When you sit down to write a certain number of words at a stretch it can be sort of daunting. My personal daily goal for this, my first ever NaNoWriMo challenge, has been to enter 2,000 words on my novel before I can get up from the computer (except for emergency bathroom breaks). Each morning I wake at 4:30 to the sound of my alarm clock or to the squirrels in the attic (more often than I care to mention) and trudge out to the computer.
Many of you are probably wondering why in the world do I force myself out of bed on a cold November morning way before the sun is even out to type 2,000 lousy words. It is a valid question. I ask it of myself every single day. The truth of it is that those wee hours while my house is still asleep are the only time of the day I have to write. So this is when I write. That is what I do. I need to write (plus, it does not hurt that I REALLY want to win this thing).
When I first sit down in front of the computer those 2,000 words seem like a prison sentence. How will I ever make it through? What can possibly be happening in my story that will need a 2,000 word bump? Why do I need to do this? Why? Why? Why?
Then I read the last couple of paragraphs that I have written on my rough draft and I just start typing. I do not stick my toes in the metaphorical water. I jump right in with my arms flailing. Usually by adding dialogue I will get the story moving along like a current. Something I accidentally have one of the characters say may bubble out a plot twist that I never saw coming. It feels like gold is pouring out of my fingertips.
When I finally come up for air I look at the time. Right around two hours has usually passed and sure enough, when I check the word count I am floating somewhere near 2,000 words. It is a wonderful thing.
I was so worried back in October that I would not be able to do NaNoWriMo. It is not that I can not write. I have written two (yet to see the light of day in the realm of publishing) novels already. I know I can write a story and commit to the time of writing a story.
I was not sure that the three hours a day I had mapped out to write would be enough to get me to the finish line in time. My hope was that I could squeak out the words in those 180 minutes a day. Little did I suspect that I would have an extra hour a day to kill (okay, by “kill” I mean climbing back in bed).
Taking on a challenge and setting a goal are good things. I know what works for me may not work for anyone else. So I am not going to judge anyone for not finishing the NaNoWriMo challenge in the way that I hope to. The thing is we are getting out of our comfort zones. We are taking that step towards what we want.
I expect to pass the 50,000 word mark on this Saturday. Five days ahead of the NaNoWriMo schedule. There will be no balloons dropping or horns blowing. The only choir I will hear sing will be in my head. This will be a quiet victory for me. It will happen like all my other 2,000 word days have so far. I will wake before the sun and grumble as I find my way to the computer. I will have no idea what I am going to write. Those 2,000 words will seem like a hill I will not be able to climb, but once I start I know the words will come. The going will get easier.
Total Word Count As Of Today: 44,191
- NaNoWriMo Update: Day 18 (readfaced.wordpress.com)