Last year was my first year doing NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), for those who don’t know NaNoWriMo is an event held in November where people who are clearly insane pledge to write or die for 30 days and reach the goal of writing a 50,000 word novel. NaNo’ers sit for long hours staring at computer screens, forgetting to eat, neglecting work, chores, family and anything social in an effort to meet or surpass that word count in 30 days. 50,000 words in 30 days equals 1,667 words a day. Doesn’t sound that hard, does it? Well give it a try, it’s actually quite a feat and anyone who reaches or passes the 50k goal deserves some respect.
Anyways, back to the point.
I had big plans for NaNo this year, this year would be different. I was going to be prepared. I was going to have my story completely plotted out. My family was going to be organized and ready for month long abandonment (kidding, sort of). And my friends, well they were going to be my support system. At midnight on the 1st of November I was going to start writing and really start off with a bang.
So what happened?
The story I had been plotting for over a month completely fizzled out due to real life stresses, yes that can really happen especially when you emotionally tie characters to people in your life whom you care for and then at the last minute they yank the rug out from underneath you. So that story was out of the question, I just couldn’t write those characters with the feelings I was having inside. This little revelation hit me with literally less than 48 hours til NaNo launched. I needed new characters, a new plot, new everything.
Next, my family, they are trying their best and this year my husband is much more supportive of my writing time. So far anyways, and I say that because in this house I know just how quickly the tides can turn. But the major issue is my oldest son who has gotten extremely sick. Since September he’s progressively gotten worse everyday. Most nights I sit up with him for hours trying to sooth him which means my days are spent napping when ever I can while still trying to take care of my other son, my husband, our three dogs and our salamander. Life all of a sudden decided to get a hell of a lot more chaotic which makes NaNo an even harder challenge.
My friends, luckily they are fantastic, they keep me motivated, keep me on track and cheer on any little bit of progress I make and do what they can to lift my spirits. And yes even at only day 4 spirits do need to be lifted from time to time. I love them all so much for helping me and encouraging me.
So when midnight rolled around was I writing? Um, nope. I was curled up in bed sound asleep after a hard day with my son and still trying to do the whole trick-or-treating thing with my family to maintain some little bit of normalcy in our very stressful life.
I did manage to write on day one and knocked out 2,180. That felt really good. Unfortunately day two was filled with trips to the hospital and helping my son so my word count was zero. Day three we needed some family time with our youngest son so that he didn’t feel like he was forgotten amongst all of his brothers medical issues so we spent the day watching our local college play their last home game of the season, went out to dinner and did some shopping with him while our oldest stayed with grandma. When we got home I managed to pound out another 1,830 thanks to my dear friend and fellow NaNo’er Amy who stayed up to do word sprints (or word wars) with me.
Today is day four. I am still down but less than a days worth in my word count. Today I will need to get 2,653 in order to be right on par, so the goal will be 3,500 and I’ve got all day to get it done. I know if I fall behind my husband will say “It’s alright baby, you’re doing good.” and my friends will say “You can do it.” and some will even offer to run sprints or writing challenges to keep me motivated. And that is what is truly great about NaNo, the other competitors aren’t your competition, they are your cheerleaders and you are theirs.
Your only competitor is yourself and whatever life throws at you.
This year life might throw a lot at me but I will reach my 50,000 words or more. I will finish my novel. And I will do so with most of my sanity in tact. Now I need to stop procrastinating with blog posts and actually get to writing my 3,500 words today.