Monday, November 28, 2011

The Last Few Days

Here we are, in the last week of nano (actually only two days left after today). Depending on where you are with your goal, you'll be doing one of three things.

If you are behind the next three days you're going to be obsessed with hitting that mark no matter what you have to do to get there. (Some of the people who are behind don't think they can do it, and perhaps that is true, but remember that the 50k is just a suggestion. If you lower it, that doesn't mean you lose. You still wrote those words, and that is something to be proud of.)

If you are on schedule, you're probably sitting pretty. You probably have the next two days completely planned out and know exactly what you're going to do on each day, and you're ready for anything that life throws at you, because you know that you can make. (I congratulate anyone in this category. You still have a ways to go, but I know that you're going to finish!)

If you are ahead, you're probably thinking that this was not nearly as hard as you thought, and you've already forgotten all of those days that the world interfered, and for just a second you were worried that you weren't going to finish. Then , when you hit that 50k, you jumped for joy, and might have even gloated to your friends. Take a break the next two days (or write a bit more to see how far you can get) Either way, I hope you hold your head high, because you have done an amazing feat!

As for me, I am on track. I know that I can finish with my current word count as long as I continue to write for the next two days. As long as I don't let myself slack off. But somehow I seem to be falling more into the first category. All I want to do is write. A week ago I was wondering if I should just stop at 200k, and now I'm sitting at work thinking about all the words I could get getting if I was at home. I just want to keep going and finish this novel, even though I am fairly certain it is going to exceed my goal.

This isn't exactly a strange feeling for me. Last nano I had a similar experience, except then it was because I finished on the 15th and realized that I wanted to see how much more I could do, and so I just kept writing. This year it feels more like I've rallied in these last few weeks. I was getting so tired. All I wanted to do was sleep, and I had this voice in my ear telling me that two novels and 200k was enough. Did I really need to climb all the higher? And not I'm wishing there were more days in November so that I could write more.

At the same time, though, I cannot wait for Thursday, as I'm planning on sleeping all day.

Nano can leave you feeling conflicted. Throughout the month you go through a rollercoaster. One minute thinking that you are never going to get published, because who would publish this crap. The next unable to believe you wrote that, and look, you're a writer! It's an experience. One that most people don't understand because they aren't doing it. It's one that you'll never forget, even if you only do it once. It's one that helps you define yourself, not just in your writing, but also in who you are as a person.

So whether you cross that finish line, or find yourself a few words short, I have to congratulate every person who did this. You took that step. You pushed yourself. And you showed the world that you are not a coward.

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