It’s halfway through NaNo, and I’ve got my 50. For those new to the realm of me, that’s a little slow, but ultimately fine. My goal this year is to write a specific novel which has a fluid target wordcount of 80-100k , and I don’t see a problem with finishing it at my current pace.
So far, this November, I’ve:
Removed and put away the Halloween decorations
Taken Taekwando classes with my son
Worked Jet City Comic Con
Attended a writing conference in Seattle
Handled my daughter’s major allergy attack
Handled not one, but TWO of my daughter’s major panic attacks
Shuttled my kids to doctor’s appointments that I was stupid enough to schedule in November
Had a dentist appointment that I was also stupid enough to schedule in November
Endured drama over Oddmall and Orycon
pylons display paraphernalia for the Clockwork Dragon show table
Failed to get a full night’s sleep for NO REASON at least 8 of the past 14 nights
Maintained about a 3,400 daily wordcount
I still have on my plate: one more kid doctor appointment, Orycon, Thanksgiving, and Christmas decorating.
If, after reading my list, you feel that maybe you’re not worthy, knock it off. I’m annoyed because I should be able to crank out 150 in November, and the most I can see for this month is maybe 100. I had plans for that extra 50. Plans, my friends. Lots of plans. We all have different targets, different plans, and different goals.
I admire the person who set a goal of 53k and is right now a little above the official target wordcount. You, whoever you are, have a firm grasp of your speed, ability, and schedule. That has probably already served you well for many moons and undoubtedly will continue to for many more.
I admire the person who put forth as much effort as they possibly could and gave NaNo an honest try before giving up. You took a plunge into the unknown, discovered it wasn’t your cuppa or didn’t fit into your life, acknowledged that, and stopped instead of beating your head against a wall. Stubbornness can be useful, but knowing your personal limits is invaluable.
Not all of us are writers, and that’s okay. Not all of us writers are NaNo-material, and that’s okay.
If you’re struggling, take a long, hard look at your pain:gain (that’s ratio of pain to gain).
Is the struggle making you stronger? Awesome. Keep going! You can do it! I believe in you!
Is the struggle stressing you out, giving you nightmares, turning your life upside down, causing arguments with people you love, harming your health, or otherwise making your life a living hell? Goodness gracious, stop. Maybe it’s things that happened/are happening this year, or maybe NaNo isn’t the right tool for you to meet your goals. I still believe in you and your ability to meet those goals. Losing NaNo doesn’t make you a failure, not even as a writer.
Keep on keeping on, my friends. Stay wordy.