So, here’s the thing. I’ve tried to do Nanowrimo a few times in the past. I think it was two years ago that I spent all of October outlining in the hopes of hitting that golden 50,000 word count goal. However, this hasn’t happened yet. I know, I know. It should be about starting your novel, and any word count greater than zero is amazing.
But, I want that 50k.
November is a tricky month for me. For one thing, I am currently enrolled as a full-time student at University. November is this time when midterms are over, and everyone is stressed about final papers and exams. (I’m an English Literature major, so I have more papers than actual exams) So, I need to make sure that I’m focused on doing well in my classes and completing any larger assignments.
I also work at the University 20 hours a week. I love that I’m able to do this, and the fact that my classes and workplace are so close together is incredibly convenient.
Thirdly, in America, November has a couple of holidays that throw schedules out of whack, the largest of which being Thanksgiving. Now, Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. Time off from school and work to indulge in delicious food with family? Yes, please!
I don’t want to sound like I’m complaining here. I am incredibly grateful for how privileged I am to go to school and work and spend time with family. This just takes up a significant part of my time. All of those important aspects combined with this blog (and reading!) leaves little to no time for writing.
But, I want to write. It’s my respite. It’s what I’m working toward. It’s my life. I love everything about writing to the last little detail. So, it sucks when I don’t get to devote as much time to it as I’d like to. Cut to Halloween of this year.
That night, I was talking with one of my friends and my sister about NaNoWriMo. They’re incredibly encouraging and supportive and told me to go ahead and “finish your damn novel, so I can read it” (Thank you, Brian). So, on November 1st, I opened up the document and began to write.
For the last two weeks or so, I’ve had an amazing time writing. I feel like I’m really getting to know my characters. And, putting their story down on paper (or . . . on the screen, rather) is immensely gratifying. I’m nowhere near where I need to be in terms of word count, but I’m writing more and more at my own pace. I didn’t want to be overwhelmed this year and abandon my studies. I did that last year, and it resulted in some of the worst anxiety attacks I’ve ever had. I decided to go into NaNoWriMo this year with a much more casual attitude than in Novembers past. I told myself that any word count was better than nothing, and if I hit that 50k, that was just gravy. Giving myself a little bit of leeway helped me not be so hard on myself and still spend time working on my classes.
Here’s where I am now. It’s just about the middle of the month (and holy cow, did it come quick), and I am currently sitting on 7,026 words. I’m happy with that. If you want that converted into pages, that’s about 27 pages. Considering where I was that Halloween night, that’s pretty great. I definitely feel motivated to continue my draft after the November 30th deadline.
Here’s hoping to (at least?) another 7k words by December 1st. I’ll be sure to provide another writing update.
Until then, happy writing,