NaNoWriMo and My (Lack Of) Progress

I had been debating since the beginning of September if I wanted to do NaNoWriMo this year or not.  I had hoped that I would have Bugs and The Intruder completely done before it started so I didn’t think I really needed it yet. But as I got closer to November, I started to consider it more and more. I did it last year, but didn’t finish my book (the book I did last year was Love, Mommy). And so this year, I really hope I can reach my goal and finish Bugs. 

In case you have no idea what I’m talking about, NaNoWriMo (dot org) is a site that encourages writers of all ages to, well, write. It takes place every November and during one month, the writer is challenged to write a book and they set a word count goal for you. They don’t expect it all to be edited and ready to be published by the end of the month, they just want everyone to just get out there and write. Last year’s word count goal, unless I’m remembering wrong, was 20,000 words. This year it’s 50,000 words. You would think that that wouldn’t matter much to me because my word count goal for Bugs is 80,000, but for some reason, I feel the added 30,000 puts a little more pressure on me that otherwise wouldn’t be there.

The word count also got me thinking. If they believe it’s possible for writers to write 50,000 words in one month, including the middle and high school students they reach out to, then why in hell am I taking so long to write 80,000 words? By that logic, I should have finished my first draft in less than two months. I started this book in March. I think it’s been longer than two months. So now not only am under a little irrational pressure to finish by book this month, but now I’m also a tad bit depressed about it taking so damn long to actually write. I just went a week without writing a single word. That easily could have been 7,000 words. And threw it all away. Granted, it’s hard to accomplish anything when your toddler is throwing up and you want to join her, but still. A thousand words a day is no problem for me (most of the time). Never before in my whole life has my knack for procrastination made me so mad. 7,000 words is two chapters. Out the window. Because I’m lazy. Go me.

But I did write yesterday. I wrote 1,017 words in Bugs, none in The Intruder (I don’t feel as much pressure to finish that as I do the novel), So 1,000 words really is easy and doable for me. I just have to do it. And honestly, if I hadn’t procrastinated last night on the internet doing a bunch of stupid stuff, that would have at least been doubled.  However, that small bit of progress jumped my total word count up to 29,459. Pretty darn awesome in my opinion. This is the most I’ve ever written. So I guess that alone is something, right?


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