NaNoWriMo – Turning the Corner

Can you believe that it’s been three weeks already? I can’t. I have been so busy this month, that I nearly lost count of the days. Though I can say with pride that I have been on the ball as to which day of the week it is for almost ten days now. Go me!

So, how has it been? Ready to die yet? For me Week 3 is where you can start to see the finish line, but the road between you and it is still almost completely invisible. God, how am I going to write another 10 – 15 thousand words? Haven’t I given enough this month?

The answer, as always, is no, and you are going to keep pounding out those words because words are what move the story forward.

This is right around the point where the plot and outline need a bit of re-jiggering so that things will end up at the end and not off in tangent-land. And it is perfectly ok to do that. That’s the kind of work I tend to take with me into the bubble bath — relax, let your mind wander, and see where you end up.

Also, focus more on the story and less on the word count. Especially if you are finding it hard to hit those goals. Take the pressure off. Move the story. Follow the characters. They know who they are and what they want by now, let them loose for a while.

And remember that 50,000 words does not mean ‘completed novel’ or even ‘completed draft’. It sure as heck isn’t going to mean that for me. I just hit the 40,000 word mark last night, and I think I might be roughly 2/3rds of the way there. Story is king. The whole point of NaNoWriMo was to get you started, and to show you that a consistent output is not an impossible dream.

I first participated in this challenge in 2006, I think (maybe 2005, I know I didn’t sign up the first year I did it). It took me until 2009 to actually hit 50k in a month. This is not easy. But it isn’t impossible either. It’s all about habit. If you can create a habit around the busyness of the holiday season, then you can do it any time.

Nine more days to go, folks. We can do this!

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