This Novel, Day 20

youcanfinishwritingyournovelWow, already two thirds of the way through this month, and my novel is doing more than just starting to take shape. That’s what I love so much about NaNoWriMo, its ability to force me into staying focused on one plot with multiple themes throughout the month. Before I finally broke down in 2012 and attempted NaNo for the first time I didn’t think it was possible. I know me, and I know that while I can be quite prolific it was never my thing to stick with a longer piece. In fact, I have several examples of unfinished stories that I began and then left to die in the wasteland of my imagination. So what is it about NaNo?

NaNo gave me a goal, not just for the month, but on a daily basis. It made me dedicate myself to it every single day, to push forward even when I didn’t feel like it, to keep me moving forward to the finish line. It was the first time in my life when I really and honestly put writing first and foremost, not just in random Facebook posts or in disjointed journal entries, but in an every day interaction with these words on this screen in the purpose of creating a novel-length work. And somehow that first year I came through, not without trials and tribulations, but it was a success, and I’ve been successful every single year since.

This year I’m two-thirds of the way through the month, and I’ve finally rolled past 40,000 words, an achievement in and of itself. That means my average word count per day has been over 2,000 words, and I can’t tell you how that number shifts throughout the month. When I’ve had a long day at work, and I’m just so exhausted I just want to fall onto my bed and saw logs all afternoon and evening that number might as well be 10,000. But when I’m off on a Saturday and I get started early in the day, my creative juices able to flow, it seems like just a launching off point for so much more that I can write, for so many other ways I can stretch and change the narrative.

Oh, and I’m at the climax right now so the story is thrilling to me as I listen to the characters argue, as I hear them react to events as they are not unfolding. It’s the beauty of writing a novel, being deep in the midst of a story that I’m creating but that’s also coming to me while I write. And I’ve got 10 days left.

Word count: 40,124 words.

Sam

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