On one hand, I am falling miserably behind with my NaNoWriMo novel. This is frustrating because I really wanted to get a rough draft of something down on paper for this challenge. I wanted a victory. But I am a mere 15k words into the necessary 50k needed by the end of November.
On the other hand. I’M 15K WORDS INTO MY FIRST NOVEL – HELLS YA!
So, I’m feeling a bit weird about the whole thing I guess. I’m not exactly upset, but I’m not thrilled either.
I started late and only had 15 days to complete the challenge, which meant a required 3k (or close to it) words per day. Then it took me a couple days to wrap my head around the beginnings of the novel that I wanted to write. I lost another couple of days struggling with some big whys that I just couldn’t continue writing without.
Now that I have most of my novels ‘big questions’ outlined in my head, a good handle on the people and the plot and I’m busy hammer away at the keyboard. But there just isn’t enough time to succeed in the way I had wanted to.
I’m not really into doing any of those ‘dirty little NaNoWriMo’ hacks that you can find all over the internet right now (you know, like doing a find and replace to change your main protags name from ‘John’ to something like ‘John, the hero of the vale, defender of the weak and all around nice guy’ – sure, you may get an extra couple thousand words out of it, but you’ll feel dirty.) So, unless the 9 muses descend from Mt. Helicon to imbue my hands and thoughts, the best I can hope for is about 30k words by the end of the week. Not that I’m laying down or giving up. I’ll spend the week writing like I’ve never written before – I live for challenges. But it is a little disappointing to be falling further behind your goals every day.
So I have to remind myself a couple of times a day to Suck it Up Cry Baby! And keep moving.
It has been a good week really. I wrote a HowTo guide (building bunk beds) for Instructables that won me a years membership on the site (Woot for first efforts!) I also submitted a short story to an online Canadian SciFi publication (haven’t yet heard back on that one).
As much as not beating the NaNoWriMo challenge is bothering, and will continue to bother, me for awhile, I will continue to try and look at the experience as a success. I have dropped the ball on NaNoWriMo ever since I first heard about it, 7 or 8 years ago, most years not even starting, the rest barely getting out a couple of thousand words before getting hopelessly distracted. But this year I will finish my novel. Maybe not in November, but by the end of 2012 my first novel will be written and edited at least once. Merry Christmas to me.
So I just wanted to take a moment and say something to everyone who made it past the first week of NaNoWriMo: Congratulations! If you finished, or are about to finish, Way To Go! If you are wallowing somewhere behind the curve, struggling with characters who don’t want to do what you have in mind for them, or something equally frustrating, Congratulations to you to. This gig – being a writer – is bloody difficult. And you are trying to make it work. Don’t stop!
I wish you all, all the luck in the world in both finishing your novel and in eventually getting it published.