20 days in to NaNoWriMo. 10 days left. (Well, 11 according the the NaNoWriMo statistics site.)
The end…is near.
When I started this month, I flew out the gates hacking away at my story. I was writing a good 2500-3000 words a day, and I was feeling great.
This is so easy, I told myself. I don’t know why everyone says this month is so hard and stressful.
And then…this wonderful thing called “Writer’s Block” decided to hit me about three days and 33,000 words in ago. I’ve got 17,000 words left, and it’s much more daunting than the first 33,000. I’ve got plenty of plot line left, but I’m still trying to get to know my characters. I’ve only spent three weeks with them, after all. A lot of the last three weeks, to be sure, but definitely not enough time to automatically know how they’re going to react to certain situations.
Even though I’m having difficulty powering through and I’m eagerly anticipating the end of this month so I can take a big breath of relief, one thing is to be sure: I have not written 35,465 words of crap. (That’s where I am now. I’ve made it past 33,000, just at a much slower pace.)
Do I think what I’ve got here is going to be publishable as soon as the end of the month occurs? Absolutely not. I’m not that narcissistic. However, with that being said, that’s one of the most common things I hear from people who partake in NaNoWriMo.
“You just look back at the 50,000 words of crap you wrote and you feel sad.”
Well, my question to that is…if it’s crap, why did you write it?
I think that loving your story as a writer is a lot like finding love in real life. Everyone says you can’t love someone else until you love yourself. I think it’s the same with your writing. Being shy and being humble and being scared to share it is one thing. But not liking it is another. If you hate it, how are other people going to love it?
I suppose a lot of that goes to the motives behind partaking in NaNoWriMo. I wanted the challenge (and a challenge it is most certainly being), but I also wanted to produce something I would be proud of, and at the end of the month have an edit-able manuscript that would, eventually (I would hope) turn into something publishable.
Now, I understand power writing is not for everyone. Some people know that they need more time to jot down 50K words and in turn decide not to participate in NaNoWriMo because they know they’re going to hate it. More power to you, I don’t judge. I’m only saying for the people who are participating, love your stuff! Because guess what? If you share it with a friend or a family member or whoever before you’ve had the chance to “edit it” and make it “not crap”, you still get to say “I wrote this entire novel. In one month. If you think this sucks, let’s see you do one. In November, of all months, when we just finish with Halloween, are in the middle of Thanksgiving, and have Black Friday and Christmas shopping to save up for. It might not be perfect right now, but it’s got potential.”
No one expects perfection in NaNoWriMo. Or, at least, I would hope not. Because I think writing a perfectly crafted 50,000+ word novel in one month is…well, I don’t find it extremely probable, but hey K.A. Applegate put out an Animorphs book a month (they were only like 30,000 ish words and she had ghost writers after a while, but still) so it could be possible. But anyway, just remember.
Potential is NOT Perfection.
Love your work. Let your story take you on its journey. Let your characters be real in your head, and let them tell you about their life and ask you to put it down into words. The story’s already been written, because when you start it becomes a part of you. You have your story idea for a reason, and if you’ve made it this far and you can make it through the end, there’s a reason for that. And if you let yourself love what you’ve got, it will open doors for others to do the same.