This morning's NaNoWriMo post is brought to you by the garage, where at the moment I'm hiding so I can write. My house has been in a state of utter chaos for going on three days, all the furniture shifted, every floor swept/mopped/vacummed, the bathrooms sterilized, part of my book collection relocated and objects precious to us wrapped up and stowed away for safekeeping. I personally shifted a two-hundred-pound table through three rooms by overturning it on a quilt and dragging the quilt (which is another reason why quilts rule.)
All of this effort is because in less than an hour the carpet cleaners will arrive, and then I'll have three more days of clean but damp rugs before I have to put everything back. Thanksgiving is next Thursday; the family is due to arrive on Wednesday and so far all I have is a turkey. The guest room is wrecked, I haven't yet tested the inflatable airbed to make sure it isn't leaking and the laundry room looks like, well, linen Armageddon. P.S., I started coughing on Monday, I felt like hell all Tuesday and last night I was running a fever.
For all my efforts to turn my house inside out and manage this domestic nightmare, you know what I am most proud of? At midnight last night I finished a chapter, edited three days' worth of work, and hit 25K with my NaNo novel. I wasn't going to bed until I did (and the fact that I could throw my protagonist off a bridge at the end of the chapter helped. I wasn't missing that.)
I think most writers dream of that lovely future in which we occupy a tidy, quiet sunlit home office where we can spends hours spinning our stories and enjoying our writing life. I'm still waiting on that one; right now I'm pecking out this post on a smart keyboard atop my guy's scarred, stained wooden work bench. I'm surrounded by tools of his trade, not mine. There's something in here that smells like a gymnasium. Maybe it's me; I can't remember if I took a shower last night.
NaNoWriMo founder Chris Baty sent out a pep talk to everyone on the NaNoWriMo site that addressed the struggles and slogging most of us are experiencing right now (which you can read in the archives here.) I think the second week of NaNo is the toughest because the thrills of starting a new project have mostly evaporated and the delight of spending every day devoted to storycraft has likewise packed its bags and fled. Even if I wasn't currently living in homemaker hell I'd still be struggling to keep up. The finish line is still very far away. I'm only halfway to 50K, and I'm tired. I haven't hit my daily quota for three days, and today isn't looking too promising either. My back hurts, my head hurts, and all I want to do is stay in bed for 24 hours.
I won't do that. After I finish this I'm going to get my words for the day done. If I can keep at it without interruptions (ha) I'll try to write past my quota and make up for some lost time, but no matter what happens I'm writing two thousand new words of my novel today. Those of you who are ahead of me with your progress, send some positive energy my way when you get a chance. Those of you who aren't yet halfway there, I'm sending good thoughts your way. Just write today, and know as you're struggling and slogging and trying to get through that 300,000 other writers (including me) are right there in the trenches with you.
I have a little NaNo incentive to offer, as you see here: an official NaNoWriMo tote and a 2 gb usb bracelet on which you can store a novel and lots of other stuff. I will also be putting some stuff in the tote bag to surprise the recipient. If you'd like a chance to win it, in comments to this post name something you do to keep going during the toughest times by midnight EST on Thursday, November 15, 2012. I'll draw one name at random from everyone who participates and send the winner the tote, the usb bracelet and some surprises. This giveaway is open to everyone on the planet, even if you've won something here at PBW in the past.