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One step forwards...

..two steps backwards

I'm way behind on my NaNoWriMo word count target. The official website mentions the week two doldrums, and I'm definitely a victim. And I don't even want to think about PiBoIdMo – I've had some picture book ideas, but the motivation to write them down on paper is at about 'meh' level.

An image of two cats, Heidi and Finn, cuddled up together

Part of the reason my motivation has faltered is that my NaNoWriMo word count went down instead of up. How? I decided to split one chapter into two, copied and pasted, then forgot to delete the duplicate text. So what seemed to be a particularly productive writing session was followed the next day by one in which I literally – and literaturely – went backwards.

The local cafe has become my second home; a haven from the siren calls of housework, gardening, TV shows I've recorded and haven't watched, and other general distractions. The noise of crockery clinking, coffee machines buzzing, and general chatter is easier to ignore than the consistent cry of cats who decide that their usual all-day naptime is over as soon as I sit at a computer.

The cats have got a strategy. They play zone defence. If I'm on the desktop PC the little but long cat sits on me, after a detour across the keyboard, and curls up in the crook of my arm or slabs out across the front of the desk. Typing one-handed around a peacefully purring cat is not easy. If I'm in the bedroom on my notebook PC the cuddly teddy bear cat sits on the desk, then on the back of the chair, half over my shoulder. The big fluffball is moulting, so it doesn't take long until I'm sneezing uncontrollably. Sometimes he'll snuggle up on a footstool if I move it right next to me, but then I'm trapped in a corner. If I shut the cats out of the room they cry and sook and scratch. If I put them outside they sit on the windowsill and cry and sook and scratch. They are experts at distraction.

The other diversions this week have included a school fair requiring two cake stall contributions plus other work, a shocking night's sleep that wiped me out for the next day, an appointment that was cancelled when I was on my way, a long-overdue hairdresser's appointment, and sudden, unexpected, unavoidable social engagements, and inexplicable stressing about university results being released when I already know I've passed. All this on top of the usual day-to-day running around. So I'm not too stressed about not reaching my word count. Sometimes life just gets in the way. I'm only 5000 off the pace. I'll be back into it – once I've unhooked my cat's claws from the chair she's managed to get herself stuck in. Maybe I can sneak in a coffee and half an hour's writing at the cafe between my haircut and school pick-up. And I'll try not to cut and paste this time.

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