Halfway Through NaNoWriMo
Here we are again, welcome and hello. I’m happy to inform you that Halfway Through NaNoWriMo I have reached 43,779 words. Phew. While I am proud and yup very proud of myself for keeping this up, even as I neglect other things in order to do so, I can still be honest with myself and say, dear Lord there is still so much yet to discover. My story, my novel, will not be done at 50,000 words and I doubt it will be done at 60,000. Really I don’t know at what word count it will be done. And I don’t know at what point I will be able to provide a coherent synopsis. But what I do know is that this time I’m writing a story that has begun, it’s in the middle of something, and when I’m done it will have an ending.
NaNoWriMo, as I’m learning, isn’t only a matter of discovering your story, it also involves discovering yourself. And by that mean, all sorts of things. I think it’s different for everyone but I imagine it starts with your ability to commit to yourself, and a part of yourself that is a mystery. It requires that you trust in the journey, as I mentioned in the previous posts – NaNoWriMo Week 1 & NaNoWriMo Week 2. You might not know where it’s all going but you want to finish, no you want to find your story so you follow leads. You listen to your mind. You listen to your heart. You listen to your experience. You learn that maybe self-doubt isn’t worth your time.
My story is not at all what I want it to be; in fact I don’t know if it’s something I’d want to read yet. But I do know that it’s something I need to follow through. It’s something. It deserves my time and my ideas. It deserves my focus and my commitment. Do you quit a puzzle before it’s finished? Or do you finish it because you want to see the completed masterpiece? And that’s the thing, there’s no guarantee it will even be a masterpiece. But it will be a story, and that will be a start.
The creators of NaNoWriMo have done an excellent job putting together a supportive community. There are all kinds of forums, opportunities to make writing buddies, join regional groups, participate in live write-ins, and from time to time we get pep talk e-mails from successful authors. This week we had one from Julie Murphy. Before this e-mail I had no idea who Julie was but I was so pleased with her pep talk (as I have been others) that I visited her website and said hey I’m going to give her book a shot. (Disclaimer: She might not write in my genre but I’m gonna give the book Side Effects May Vary just cause.) One of her messages to us was whether your book turns out to be awesome or crap, you will have gained something from this experience. The experience of writing a novel is just that, an experience. Don’t let it go to waste.
Halfway Through NaNoWriMo is no simple place to be, but it’s almost like magic if you give it credit it deserves. Give yourself credit don’t just beat yourself up. You’re writing a book whether you believe it or not.
Writing Prompt: She/he put it down and questioned what they were about to do. Is this real? Is any of it real? Will she forfeit her sanity to chase what may or may not be? She picked it back up and… (Use he/she/they as appropriate and fill in “it” as you need)