Wow we’re Almost Done! There are less than four days left in NaNoWriMo. You might be thinking, what’s she talking about she made 50,000 words, she’s done!? And you’re right, so excuse me a minute while I give myself a few pats on the back. Pat, pat, pat. Good job self, HECK YEAH! Okay I’m back. Now with that said and done I have to acknowledge the elephant in the room: a complete first draft of my novel. That folks is NOT done, it’s not even almost done. AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! So if you wanted to turn away from this page cause you’re thinking ugh this overachiever finished early, what a…. nope, don’t go there! There is still a lot to do for my novel. Now let’s talk about how we’re all feeling at this point, okay?
How are you feeling? Did you win, get 50k? Congratulations, you’re amazing. Is your novel finished, I mean the first draft? Are you almost done with your word count? Keep going! If you pulled this much of your story out I know you can make it to the finish line. Are you behind perhaps really behind? Then hey, bust some butt! Take some time out for yourself, even if you gotta steal a little from something else (something that you can steal time from of course). Or set a new goal, say 30-35k by the 30th and 50k by the 15th. Sound good? Cause you know I’ll still be here writing and working on my novel (should be the second draft by December!) and hopefully talking to some of you. November is not the end of your writing or your work, it’s really just the beginning. In fact let’s face it, it’s a really good beginning, so take advantage of that. Let’s look at November, NaNoWriMo, as a kickstarter. Do you give up once you get started, once November is over? Heck no! November just got you jumping and now you have some part of a story or maybe a whole story, so keep it going.
When I say Almost Done I freak out a little inside…okay a lot. For a number of reasons. One I did it. Yes. Two this is the part in so many of my projects where I turn the horse in a different direction and saunter off as though nothing ever happened. This is sometimes feeling like that part where I don’t follow through. And three as I said before, my novel is not, Almost Done! So people I am in a very scary place here because I do not want to fail at my personal goal for NaNoWriMo and I certainly do not want the work I’ve done so far to fall by the wayside. I promise I will not allow this to happen but me, in my life, well I tend to be real good at meeting up with that wayside.
For example, I did not get the update your writing 30 days in a row badge, and I so wanted to get them all. But I missed a day about halfway through and swore I wouldn’t miss another. To be honest, ever since I met the 50k word count I’ve really turned into a writing slacker. I think I’ve now missed three, maybe 4 days just in the last week! I know there was Thanksgiving and all (Happy Thanksgiving by the way, if you celebrate and if you don’t please know that I am sorry for your Day of Mourning, I extend my gratitude for being alive to the many many indigenous people whose lives were taken). But I can’t say that the holiday was enough of a reason for me not to have worked more on my book. My gosh, MY BOOK, my first NOVEL, just saying that sounds and feels great. So what’s the hang up? Well it’s easy to get to the this point and give in to the pressure that is the midway point of the book. Yes I said midway. I think I’m still probably only halfway through my book. AAHHHHHHHH! And it feels gruesome because the slick flow of words and ideas has slowed to an aching crawl. What am I going to do!!!
I’ll tell you. I’m going to write like my job depends on it. My integrity is wrapped up in this project and in NaNoWriMo. If they told me I had a term paper due on the 30th, I tell you what I’d have that puppy done even if I turned it in at 11:59pm! So what’s the difference here? This work is very important to me and it is my job to treat it as such. I feel I owe it to the work I have done so far to see this thing through, figure out how it all ends. When I’m reading (which I am reading a new book now I’ll have to tell you about later) I see the story through don’t I? Don’t you? My story deserves that respect, even if it is more work. Finishing it will bring me nothing but satisfaction regardless if it’s challenging as heck to get there. People, if you’re struggling with your story like me then let’s do this together, let’s make it happen. I think at this point I’m going to worry less about fleshing out scenes and more on the bare bones of who did what and how did that happen and then what happens. There are some crucial elements to my story, like who the killers are, that still need to be hashed out. I believe that once some of these most basic elements (and not so basic) are worked out I will get back into some kind of a flow. It is up to me to try new ways of figuring out my story. No more putting off writing because I think well I’ve got x amount done so…no, you’re goal girl is not X amount. Let’s stay focused and get busy! Here’s some advice I heard this week, it’s okay to write bad, it’s okay to suck. After all, this is the first draft.
How about you, what are you going to do to make this happen because I know it’s not nothing. I’d love to hear about your progress or lack there of and how you’re going to handle that. For now feel free to browse my previous NaNo posts (NaNoWriMo 2017 & NaNoWriMo Week 1 & NaNoWriMo Week 2 & Halfway Through NaNoWriMo) , visit NaNoWriMo if you haven’t yet, and have fun with a writing prompt:
Why would I do anything for this desperation when all it does is tear me apart? I know, for once I know. Tonight I will confront _______ and take one step beyond this once and for all. (What or who will your character confront? What are they acting desperately for or about? What do they do to take this new step?)