We’re here at Day 16, just over the halfway hump. (Well, for you nocturnal writers, it’s still Day 15, but for all the rest of you, we’re in the early breaths of Day 16.)
Some of you are well beyond your goals, glorying at 40k or more. Congrats! You are officially insane and/or amazing. Ya’ll can stop reading now. This for the fairly normal peeps (fairly being the operative word).
Some of you are struggling, having fallen days behind because your Muse abandoned you when daylight dawned on Day 3. Or you lost your plot shortly after 10k. Or suddenly, your book is about some minor character you didn’t know existed until twenty pages in. Or you got a late start and are still playing catch-up, but the dog died and the baby is throwing up everywhere. Or your keyboard bid you farewell, and you’ve written the last 3k on your basic flip phone.
Regardless of the details, whatever has befallen is dragging you down. You’re wondering if it’s worth the stiff fingers and crusty eyes. You don’t know how much longer your body can operate on coffee and Cheetos. You’re thinking about changing careers so that you can synthesize pure, injectable caffeine. You’re thinking about quitting.
I’m here to tell you never give up, never surrender.
I did NaNo last year. I’ve been where you are. The stress of normal life compounded by the story that you’re fighting to get on paper. The days when you to bed two hours before you have to get up. The nights when you’ve got a load of homework, and still have to try to reach your word count. The afternoons when you’re falling asleep at work.
While I’m not slaying 50,000 words this month, I’m here, at 1:30 am, popping Hershey’s chocolate nuggets like they’re oxygen between gulps of my sparkling grape juice. I’ve already tanked down on all my gummy bears, and I’m in that weird half-light place that’s just before hysteria. I’m doing this as a show of solidarity and to tell you not to give up.
Regardless of the outcome, you’ve endeavored to do something that makes most people I know blanch with fear. If you write 120k or 20k this month, you wrote something. You tried. My point is, get an A for effort. Don’t write 20k because you give up. Write 20k because it’s the best you’ve got right now.
So what your plot wandered off? Rough drafts are supposed to be a time of discovery. When you lose your plot, you find new loves, new villains, new victories, new losses, new places.
Here’s what makes a breakneck rough draft fearless: revisions and editing can fix just about anything.
So, kill the character.
Make those two fall in love.
Have them lose that battle.
This the best time to bold and incomprehensible and wild.
So make it so.
Rosalie, the girl in the fox hole
A Note to Followers: Some of you may have gathered that I’m not doing NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month, but who ever says the whole thing?) this year. For those of you hadn’t gathered thus: I’m not doing NaNoWriMo this year.
Time itself has been against me for a few months now, and if I did NaNo, well… the world would crumble around my ears. Trust me, I’m bummed. On the bummer scale, it’s like when Frodo got stabbed with a Morgul blade on Weathertop. Yeah, it’s that bad. I can feel the poison turning me into a wraith and everything.
Anyway, “normal” posts are returning to a fox hole near you.