The trouble with NaNoWriMo

NaNoWriMo has been calling to me since I heard about it from a friend who did it years ago, and especially since I hatched a new idea for a book back in the summer. Plus, I like a challenge. The only thing I didn’t understand about this Nano thing was the “winning” part. When I joined I found out that the only requirement to win was completing 50,000 words in the 30 day time-period. It didn’t really seem like winning. It seemed more like giving gold stars for effort. Nevertheless, I joined figuring it would be fun and It’d be a breeze riding a wave of literary consciousness all through November.

Well It’s not.

In the first week, I was consistently ahead. Even the second week wasn’t too bad, and then I hit a wall. It felt like a literal wall. It felt hard and it bashed me in and I knew there was nothing beyond it but more and more layers of story-stopping brick. Suddenly the idea that someone could actually write 50,000 words in 30 days about the same subject definitely felt like a major accomplishment. Because it is. That gold star isn’t for effort, it’s for prevailing at a stamina-wrecking literary marathon.

Now, I probably write about 4-5000 words a day, between the blog, and freelancing and working on my non-fiction book projects. But it’s all different things, so although it’s still pretty tough and my days end with me exhausted in bed, my mind gets a little break from constantly working on one idea.

Right now, I’m about 4,000 words behind the Nano-set daily goal. Granted, I’m very close to my own personal goal of 30,000 words (which is still nothing to sneeze at) but I have several more scenes in mind, so I’m going to have to go over 30k just to satisfy coming to a conclusion.

I realize there is no way I will make it to 50k in the next eleven days. In any event, this story doesn’t need 20k more words. But man I hate to lose. Because if you’re not a winner… that OTHER word applies.