Yesterday I crossed that magical 30,000 word mark. This is a wonderful thing, I am now 60% done with this novel. For me, this is more important than the half-way mark I passed a few days earlier. Halfway is a hump, but now at this point I’m firmly on the downhill side of things and starting to gain momentum towards the finish.
I have certainly found that second wind that people keep talking about, that happens in the third week. The first week you’re still full of fire, excited to start and get going, but by the end of the second week, you crawl toward that halfway mark, and maybe you’re far behind, and it looks all that more impossible, and you want to give up.
I hit that yesterday, a bit. I had become bored with my writing, with my novel. But then I used a tactic that I read about on NaNoWriMo‘s site and I threw my characters a curveball. It doesn’t make much sense in my novel, I’ll have to go back during revision and find out why it happened, but I wanted to write something exciting, so I had my two main characters suddenly being chased. It was fun to write, it was interesting, and it led me to a new place I didn’t know I was going to end up.
As it stands now, I’ve got a pretty good idea as to what’s going to happen in the next 20,000 words, where things are going and how this novel is going to end. Now, more than before, I fear that I may cross the 50,000 word mark before my novel ends, where I used to fear that I would have to struggle to come up with the necessary words. Twice now in the last week I have written 3400 hundred words in a day. I find that really impressive – I never thought it would be possible.
I, with my crazy schedule, was still able to write 30,000 words in 16 days. On Mondays and Wednesdays I have class from 8-13, classes back-to-back, with no breaks, then I catch the bus to work where I work from 2-5, catching the bus to be home by 6. Tuesdays and Thursdays I work from 8-14, then catch the bus to campus where I have class from 3-6:15. And the last two weeks I have been going to the theatre and running the lights, not getting home until 10 or 10:30. To sit back and think about this schedule, I am amazed that I have been able to write so much. It can be done, which gives me hope as I am expecting my first son to be born on Saturday. I have found myself sitting in class yesterday and today, thinking about how tired I am, only to think, “well, it’s not going to get better next week!”
But, NaNoWriMo has been wonderful for me. Showing me that when I put my mind to it, when I set myself a deadline and a goal, I can do things. I can write a novel in 30 days. I am going to have to remember this. I see a really cool pattern in my life which can emerge – Write like mad every November, set the novel aside during December, then revising and editing it from January to September, leaving October to plan and outline for next year’s NaNoWriMo. If I can do this year after year, I could have quite a library of self written books. This is what drives me to finish – the notion that what I have written could be published even if it is only the one copy that sits on my own bookshelf, just to see my work in print!
For all of you who are struggling, keep at it! It can be done! If you are bored with what you are writing, write something crazy! Throw in a mad plot twist just to see what happens – if you don’t like it, you can always edit it out in December, after you have written the 50,000 words! Good luck!