get money for each hour that I spend writing. From the time that I start a novel to the time when I put the last word on the last page, no one is there to say that what I’m writing is actually good stuff. When I send my novel out to beta-readers, I get positive feedback but often also lots of pointers about how the scenes can be made better.

So yeah. Writing is hard. It’s no small feat. BUT WAIT, it is not all doom and gloom. This blog post is titled “An Ode to Writing” after all!!

Despite all this, I still choose to keep writing. And that’s because I truly enjoy the process. It’s a truly stressful time at work right now. I work long hours and when I am not at work, it is sometimes hard to take my mind off of work. In the past, there was a time when I really hated where I was and what I was doing. What I love about writing is that it takes my mind off of everything that gets me down. As I delve into my world and the mindset of my characters, I forget about my troubles and I focus on my story. No matter how tough the day, by the end of the writing session, I feel great. In the world of fiction, everything is possible.

The second thing I love about writing is that it gives me something to look forward to. In our everyday life we look forward to the big things, like vacations, holidays, a new job or even an event with friends. These things come and go, and I feel satisfied though sad when it’s over. For example after a great vacation I dread going back to work (who doesn’t?!) After a fun and eventful weekend I am not looking forward to Monday. But when I am working on a novel, I am so excited for the next day because I get to write more. It doesn’t matter if the next day is a Monday or a Wednesday.

Lastly, I don’t think if I could have continued writing if not for the fellow writers that I’ve met online and in real life. It is inspiring to hear from others who are either in the same boat or are at a different point in their journey. It motivates me to keep writing. And I cannot thank my beta-readers more for every comment they make on my manuscript, because it really helps me to reflect on my own writing to see how it can be improved. I always thought that writing is an isolating activity (you literally sit there and type onto a screen haha) but because of the awesome writers that I’ve met, I don’t feel alone.

And that’s my rant for the day 🙂

About My NaNo Project, “Fog”

No one knows where the Fog comes from. All they know is that those who enter the Fog never return.

Luna and her twin sister Treya live in a town on the coast of Suni. Luna is the quiet one, while Treya is charismatic, powerful and the pride of the Delphinus Clan. Treya has already decided to be a Sorcerer and join the Queen’s Army, just like their mother and father. But Luna doesn’t know what she wants to be; also, joining the Queen’s Army seems like a lot of work.

On the day of their graduation. Luna rescues a boy from the edge of the Fog. His name is Caio Amadeus Vladimir and he looks nothing like anyone in the country. Caio wants to go into the Fog and map out the lost regions of Suni, and he asks Luna to be his bodyguard. Luna thinks he is delusional.

Until Treya disappears on a misty day. Luna will do anything to bring her back.

My NaNoWriMo Progress: 12701 words / 50000 words

A Snippet from “Fog”

A wave of nausea rises in Caio’s gut. This is his least favourite part of sea travel. He pulls out a bottle of anti-nausea pills from his pocket, dumps two into his hand and swallows them. He closes his eyes, so as to not look at the wobbly horizon in the distance. The attendant had suggested that he sits on the upper deck to get some fresh air to ease his queasiness, and he had foolishly listened to the man’s advice. Caio leans back in his chair, trying to think about anything else other than his seasickness. That is the advice from from Roy, his butler at home, who had known his maritime affliction.

Caio hadn’t said goodbye, not quite. He did say goodbye to Roy, who had carried his luggage down to the harbour of Pasnia. He said goodbye to his maids, who had laundered and pressed his clothing prior to his travel. But he hadn’t had the chance to see his mother. He was too busy, between ensuring his maids had packed his clothes in the correct order and visiting the doctor to get a medicine for his seasickness.

How is NaNoWriMo going? Let me know what you love about writing!

Photo by Austin Neill on Unsplash

31 Replies to “NaNo Diaries // An Ode to Writing”

    1. Yeah definitely know what you mean. Unfortunately often my favourite scenes at the time I write them don’t seem as exciting when I read them again. On the bright note, sometimes the reverse happens when I didn’t really think much of a scene while writing it but end up liking it much more later haha 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I love that you didn’t sugarcoat the experience writers go through, but that you also talked a little bit about how hard it can be. In the end, we all write because we find joy in it, but it doesn’t mean that it can’t get frustrating at times to not being able to transcribe what you are seeing in your head exactly to the page.
    Thanks for this lovely post and the NaNo update 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Allowing my work to be reviewed is so much fun. I used to take criticism horribly, until senior year of high school when my teacher “told it like it is” on two of my papers. I was stunned, because I’d never received negative feedback, and because it was a college class I felt I wasn’t ready to enter the writing world if I couldn’t get proper validation from her. It knocked down my horrifying ego and really allowed room for growth.

    Writing is hard; it’s probably the most thankless “job” unless you strike gold, get featured as Oprah’s book of the month or whatever, and get launched into stardom. Otherwise, I suggest we all get mighty comfortable with the idea that, in writing, our death may make us more famous than our life lol!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah I hear you there. It’s so important to be able to take negative feedback and make it work for us. I heard from an inspirational speaker (somewhere on Youtube) that each piece of criticism is like a piece of gold that we can use to improve our craft. It really challenged me to view criticism in a more positive light.
      Haha yeah, unfortunately writing isn’t as glorious as we hope it would be! Whenever I tell my (non-writer) friends that I write, their next question is “are you going to get it published?” As if it is that easy!!!!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. What a lovely ode to writing!! This makes me want to get back to my NaNo project immediately 😄 I so agree with all of this, and I’m glad that writing is something that has brought joy to your life even when it’s not easy! Also, 12k words already, color me impressed! 😄

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Everything you say is so true Sophie!! Writing IS hard, so hard and it takes time, dedication and hard work. But all of it is worth it especially when we work on stories we are so passionate about ❤ Beautiful post!! Sending you good vibes for NaNo!!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Im glad you enjoy writing so much (: I really am missing it a lot lately so I’m going to try and get back into it soon. Especially as I’ve started to get random ideas on and off again – not sure what inspired that tbh. You’re right that it’s nice to have something that you can look forward too and enjoy. Good luck with the test of NaNoWriMo and I loved the snippet of your work that you included. Just as a heads up you typed from twice in a row at the end of the first paragraph though.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey Charlotte! That’s great that you’re starting to get some ideas for writing. I hope that you will go back to writing some time in the future, however of course this depends on your own pace and how ready you feel.
      Thank you for the heads up about the error!! I handwrite and then transcribe onto Scrivener, so I end up with lots of typos like this haha. Great catch! I will fix it now!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you (: I really do hope to soon. Im just also very good at putting it off 🙈 I do miss it though and feeling inspired again is nice.
        It’s ok, I just know that it’s the kind of small mistake that I’d end up missing when rereading something of my own as you just tend to automatically read it the right way. I can’t believe you hand write everything first though!! I think I’d get major hand cramp. Plus I’m not as quick a writer as I am when typing so I think I’d lose my flow a bit. I find it quite inspiring that you can write fiction by hand.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Haha yes I am already starting to get hand cramps (although I am not sure if it’s because of handwriting or using the mouse a lot at work which is a recent development!) I might have to go back to typing, which I don’t mind. A lot of people like typing better and I see why! It is much faster since you’re not limited by your writing speed 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Yeah it could be the mouse thing too. Whichever it is I hope it improves. And yeah, just do whatever works best for you (: although I do find typing a lot faster. Plus, in my case, I’d probably rush, write messily and then wander what on earth it was meant to say :L

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Ah I feel bad spending so much time on Pokemon Go, especially now that I’m battling competitively in tournaments. XD But ironically, because I’m spending less time on my writing, I look forward to my writing more. I can’t wait to write again! My writing speed is slow, but I always enjoy it. One of the things I love most about writing, is that I can say whatever I want without worrying about other people’s judgments. Nobody needs to see my first draft. I could create a separate version for interested readers, but I’m actually not obligated to show anyone if I’m not comfortable sharing, lol!

    It took me a while to realize that, just because your friends are supportive and enthusiastic, doesn’t mean you HAVE to show them your work. I feel so delighted and gleeful nowadays, that I can pour out my secret thoughts and feelings, through my story characters, and that nobody will judge me for having these thoughts and feelings. This is a particularly valuable experience for me, because in almost all parts of my life, I am constantly assessing how my words and actions will affect other people. So it’s a great relief to have a space where I don’t have to worry about other people’s reactions at all! Plus, it’s so much fun to write and discover things that I don’t know about myself.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey Sieran 🙂 yes it’s great to write to your heart’s content without caring what others think. I sometimes do feel self-conscious about my writing. These days I am feeling a lot of self-doubt as a writer haha. However I like the idea of writing for myself and not having to worry about other people’s reactions. I will give this a try next time when I write 🙂
      That’s cool that you play Pokémon go competitively!

      Liked by 1 person

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