Losing Ground

I find that, when I get home from work, I don’t have enough mental energy left to work on my novel. (NaNoWriMo has at least upgraded my terminology for my “story” that I started a few years and 18,000 words ago.) I come up with plenty of ideas while I’m at work, and I’ve even written a little longhand, although it took me a good ten minutes to really get into the groove. (More about that later.) But, for right now, I find that I’m more interested in vegging in front of PBS or blogsurfing than adding to my story. I’m just so tired.

Of course, that has nothing to do with the snack-food potluck we had at work today, wherein I ate four dry Atkins muffins, a piece of veggie pizza, several crackers with spinach dip, several pieces of fruit, a few pigs-in-a-blanket made with Li’l Smokies weiners, a few pickles, lots of cheese, some salami and pepperoni, et cetera, et cetera. I’m positive I ate more sugar (and carbs in general) than I had originally intended today.

But back to my original rant. I find that my creative juices have changed from flowing at night to flowing during the afternoon. Of course, I now get up at 7:15am as opposed to 10am (or later, when I could get away with it) during college. So, I try to make the most of it when I’m at work: I keep a piece of scrap paper handy by my desk for to-do lists and general ideas, and I’ve taken to writing longhand in a journal over breaks and lunch. Thankfully, a Quiet Room has been instituted at work for people like me who would rather write or read or nap during my personal time, and that’s where I’ve been spending my time this week. In the big comfy fuzzy chair with the ottoman, my shoes off, one foot tucked up in front of me to make a little slanted writing desk out of my thigh.

Today, however, I was intruded upon. Just as I was moving from journaling to noveling, two young women came into the quiet room. One held a ball of yarn and two knitting needles, and the other brought nothing. They started talking quietly amongst themselves about this-n-that: “Did you start over with your knitting? I wish I’d brought a book. They seem really strict about this ‘no talking in the quiet room’ thing. Can you believe the traffic over there?” All in that low almost-whisper that is more attention-grabbing than normal speech.

I had been having a hard time getting started, anyway. I stood up, put on my shoes, grabbed my paper and my purseā€”and then they realized they might actually be disturbing me. They apologized “if they were bothering me,” and I pretty much blew them off. I crossed the hall and sat on the floor in the empty corner room with all the big windows, which is where I’ve been sitting to read up until now, and was where I had thought the Quiet Room was going to be.

Even with people walking past in the corridor and talking, with the ding of the elevator and the sounds of people downstairs echoing up the stairwell, I got more written on the floor of that sunny room than I would have fighting the distractions in the Quiet Room sitting in the comfy chair.

The underlining point of all this is that I’m losing ground on my 50,000 words. I’m hoping for a prolific writing day tomorrow while I’m off work, and for some more stamina in the evenings.

Edit: I just calculated that I’ve only added 1,440 words to my novel since the beginning of the month. I am way behind.