So here we are at our third accountability check in. According to my regular old, normal world calender, that means we have a full two weeks left of NaNo’ing in front of us, and two weeks behind. We are, my friends, stuck in the middle (with you). According to my nerdy NaNoWriMo calender-slash-desktop background-guilt-machine by the end of tonight we should have passed 26,672 words.
Yes, I can hear your mournful chuckling.
I’m not going to be trite and say this is the hard part. Unless you are a very lucky, very driven, or very inspired individual, the whole process is the hard part. Finding time to sit down and work on your art. Finding the words that match the ideas in your head. Giving yourself the permission to put those words on screen or on paper and allow yourself the flexibility of imperfectness. To keep from staring at that one paragraph you’ve cranked out and refrain from rewriting it over and over while your word count hovers at the same number. I’m here to acknowledge that it’s hard. And that being hard isn’t the end of the world.
Mid-month is when a lot of people start dropping out of the competition. They feel like they’re impossibly behind or they never properly got started, or, very commonly, they suddenly hate their idea, hate their novel, and want to light the whole thing up in a cleansing fire. You are not alone in that feeling, though try not to act on the latter impulse.
I encourage you to keep going. No one is grading you on this. No one will write a note in your permanent record if you draw up short at the end of the month. The purpose is the process. Allow yourself this one measly month with your imagination. Give yourself permission to indulge in it and enjoy it. Write. Make it to the end of the month writing. Even if you don’t get your 50,000 words, you’ll still be a winner.
My personal check in: I remain about 2 days behind schedule but I was thrilled to have two really solid days of high word count which happened to correspond to two days of solid writerly-flow. Most other days I feel like I’m carving out words with a hammer and a nail on a really obstinate rock. But I’m plugging away at it.
How are you guys doing?
Bonus Tracks: Real, honest to goodness, published novels that began as NaNos
How to Seduce an Angel in 10 Days by Saranna DeWylde
No Room for Dessert by Hallie Durand
Triptych by J.M. Frey