Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Nanowrimo Day 29: Happy Surprises

Yesterday as I was having a little rain cloud day, I pulled up my WIP to discover a happy little surprise. In all the stress over recent life events, I hadn't backed up my novel after my last writing day. Suddenly I was less than 4k to the finish line!

Yesterday I had given up.  Yesterday I was sure I couldn't finish both Nanowrimo and copy edits.  Yesterday I was raining on my own parade.

We all have days like that.  I think we're even more prone to them as creative types, since we're so in touch with our passionate sides.  Because inevitably we can't keep going forever.  We drain ourselves of our creative juices.  For me editing can be a big drain.  I love revising and rewriting, but editing requires me to plug into a different aspect of my skills as a writer.  One that requires more attention to detail and nitpicking.

Yesterday my cup was empty.

Today it's not.

Now it's by no means full, but I'm not holding it over my head desperately hoping for a drop to fall.  How did I do it?

I put work away.  I lived.  Sure, I did a load of laundry.  Boring.  I swept the floor.  Yawn.  But I also watched a movie and helped the kids build block towers.  And most importantly, I re-prioritized my time.

You see if you make it to the 50k finish line tomorrow, you will have achieved something spectacular.  That's a lot of words and a lot of dedication.  But Nano isn't really about the word count.  It's about becoming a writer.

This month I've watched a lot of people become writers.  In particular, my husband, who due to recent illness, probably won't cross the finish line either.  It doesn't matter.  He became a writer.  He wants to write every day now.  He's learned to let go of his expectations a bit.  He's formed a new habit.

Yesterday I told him it was okay if he didn't cross 50k.  We set new goals for ourselves.  Ones I'm sure we can achieve.  Because although 50k is a remarkable accomplishment, it's only part of the journey.

In the coming months there will be revisions and rewrites and moments when you want to give up on the hot mess you created this November.  Don't.  See it through.  Make every day national novel writing day, and you will be a winner.  And start today, because yesterday?  It's already gone.


  1. That's wonderful! I'm looking forward to seeing what everyone accomplished this NanNoWriMo...it's exciting how many stories are born now that were just waiting before...

  2. Your 'it's not about the word count' statement reminded me of what art teachers say to kids everywhere. It's not about the product. It's about the process.

    And every story has its process. We all start from scratch, published or not, right?