I’m off to a rough start for National Novel Writing Month this year.
I didn’t write anything on November 1. I chose instead to celebrate my eight year anniversary with Keith. Linen tables. Edith Piaf songs. Duck simmered in sherry wine with a side of risotto mixed with shitake mushrooms. The night was beautiful. I’ll more than likely write about this experience later on in a future novel.
Second day, due to the fact that I was outside and not wearing a jacket the day before [I’m a Midwesterner. We don’t need stickin jackets], I came down with a cold. Yes, a cold because of the cold. I wish I could see the humor in it, but with phlegm leaking out of me and my chest and head stuffed up, laughing kind of hurts. I’d like to know who thought November, the infamous flu/cold season, was the best time to hold this special event. Nonetheless, I wrote 1300 words that day.
Suddenly this novel I had been mulling over in my head for the last year is suddenly there, on screen in black pixels. I can read it aloud versus just watching it in my head like a silent film. Finishing a novel feels unbelievable, but there’s this sort of rush, a high, you get when you’re starting a new project. It’s just like when I started my first novel two years ago. The only difference is I plan to finish this novel in a month. A month.
Monday November 3rd, day two of the cold and day three of NaNoWriMo, I wrote 1800 words. Then yesterday, I felt like someone had sacked me with a freezer bag. Exhaustion hit me. I could barely move and had zero appetite. Still, I managed to get 785 words in. The tinge of guilt is working its way in me right now. It’s saying, “what are you doing? Get to writing!” This voice, by the way, is British and sounds a lot like Caitlin Moran. I also think this month is great for tapping into all our secret neuroses.
My goal is to get to 15,000 words by the end of the week. A part of me thinks I’ve set the bar perhaps too high. I shouldn’t push my body, but when I read all the other amazing stories out there of what people are doing right now, it keeps me going.
Sick soccer moms are clocking in 500-700 words by staying up later and waking up sleep deprived. Procrastinators are biting their nails, reluctant to write anything else, for their characters are like adult children who apparently don’t want to listen to their parent. Regardless, they’re still getting in at 200 words. Then, there are the slackers, who missed a day, like me [even right now I’m slacking off by writing this post], who are making up for lost time, making out with 3,000 for the day! Damn, they’re amazing, and so are all of you.
All of these people are inspirational. Another part of NaNoWriMo is unity, the ‘small encouragements.’ We need each other to keep going. You’re definitely not the only one struggling, and it’s important not to let any kind of bitter seed start to grow. You’ll just end up asking yourself, ‘what’s the point,’ and give up.
Don’t criticize yourself for not reaching 3,000 words in one day. We all go at different paces. Some days will be good and others will just suck. In other words, don’t be too hard on yourself. You’re writing that novel you always wanted to write. Take solace in that thought. You’re doing something many are scared to do.
You are brave.