Subject: Mid NaNo
This is my first year as a participant in what we call NaNo. November is National Novel Writing Month, and people all over the world take up the challenge of NaNo. The challenge is simply to write at least a 50,000 word novel by the 30th of November. It isn’t complicated.
So, in October, I was still arguing with my inner editor about my ability to pull off a project that demanded 1,667 words a day, just to keep up. I think I can, I think I can, was my mantra coming up on the end of October.
My family can be very demanding. I have a brand new baby grandson for distraction. The phone rings too often. To make time for writing I had to draw a line, put up boundaries. Risk people being put out by my need to have time away from them while I wrote my 50K.
I started out by making a cap that has the words “Not Now I Am Nanoing” across the front. I rehearsed it with my family. If I wear the NaNo hat, unless their heads catch fire, I am going to have to get back to them. My frequent phoners were made well aware before the event that I was going to be incredibly busy and would be turning off my phones during the time I needed to devote to the ‘project.’
The first half of NaNo has passed and my family has been pretty good about letting me NaNo. However, when the stove caught fire a few days ago, I abandoned my ‘project’ and opted to help save the house. The fire was put out, but the stove was a total loss.
I have been able to keep my inner editor away. I try to bang out 2,000 words every day. I haven’t skipped any days and, as I write this, I have 33,622 words. When I feel a hard session coming, I simply change characters and pick up the story from another point of view. Three major characters are taking up the slack. I gave up on correcting spelling for fear of giving the inner editor a toe in the door.
During the next two weeks, less than two weeks, now, I plan to continue to set daily word goals. I keep the NaNo hat near and know where the off buttons are on my phones. Yes, I do forget to turn them back on, but the voice mail tells the opening scene, so callers are entertained. I am well into the last days of NaNo and when I reach the 35K mark I’ll start tying up loose ends.
To those who are NaNoing and feel wretchedly behind, you can pump up that word count. It isn’t too late to carve out more time, turn off those phones, stay away from that email and make a NaNo hat.
Be Well and Write Well.
Sally Franklin Christie