Here I go again. Trying to write the 1,667 words per day which will equate to 50,000 words by the end of November. National Novel Writing Month. It is billed as 30 days and nights of literary abandon. I picture the scene of mysterious caped writers leaping through medieval cobblestone streets, dancing with words spewing from their fingers onto paper. Coffee houses filled with literary characters coming to life and artsy types brimming with creativity.
For me, it goes more like this. Sitting at my keyboard with its three missing keys, the left tab key, the left shift key, and the zero key, I stare at the missing keys. I then stare out the window. That leads me to thinking about the dog poop to be picked up. The my mind wanders to which vegetables I will plant in my garden next year. Whoa! Hold on, back to the job at hand. Feeling no inspiration to either write or pick up dog poop, I sign on to Facebook. I check in with all my Facebook friends and realize they are nothing but procrastination. I force myself to open back up my word document, look at my novel waiting to be written...and I re-read what I have already written, hoping for divine inspiration. I type some words. I hit the word count function. I find I have only written 579 of my daily 1,667 requirement.
I begin to rationalize why for me it is more about quality than quantity. It sounds reasonable and gives me an excuse for my poor performance in this competition. All of a sudden, the competitive spirit in me takes over. I WILL write these words today even if it kills me! Dawdle, dawdle, dawdle. Suddenly, the begin taking shape and my fingers start humming on the keyboard. Day one down, only 29 more to go. Give or take a day lost here or there for Thanksgiving, I realize I need to shoot higher than the average, so that I can give myself a day off now and then.
Two years ago I was enthused about trying this, and I think I only made it to 25,000 or so words. Last year I didn't play the game even though I felt guilty the entire month of November for not even trying. This year I am trying again. God only knows why, but I like the idea of it. I figure if I only make 25,000 words again, it is at least 25,000 more than I had written prior to November.
NaNoWriMo gives me the tools: write-ins, motivational emails, message boards, and more. But the thing about writing is that no one can do it for you. Sometimes a little inspiration from other NaNos helps though, and sometimes just feeling like there is something worth saying is important, and knowing that in a living room somewhere else in my town, someone else is struggling with words too.