Like many of my friends—and more than 200,000 people around the world—I’ve taken a pledge to write a 50,000-word novel this month. Since thirty days hath November and I plan to take five days off, that means 2,000 words a day.
Day 1 (Nov. 1) started with 1,695 words already written, and it took me HOURS to write the 305 I needed to fill my quota. I panicked; how could I hope to write 2,000 words the next day—and the day after that, and the day after that, and the day after that—if 305 were so hard? The worry seriously disrupted my sleep. Well, plus the knowledge that I was signed up to jump out of an airplane over the weekend (different post for a different day).
Day 2: I wrote a bit over 2,000 words in six hours. OK, so it’s do-able, but will I do nothing but write for the whole month? No research, no going back to fix something that was keeping me stuck? I know a six-hour day is a short work day, but I usually figure that research takes up about half of my time and the actual writing takes up the other half. This novel isn’t historical fiction, so a lot less research than usual is required, but still it could easily turn into a 10-hour day.
Day 3: Jumped out of a plane in the morning (and it was research!); wrote 2,000 words by dinner (made by supportive husband). Huh! Maybe I can do it!
Day 4: Done by noon. Made an amazing dinner to celebrate.
Day 5: Tuesday. Hmmm. Conflict. Months ago I took a vow not to write on Tuesdays (three of the above-mentioned days off, the other two being Wednesday and Thursday of Thanksgiving Week). And you know what? I woke up yesterday (Tuesday) morning with lots of ideas, itching to write them down.But on the theory that my creativity flows better when I take a break from it, I resisted the lure of the manuscript all day, jotting down just enough of the ideas that came to me so that when I hit it again this morning, I'll have a launching pad.
NaNoWriMo has worked its magic; it got me back in the writing groove, just like it’s supposed to do. Kind of like the skydive: the anticipation is a lot scarier than the actual thing.