Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Jenny Jerkface and the Art of NaNoWriMo Procrastination.

I'm not sure if anyone has noticed but I haven't exactly been around much these days. We can blame that on the fact I was coerced wonderfully bright idea I had to join the National Novel Writer's Month November challenge - write 50,000 words in 30 days.

In the few weeks preceding the actual writing part of this challenge, there was a lot of chatter and encouragement online and we were all doing whatever the equivalent is to the locker-room ass slap before a game. It was exciting and daunting and just sounded, honestly, like it would be fun and not really all that difficult. Sure, I was a little worried but then I figured I write every day anyway so how hard could it be? I mean, really, how hard could it be?

And then the challenge started and I threw myself into it thinking I was just going to pwn the shit out of that... well, shit.

Except, I underestimated just how hard NaNoWriMo really was going to be. Like, even harder than Edward's throbbing cock Greek-God-Adonis-Marble-Sparkly-Goodness abs or something.

Jacob's a little pissed about the "hard abs" comment. It's okay. We'll have a pillow fight and I'll braid his hair later. Everything will be fine.

I had good intentions when I started out--I was going to write diligently ever day and spend my spare time developing the characters and plot points and do research on...stuff and...yeah, it didn't happen. Instead, it went something like this:

WEEK ONE - Raced downstairs to my office [aka "The New Lair"] every night and wrote between 500-1000 words a day. Okay, fine 50-100 words a day. Told myself it was okay I was off to a rough start. Groused about characters. Complained about participating. Drank. Yelled at ML when he complained about not having laundry and told him I was busy writing. He wanted to know why writing sounded like the theme song to Law & Order: SVU. Found my headphones.

WEEK TWO - wrote about 20-50 words a day. Groused about characters, who were vaguely starting to irritate me in a dangerous way. Complained about participating. Ditched even more housework because, hellooo, I was writing, and holed up in my office. Watched music videos over and over again. Learned that headphones make it a little too easy for ML to sneak up on me. Changed my underwear. Moaned on Twitter about how I'm never going to finish. May have possibility procrastibated. Drank.

Seriously, the size of his mouth is amazing. Oh, and their music is great.

WEEK THREE - started to feel the pressure. Pounded out about 5000 words in one 24-72 hour period. Can't quite be sure because I rewarded myself with wine. Groused about characters because they are actually the most annoying fucking individuals anyone has ever come up with. Discovered crappy television series that Netflix is streaming. Told ML it was research; he didn't believe me. Watched it for seven hours straight. Complained on Twitter that I'm never going to finish.

WEEK FOUR - HOLY FUCKING MONKEY-DICK SUCKING SHITBALLS!!! I have, like, four days to write, oh, NINE KATRILLION WORDS!! Slapped myself around a little and decided I was going to be a champ, like Rocky-- cannot sleep, cannot drink, cannot do ANYTHING but write my NaNo story. I was going to be like the fucking Jedi master of NaNo and win it. Sure, it was Thanksgiving weekend, not to mention year end for all us finance-y people. I was gonna do this shit. I was gonna conquer it. Hard. Let the countdown begin...
  • Four hours later - Ended up at a party lamenting to friends how I really need to get home and write. Went home in the proverbial wheelbarrow.
  • Three days to deadline - Actually sat down and wrote. I mean, seriously, really wrote. Holed myself in office for eight hours, alternating between wanting to murder my characters and trying to write them so I don't want to kill them to laying on the office floor drooling. Or pacing.
  • Two days to deadline - See above. Add alcohol and about six hours more of the pacing, writing, whining, drinking, laying on the floor, one trip to the bedroom for some more procrastibation, then more writing, mother fucker I am actually writing, OH MAH GAHD I'M WRITING!! I think this is called a breakthrough. Or a breakdown, one of those.
  • One day to deadline - Woke up at 9:30 am. Took the day off from work. Was like a writing goddess. I barely ate, drank non-alcoholic beverages, took a shit in the band bathroom [no time to go upstairs to the "real" bathroom], ate a bowl of sour cream and smelled like a homeless person pooped on me but, I was mother fucking writing.
Shitting in this bathroom takes dedication, people. It hasn't been cleaned in eons and there is a Wolf spider living among all the paint cans stacked in the tub...

And then, somewhere around 9 pm., I was done. Well, not done done, but I hit the 50K mark.

Mother fucking success. I congratulated myself with a glass of wine and sat back a for moment, reveling in my most excellent procrastination skills, marveling at the my diligence in finding every single video on YouTube of Man Man and my sheer determination to shirk every grown-up duty humanly possible so I could complete my NaNoWriMo challenge.

With a huge smile on my face, I hit a few buttons and went to submit my 50,230 word masterpiece of mediocrity to the NaNoWriMo verification page.

And my computer crashed.


I'm not entirely sure what happened immediately after that I'm positive it involved someone screaming, "OH MY MOTHER FUCKING GOD NOOOOOOOOOO!" and that same person throwing herself, very dramatically, out of her computer chair and wailing on the floor.

A few seconds later, I pulled myself up from the floor and re-opened the program because, really, I would have to be a real fucking dumbass not to back up a month's worth of work.

Instead of my word total reading 50, 230 words it now read 2, 230 words.

More screaming and flailing ensued. Then I walked calmly upstairs to where ML was hiding in the TV room. I explained what had happened and his eyes starting darting around, looking for a possible escape route because he knew, he knew, that if those 48,000 words didn't magically reappear in the next three minutes, someone was going to die. And it wasn't going to me. See, ML knows that when I'm eerily calm that actually translates into "ZOMG, SOMETHING REALLY TOTALLY INSANELY ASS FUCKINGLY HARD GOT FUCKED UP. AND IMMA FREAKING."

In general, this is not a good thing.

"Well, didn't you back it, er, uh, I meant... reboot," he bleated, panicked.

"I'm going to take up heroin if that doesn't work," I replied. It seemed like the only viable option and it's not like I ever totally fly off the handle or anything. If I can wait in a line at the Rite Aid with no problem, I could deal with this... fucking disaster of epic proportions.

Oh yeah, I can't wait in lines without having a conniption. That's right.

Fuck you, de-motivational poster. You try NaNoWriMo

I then sent out an email to a few of my lovely twi-sisters, begging one of them to bring me a carton of cigarettes to no avail. But, in the end, it turned out okay. I did reboot (which is the only way I know how to "fix" a computer in the first place) and, lo and behold, all my words were back where they should be.

Needless to say, I downloaded my story for submission faster than I would get naked if RPattz asked me to.

So, was it worth participating in NaNoWriMo? Well, yes, I think so. I had a lot of fun with all the other ladies who participated, regardless of whether they "won" or not. It's awesome to see people really gung-ho about being just plain creative.

Plus, I totally got the most awesome certificate.

Here's to next year, bitches! Oh, but I do have one word of advice.

Make sure you back your shit up. Because losing 48,000 words will make you lose your mind. If only for a few minutes.


  1. See, I always knew procrastination would somehow pay off! Congrats to you JJ - I hope you are already celebrating!!

    Procrastibation?! Brilliant, I love it!

    LMAO@ "We'll have a pillow fight and I'll braid his hair later. Everything will be fine."

  2. Congrats!!! I'm so happy it all worked out.

  3. So proud of you and so not proud of myself. But finishing one goal out of 2 isn't bad I guess and I did complete NaBloPoMo over at the Borderline Phenomenal blog. I guess there's always next year... maybe I'll be more prepared with lots of Vitamin C (or R) and a new laptop that doesn't shut off every 5 minutes. I know. Excuses are like assholes.

    Speaking of assholes, I'm glad you no longer smell like a homeless person shit on you. Probably.

    Haha I used that "procrastination" pic on my blog a few weeks ago regarding NaNoWriMo I think...isn't it freaking awesome?? I'm thinking about putting that as a bumper sticker since I'm the queen of procrastination nation.

  4. That was a scary story, but I'm glad everything worked out. I hate that dropped-stomach feeling when shit like that happens. CONGRATS on finishing! I'mma have a drink in your honor now. ;) (OK, OK. I was going to do it anyway.) Cheers!

  5. Congradulations!
    First, for writing 50 THOUSAND words! Im-fucking-pressive!

    Second, for finding 48 thousand words, because I don't think there is enough alcohol in the little itty-bitty state of NJ to have prevented you from committing murder.

    But most of all, congrats on the EPIC procrastination success. I want to be just like you when I grow up!

    Really, though. I am in AWE of this achievement!
    And, I'd totally by "Some Crappy Novel" by Jenny Jerkface!

  6. Congrats. I understand the insanity of thinking you lost something. I lost four chapters of a novel that I started eight years ago and even though no one uses 3.5 floppies anymore I refuse to get rid of it just in case I can one day get that disk to open and start writing again.

  7. Lol...yikes, I can only imagine the stress you felt and the fear ML felt before you rebooted ;) Glad it all worked out though! Congrats, you're a rockstar!!!

  8. Congratulations!

    I once lost a chapter when the cat was prowling behind the computer and knocked the electrical plug out of the wall. Ever since I've set autobackup to 1 minute. And I copy the daily product to off site storage,on a child-parent-grandparent system. (Takes 3 flash drives. Write over the oldest backup each day)

    Paranoia- the writer's best friend.


    This. I laughed a lot! But I understand. I've been there. It's horrible, but I'm so glad you got it back!

  10. I mother humping love you, Jenny Jerkface. You are my god damned hero.

  11. Congrats JJ ~ you are amazing! I'm a procrastinator as well but not good under pressure. I so woulda been found lying on the floor in the fetal position (drunk).

  12. OMFG, if I lost 48,000 words, there would have been a scream of such epic proportions it would have been loud enough to shatter icicles on the top of Mount Everest.

    Congrats on finishing! I've been working on a novel for the last 18 months otherwise I would have done NanoWriMo! Maybe next year!

  13. Yayeeee! You did it!! Congrats, girlie! It really is quite an accomplishment and I am so proud of all of you ladies who finished. (HUGE HUG)!

    Fucking HI-larious!!!!!!

  14. Congratulations JJ! Massive achievement.

    And procrastibation, yeah, totally do it. Alot. J/S.

  15. So do we ever get to read your epic?

    Congrats JJ!!!

  16. I live 6 hours away from JJ and I was seriously frightened for my life when I got that email saying she just lost 48k words. I knew if those words didn't magically reappear, ML was going to lose testicles...even though it wasn't really his fault.

    I'm so proud of my miniature friend JJ! She's awesome!

  17. Like LKW, I was worried for the existance of the universe when JJ said she thought she lost 48k. I mean, two weeks earlier I'd gotten an email with the subject line "So, I think I'm done". She came back from that lame arse shite and rocked it out like the Scooby Gang trying to solve a Mystery - there was no backing down and no way she was going to let NaNo own her. JJ owns NaNo now. Congratulations on your first of what I"m sure will be many NaNoWriMo wins!!!

    So, now are you going to do NaNoEdMo? National Novel Editing Month? he. he. he.

    *runs and hides before JJ throws things*

  18. Woohoo, congrats! Knew you could do it *hides 'at least you tried' banner*

    ugh, I'm with ya on the heartfail. I managed to lose a good quarter of my English thesis back in college. On the day I was supposed to hand the fucker in. I don't think I've ever typed so fast in my life. Or sworn so much. I'm pretty sure I permanently scarred my poor, delicate little catholic college for eternity :)

  19. JJ!!!! I'm so flipping proud of you. And I'm happy that you didn't lose your work, but regardless you completed the goal!! Good for fucking you!!

    As they say in NanoWriMO-write your shit, fuck the spelling, and never edit. That was what helped me last year.

    Super duper proud of you!!

  20. Congrats my petit fleur. You did it girlfriend!!!! AND no one was punched, scratched, kneed, or bloodied. You fuckin' rock.

    Dude that singer's mouth is ginormous...and he looks oddly vamp-like and looks like he has been raiding Edward's lipstick stash.

    P.S. I am starting to understand ML's quiet demeanor a tad more.

  21. Well done, I can almost imagine what it feels like to loose 48 000 words. Oh the despair! No seriously, I'm suprised you survived. Would love to read the cause of all the stress.

    And thanks for the new music, gonna look up White Rabbit at work tomorrow...

  22. Congrats, JJ. This is quite an achievement. It will be even more fun to read, now that we know the story of its birth. (Really is a shame that Robward wasn't around to just gnaw it out of you in a jiffy.)

  23. Ha haaaa! Great story!

    Congrats on completing the project!!

  24. This gets to go in the Best Of section, yes? Because I just LMFTO. I guess my first instinct should have been to "*gasp* HOLY SHIT NOOOO!!!!" but since I knew the outcome, I guess that was lost on me. I just couldn't.stop.laughing.

    I am super fucking proud of you, though. I am a procrastinating bastard daughter of a bitch, and now I know that this time next year, I can do it, too. Except the pooping in the band bathroom. Well, maybe.

    *Clinks spoons with my fellow sour cream eater*

    Well done, my friend. I'm super proud of you. Seriously. Oh, and fucking YAY for the White Rabbits vid. Love 'em. And uh...what was the tv series? Inquiring minds need to waste time!!!

  25. Congratulations on your accomplishment and for avoiding a life of heroin dependency! Really funny post, I love the captions on the pics. My son is a big White Rabbits fan - nice to see them perform.

    Is "Some Crappy Novel" really the name of your work??? Awesome that it won - you are one of those people who obviously work well under pressure. It would take me about 14 years to put 50,000 words down.

    Please post your story - I have to read about the characters you created and hated.

  26. Loving these comments!

    @A Girl in the South - Oh, just shut up about the editing, lol. The only thing I'm going to edit into that story this month is a zombie apocalypse.

    @LindsayRae - the show is Lie to Me. About some dude who is a deception expert. I luuuuurv it. Also, it's a really stupid show.

    I am debating whether or not to actually finish the novel and try to post it here. I may throw a chapter or two up, just to see what you're reactions are. Hmmm.

  27. @JJ - Oh shit, Lie to Me? I fucking love that show! I've been watching it since it started...It really isn't that great, but it's easy to watch and kind of awesome in a don't-tell-anyone kind of way :)


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