Last on the evening of November 17th, 2011, I crossed a turning point in my NaNoWriMo experience. Yes, my lovely readers, I crossed the finish line. I wrote my fifty thousandth word in my NaNovel. If I could bottle up the sense of satisfaction and accomplishment for meeting this goal, I would share it with everyone.
I wouldn’t say it was an easy place to get to, despite how it might look on graphs or time lines. It was a struggle, it was work, it was mentally exhausting. In short, it was a challenge.
Fifty thousand words sounds like a daunting thing until you break it down. Each day, the WriMo must write 1667 words to finish on time. More is better, since, inevitably, there will be days you can’t write, don’t write, or simply just can’t get enough words into proper order. My personal daily goal was two thousand words each and every day. Still doesn’t sound that bad, right?
Well, that’s partly right. My normal, non-NaNo word goal when I’m writing is double that. Four thousand little words each and every day. There is a draw back to that, though. My brain eventually gives out, leaving me a quivering mass of writer on the couch, unable to put two words together into a coherent message. Just the act of opening my novel makes me want to hide in my closet. I get burned out.
I’ve read in various places that a working novelist shoots to write five thousand words a day, five days a week. Just like a real job, who would have thought it? I’ve found if I take a day off, it makes it that much harder for me to get back to it. So I set myself a goal I knew I could hit every day. I wrote seventeen days in a row, taking not one day off in two and a half weeks.
And you know what? It wasn’t easy. There were days that I simply didn’t want to write, no matter how well my story was flowing. I had a break down, panic at the seemingly far distant goal of fifty thousand words would stay just out of reach. I was so close to throwing in the towel that I actually looked into deleting my NaNo account.
For more than two days, I didn’t want to write. I didn’t want to keep going. I certainly didn’t want to power through the moment. I’m not a quitter, though, I can’t even quit smoking. I kept going, I wrote each and every day to my goal of two thousand words, even if each word written was like pulling teeth. And I am better for those bad moments.
I’m not going to stop, I have a group of other writer’s relying on me as cheer leader to get them to the finish line as well. I have a group of characters whose story needs to be finished. I have words that still need to be put down in black and white.
I am not going to fail, because that would make me a quitter, despite having reached my goal.
Write on, WriMos, write on.