November 29 was so busy that it was 11.50 PM before I could sit down at the computer for the first time all day and start to tap out some words for my Nanowrimo story. In my part of the world we had a state election. In Australia, voting is compulsory so everyone has to carve out some time to vote. One of my kids had about 8 hours of ballet school concert sessions. Some friends had their engagement party (yay!). I’m certainly not complaining, but it’s a lot of work getting the family organised and moving and to all these different events on time in the correct outfits and with full stage make up and hair to top it off, while barely functioning after all the late nights spent writing.
Anyway, Nanowrimo. For those of you unfamiliar with NaNoWriMo – National Novel Writing Month – it’s a writing competition spanning 30 days. From 1st November to the 30th November, the challenge is to write a minimum of 50, 000 words in a first draft novel manuscript. There’s also a junior version where the word count aims are calculated based on the child’s ability and typing speed. My own children participated in that. I guess “National” refers to the USA but plenty of us Wrimos are living and writing in other parts of the world (*waves hello from Australia*). To receive the title of Winner, one needs to copy and paste their 50, 000+word manuscript to the Nanowrimo website and have their counter verify that it is indeed 50,000+ words before midnight on November 30.
I won’t delay too long, as I now have less than 24 hours left to write. Nanowrimo works off your local time. I’m located in UTC+11 hours – in case any of my North American-based readers are wondering why I seem almost a day ahead! (Though if you want to know what happens tomorrow you might need to ask a New Zealander.) This is my second year writing in Nano and, like last year, it looks like it’ll be a last-minute writing marathon that gets me over the winner’s line.
I’m currently sitting on 47, 184 words out of 50, 000. Still no guarantees that I’ll win it, at this stage. This busy weekend has absolutely exhausted me. But I will give it a try.
Another thing: I noticed, mainly on my Instagram feed, that there are Nanowrimo competitors who are currently despairing or feeling like failures because they “only” wrote a few hundred or few thousand words. And I want to say to them – that doesn’t make you a failure! You gave it a shot. Sometimes real life gets in the way. The key thing is to realise that a little bit of writing every day, or a few times a week, or even just once a month, will get you somewhere eventually. So don’t give up writing – if 50, 000 words in one month is impossible for you (and it is freaking hard to accomplish), don’t stress. What you may have learned is that you are entirely capable of writing 100 words or 1,000 in a week, and that’s great. Keep going. Make it a habit to write one sentence a day, if that’s what it takes.