As of the end of Friday, November 5th, my NaNoWriMo word count was up to 9,934. During the first week, I had a lot of fun. My characters are kind of jerks because they went and fell in love, when I wasn’t really going for a love story exactly, but I think it’s going to work out okay. I have a tentative title of Post-Its: A Modern Day Love Story.
I don’t have a computer at home, which is kind of making this journey a little difficult. I can only do my writing at work, during downtime and lunchtime. I type almost 100 words per minute, and I write very slowly. This means that I always get very frustrated when handwriting anything creative. My hands just can’t write as fast as the thoughts come out. So I have decided, for now, not to write during the weekends. This means I missed two whole days of writing. I got frustrated about this yesterday, and kind of ended up having a mini-epiphany. Check it out below.
On Sunday, I started feeling guilty about missing 2 days on my NaNoWriMo novel. Sure, I don’t have a computer at home, but I have a pen and paper. Maybe 1,667 words per day would be harder by hand because I can’t write nearly as fast as I think, but at least I’d be putting out the effort.
And that’s when it hit me. This it the kind of thinking that always ends up defeating me. I miss something for a day or two, and I give up almost as punishment.
I can’t punish myself for not writing for 2 days. Instead, I can just put a little more effort in on Monday and I’ll be fine. Even if I don’t catch up, being able to tell myself that I did put in my best effort is what really matters to me. NaNoWriMo is not about writing 50,000 words in 30 days and coming out with something ready to publish. Instead, it’s about making the effort and pushing myself to follow through with something, despite the odds that will be against me – especially my own self-doubt. If I write more days than not during November, even if I don’t make 50,000, even if I come out with something truly awful, I will have won in my own mind. NaNoWriMo may not consider me a winner, but I will. Because following through with one thing for an entire month is the purpose – for me.