Words done this month: 1,675…

Current total word count: 12,384

Current mood: Pretty crappy, to be honest.

March low point: The past few days – realising that this Duel is a quarter of the way over already, and seeing just how low my word count has been this month.

March high point: Today, now that it’s over! Bring on April.

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So, we are a quarter of the way through the Duel, and my word count was abysmal this month. I don’t know what my final word count will be but I’m aiming for it to be at least 50k words, which means that I’m behind schedule at this point, which I didn’t want to be.

This has been a difficult month, not just with the writing. I haven’t been feeling particularly upbeat, I’ve let some personal things get to me, I had a good go at chopping the tip of my left thumb off, and over the past couple of days I’ve came to a realisation that it looks almost entirely certain I won’t get to start any kind of teacher training this September, which is what I was hoping to do, and that I will have to wait now until the September after to start, which is an awfully long time away, and I’m going to have to try and find something to do in the mean time, besides buck my ideas up on this novel.

I believe that to be called ‘a writer’ it is not necessary to be making a living from writing, or to even have anything published – all you have to do is to tell people that you are a writer and to be able to back it up. This month I definitely cannot do that, which is upsetting. My blog at Never Too Serious! has been updated a couple of times, but nothing for two weeks now, and there were no updates in February. My writing for Fuel Your Writing is only once a month anyway, and I’m pleased with my recent article as I have been with the others, but I should really be knocking several of these articles out at a time, especially the short ones. I have enough ideas to do that, and the time. Obviously my writing on StairJumpers has been very minimal, and most of my words have actually been written in the last few days. I did start writing a short story, for the first time since probably last summer, and was really enjoying writing that, but even that has died a death – probably because I was too worried about not writing my novel. So I ended up writing neither, of course. Which isn’t the way this is supposed to work.

On a postive note, what I have written this month I think is pretty good, brief though it is, and various aspects of my story are starting to flesh out in my mind. If only I had written more they would be coming alive on the page, and they would be coming more real. Also, by not writing I am beginning to realise just how much I do love writing. The same thing happened in February, but from the other side. I was reminded how much I love writing because I was actually writing, mostly in my Moleskine at any time of day: in my lunchbreak at the school where I volunteer, writing away while teachers wandered about and talked and laughed and moaned about the kids; in the early hours of the morning sat up in bed with just my lamp on; or scribbling away in a quiet, cosy coffee shop sipping a cappuccino. I love it.

Which makes the fact that in March I did none of these things all the more frustrating. I realised (and I’m not just talking about writing here) that I get miserable when I don’t do the things that I enjoy doing. Surely that’s obvious, right? Writing, playing guitar, reading, running, blogging – these are just some of the things that I love to do, so why am I surprised that I feel down when I don’t do them?

So, on this April Fool’s Day, I can only declare myself somewhat of a fool. But, this is a whole new month, the sun is shining, and spring may actually be here. To quote H.G. Wells, in what I know is one of my opponent‘s favourite quotes, “The crisis of today is the joke of tomorrow.” So excuse me, I can’t stand around here all day being a fool, I have a novel to write!