Saturday, November 21, 2009
I'm hoping by the time this post shows up on the blog that I've completed 50K and made my NaNoWriMo goal. But if I haven't, I'm sure you'll forgive me; we've still got nine days left.
This past week for me has been all about striking back. I got over a major disruption and took back my writing space. Every time I sat down to work it felt like victory, as if I'd taken back my Road Runner lunchbox from a schoolyard bully. Life can interrupt and shout and hit and stomp you, but at the end of the day if you really want that PB&J, you have take it back and say "Mine."
The last week of NaNoWriMo will be a bit like a deadline week is for a pro. You may become painfully aware of time, or see November 30th bearing down on you like a train without brakes. Panic can set in, and so can the urge to have multiple marathon writing sessions. Just the other day I caught myself doing the math in my head to see how much I'd have to write per day to finish the entire book by November 30th (about 5.4K, or eight hours of writing sessions per day, which is doable -- but I'd have to set aside all my other WIPs to do it.)
If you've fallen behind, I'm not going to tell you to give up on your goal. Some things are worth a couple of marathon writing sessions. Just be smart and try to pace yourself, take regular breaks and don't do a wordcount every five minutes.
If you're on schedule or you're in the home stretch, don't rush things to finish early -- keep up a steady pace. One thing most pros do is learn how to take advantage of time and make the best use of it versus forever trying to beat the clock. There are no prizes for the fastest writer, or the most prolific.
At this point whether you have 10K, 20K, 30K, or 49.9K, you may also have another visitation from the Ghost of Doubts and Fears Past. They like to drop in around now to remind you of how much you suck, and there's nothing they like better than to derail a writer who is coming within sight of their goal. I think they have prizes for that; little shrunken writer heads that they put on necklaces and wear around their scrawny necks.
If those old feelings get into your writing space, remember what you have to do: accept them, agree with them, and then write your words for the day. Don't waste your time and energy wrestling with invisible jackasses who only want to suck the life and joy out of your work and your skull.
So how are you NaNo'ers out there doing? Has anyone won, or gotten close to the finish line? Let us know in comments.