I got off to a fantastic start — by the end of Saturday, I was ahead of schedule and the official NaNo site predicted I’d finish by Nov. 29 at the rate I was going. I diligently sat myself down to write in the evenings after work during the week, and I attended a regional write-in on Saturday and participated in my first word sprints.
Sunday, I rested.
Monday, I panicked at the jump from a Nov. 29 predicted finish date to Dec. 11 and feverishly added 1,439 words to my novel.
Tuesday, I fell into that trap I always fall into with my projects: I procrastinated. Between work and getting some chores done and my commute, I did nothing. I played games on my phone and listened to podcasts and avoided thinking about the fact that I needed to write something. When I did think about writing, that familiar stab of panic arced, and I quickly shoved it away and turned back to something distractable.
Today is Wednesday, and I am quite a bit behind … except, I’m not. I started this thing and told myself I would get to 15k by the end of November. At the time of this writing, I am sitting at 8,085 words added to my novel in the first week and one day of the month. That’s huge! I have been planning and talking about this thing for nearly a decade, and yet I only had a few thousand words to show for myself. Now I have a novel which is 13.5k words long and a plot that is racing along and characters who I can finally see for the first time in years.
I am winning my NaNoWriMo, whether or not I hit 50k by the end of November, whether or not I write every day. I want to try and write every day, and I am working on developing the discipline toward my personal projects that I put into my 9-to-5 work. But if I miss a day or two, hey, that’s okay. Part of this process, I think, is learning to work with my quirks and shortcomings to become a better writer and produce something.
Getting ahead is going to be tricky, as I’ll be out of town all weekend to celebrate my birthday, but I am bringing my trusty lil’ writing laptop and plan to take some time for at least 500 words a day. This post itself is nearly 500 words, so it isn’t like that’s a lofty goal. It’s just that one step at a time that will lead me, eventually, to a completed manuscript.
Happy writing, folks. Be kind to yourself no matter where in the process you are.