Friday, November 21, 2008

Confessions of A Scorpio Dragon

I have a confession to make.

Before I tell you what it is, I'll let you in on what making a confession like this means to someone like me.

I'm a Scorpio Dragon. Here's a brief peek at the inner me:

"Scorpios are extremely ambitious, persistent and fierce competitors. They are excellent at restoring order to a chaotic situation. Scorpios have a fear of failure which they keep hidden extremely well. Should their confrontation not be successful, or their career fail, they will simply use their adaptive skill to quickly move and and leave the bad experience behind.

Do not ever expect them to fess up or share their tale with anyone however because this shows signs of weakness and Scorpio always wins." -

Scorpio art by Ozgur Ustundag

"Dragons are proud, direct, and loaded with high ideals which they always try to live up to. In spite of being overly emotional, Dragons will just take it for granted that everyone loves them.

Although they are stubborn and irrational, they are not petty or begrudging. It's hard for them to hide their feelings. They don't even try.

Dragons consider themselves very strong. They will often bite off more than they can chew. When this happens, they are too proud to ask for help and exhaust themselves." -

So here we come to the confession.

There is no way under the sun that I will be able to complete NaNoWriMo. I have 9 days left, and my word count is a paltry 9614. I had the flu this month - NaNo month. I was totally wiped out for three weeks. I didn't mention it here on my blog - "don't ever expect Scorpios to fess up because this shows signs of weakness."

My mind was filled with the Thursday Thirteens I did about the two world wars. Every day I felt like death warmed over, I thought of the soldiers and said to myself, Well, at least no one's shooting at me. That would be worse. Which is something I always do when I think I can't make it. I think of feeling the way I feel, only worse. Like: at least I'm not chained to a galley ship hauling on an oar all day. That would definitely be worse.

So I pushed myself, as I always do. But I pushed myself into work, rather than pushing my NaNo writing. I may be a stubborn idjit, but I'm no dummy. I missed two days of work but managed the rest. Everyone in my office fell like flies, missing work, with me covering their positions, feeling like death.

I was pleased by how I managed all of that, but for some reason my step-back logical brain that "restores order to a chaotic situation" would not cry uncle when it came to NaNoWriMo.

Most people who know me in person know how hard it is for me to admit defeat. I refuse to give up. I seem to have the basic Dragon inability to stop when the going gets tough.

"Dragons attract others because they are generous, charismatic and so brave that standing beside them banishes fear. They generate excitement and can help others achieve their dreams. Others love to be around Dragons because they have a way of making people feel better." - Lovegevity

I even make myself feel better - I give myself the same pep talks for which other people come to me. But this time I have to look reality unflinchingly in the eye.

I cannot write 40,000 words in 9 days.

There it is. I've said it. My confession. And believe me - that was hard.


Nikki said...

I hope you are feeling much better now!

I am a scorpion too! My bday was on the 17th... when is yours?

Akelamalu said...

I know exactly how you feel Julia being a Scorpio myself. You feel better now you've fessed up though don't you? x

Julia Smith said...

Nikki - I'm on the 11th. Happy Birthday to you - glad you told me!

Akelamalu - believe it or not, I'm actually going through a mini mourning feeling for the 50,000-words-that-will-not-be. Yet. The one really good thing is that I've actually written some revealing scenes for my character - who is named Scorpius, and who is more than obviously my alter ego. I reached a breakthrough about him yesterday, which helped me come to the decision to step out of the NaNo marathon.

Susan Helene Gottfried said...

My dear, all you've failed to do is play along on some silly game. Nothing major, nothing Earth-shattering. This wasn't your time; Hell, after what you describe, I'm amazed you're still standing. I'd have been thrown in the hospital with bronchitis or worse.

NaNo is about a word count. Why are you focusing on a word count if you want to be a serious writer? You should be focusing on quality, not quantity. Write scenes that move the story forward (or that help you understand your characters better that you'll edit out later). Write something you'll publish.

Don't mourn the rubbish.

Julia Smith said...

Thank you so much, Susan! ((hug))

Isabella Snow said...

You'll finish the book though, right? That's all that matters, surely? Hope you're feeling better now!

Julia Smith said...

Isabella - I'll definitely be finishing the book. I've got some scenes posted in my Fiction Archives from that WIP.

Travis said...

If it makes you feel any better, I knew I was doomed to failure even before midnight on Nov 1. I thought I had a great idea. I had a fine outline to start.

Then I began writing and realized that none of it mattered. I didn't believe in the idea and I can't write when I don't believe.

So I was done on day 2 with 347 words.

BTW - I am an Aries born in the Year of the Dragon.

Julia Smith said...

Travis - Hail, fellow Dragon. I'm very, very into my story idea - and I was so looking forward to how far along I'd be by the end of November. I'm just so weird when it comes to keeping my word. By officially signing up to NaNo, those 50,000 words were already written, as far as I was concerned. I suppose it may even be a sign of maturity that I'm letting go of this idea that I could still get it done.

Wylie Kinson said...

I gotta say... I'm agreeing with SHG on this one. Don't beat yourself up over a ... game.
Your health, your creativity, your spirit -- they need to be considered before the word count can happen.

And hey - I doubled up the award you got from Ann.

Julia Smith said...

Oh Wylie - ((hug))

Thank you! I don't really think of NaNo as a game - definitely as a marathon, an opportunity to push myself way out of my own comfort zone. However, no one would run a real marathon with the flu, so I let reality take the reins out of my 'I-refuse-to-quit' hands and steer me out of the race. To be honest, I'm counting this as a growing experience.

Anne MacFarlane said...


Don't be bound by someone else's rules - make up your own. Maybe YOUR Nano is to write 10,000 words this month. And just look how close you are to accomplishing that!!

Julia Smith said...

Anne - I'm happy with what I've been working on. I'll push a little more to see what I end the month with.

Ann said...

Hey, Don't worry about it. Or you can console yourself with the thought that you managed to get more writing done than I did. I think I managed about 2000 words.
Oh well. :)

Toni said...

Well, you know what, sister? I love the courageous honesty. It's just a little glimpse of the vulnerability that is in all of us (which I find endearing in some way I'd fail to explain.)

And I do the same thing you do, creating worse fates than my own circumstances and using those thoughts to count my own blessings as I drum up greater strength to endure.

Kailana said...

I don't think I could write even 10000 words in a month. I always get distracted and have too many things on the go! It is not an easy thing to do! I also find the timing for this rather bad, people are busy in November! It would be better for the beginning of the year after all the holiday bustle... Anyway, congrats on what you did accomplish, and there is always next year...

Joy Renee said...

i'm a Scorpio too. Nov 13th. next year its a Friday!

persistence hmm? i was told it was called OCD. LOL

hey i think you've taken the healthy and mature path to just let go of the symbolic 50K but keep on writing what you can.

and i know you will stay with your project after NaNo whereas i have never returned to my last four NaNo projects. tho Sven helped me carry Spring Fever into late January last year.

i got behind on NaNo too. I confess that i slacked off the first week due to obsession with the election. i called it research since my novel's theme is related. then i was sick with a cold the second week. and on day 19 with 12 to go i still had 40K to go. i actually decided to neither quit nor expect to reach 50K just do my best and see how close i could get. then i did the math to figure out the necessary daily word count to make 50K and it was 3.6K and one of my harassing harpies said: ha the only time you write 4K of anything is in your journal or blog when you are ranting or rambling. i hung my inner head briefly but then jerked it back up and said: ah ha! rants and rambles. journals and letters and blogs. i switched from doing scene work and fiddling with plot to giving each character a forum to blather on about what's eating them.

this actually broke something open and power rushed in

in the case of one 96 yr woman it was an inner monologue and i posted part of it Friday

with 7 days to go i have 18K to go. was closing the gap but i just lost a work session due to getting the news about my mother's fall as it began.

so i may not make it but i won't quit. and that's all because I'm a November baby?

Julia Smith said...

Joy Renee - stubborn persistence, OCD - whatever! Works for me. In fact, in the arts I'd say there's probably a very high level of OCD people, because a person needs to be obsessed with their idea or art form to really excel at it.

Look at ballet dancers. They obsess, alright. They repeat steps and movements over and over and over and over. If they didn't, they wouldn't be dancers. I regularly obsess about tons of things - but I find it a plus. It's my muse come to see me.

Heather said...

Charlie was wondering If he knew a dragon while reading our place mats Sunday,now I know. I'm a Sagittarius Boar.
NaNo is just the beginning for the 50,000 words-that-will-be in Jan and Feb when your snowed in you can push yourself out of your comfort zone .

MaiounMjuz said...

I too am a Scorpio Dragon. November 9th, 1988.

Anonymous said...

I was born on the 21st... So you wrote this on my birthday in 08. That was a horribly boring birthday for me, I was unmotivated that day if I remember correctly. Anywho, thanks for the links on the scorpio/dragon dynamic I find myself up late once again reading interest interpretations of my astrology sign.

Natasha Taylor said...

Wow I'm having a baby in a week or so he will be a scorpion dragon thank you for the insight I'll be following your blog now :) also proud you have haven yourself a new level of flight by overcoming your fear of failure take it as an opportunity to win the next one :)