NaNoWriMo is always a challenge whether I am prepared for it with notes and an outline or if I am jumping in fresh with nothing but an idea. This year has been no different. I was pretty excited about the prospect of what I could accomplish seeing as it coincided with the launch of my first blog website, my writer instagram, and my Patreon page, so momentum seemed to be on my side. Unfortunately, certain patterns are hard to stray away from.
The first several days the words poured out, working diligently on my novel rewrite that I am determined (and will if its the last thing I do) to finish this year, but as each of the last 10 days elapsed, I began to slow. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing–I am trying to get active and engage with the writing community simultaneously–but the self imposed pressure of not keeping pace to complete the 50,000 words by the end of November started to rear its ugly head. Herein lies the pattern. In past NaNo’s when I hit this point, guess what I did? Yep, you likely guessed correctly; I gave up. Being self aware enough, I knew I needed some therapy of sorts to keep my head right, so here is this post! And you know what? I am so glad I took the time to reflect. I have had some major wins that I cannot claim from prior years.
- I’ve been writing everyday, whether it was my story or just through engaging with others.
- I am further along in my word count than I ever have been in any of the past NaNo’s.
- I have solid goals for myself that look beyond November which help remind me that whatever I accomplish this month is getting me ever close to achieving that long term goal. So every word written is me winning!
Taking stock of all that, NaNoWriMo did its job for me; I’m working on my novel! Do I think I can catch up to the word count? Sure! I’m not horribly far behind, but even if I don’t end up hitting 50k, I did my best and got that much closer to finishing that manuscript that I want to submit for publishing. Every other time in the past, I just gave in to my self doubt enough to take that easy way out.
So I can do this and, if you are a NaNo-er, you can too! I’ve read posts by several people hitting that same point that I have historically, with the same mental barriers to overcome. Let’s move past those together and get excited for the awesome piece of work we’ll have to work with on December 1st! Keep writing!