Why did I choose to do this challenge? Why have I taken this on? Why must I be so ambitious as to wanting to finish this thing, my very first novel, during my very first NaNoWriMo?
I don’t have the answers to these questions, but I can tell you what has gotten me through this past week. Every week seems to have become emotionally heavier for me with this project. The knowledge of what I have written thus far and what I have left to write is very daunting. At 38,380 words, this is so far the longest project I have ever written. But, I don’t feel proud. I feel tired. I’m saving the pride for the moment when I reach that goal and I get to pick up the many books I’ve put on hold.
I miss reading. I have about six or ten books that I plan on reading as soon as the first of December comes along. I can’t wait. I haven’t even had the time to post a blog this week; though I’ve had plenty of time to think about the upcoming blog posts once November is over! In the meantime, here is the list of what helped me survive week three of NaNoWriMo:
- Week 1 Strategies. Switching from typing on the computer to writing with a pen, writing in different corners of the room, and blocking the magic 1,667 word count into sets of 500, 500, and 667 all made an appearance in this third week.
- Week 2 Strategies. Using the lunch breaks at work, listening to the playlist I made, and staying up late were more techniques that made their way into this past week’s schedule.
- Updated my novel cover. While my Photoshop skills leave many things to be desired, I updated the cover photo for my novel on the NaNo website. This renewed the sense of pride in the challenge I took on; it also gave my novel a better aesthetic.
- Asking myself the question, “Where do I want my characters to be at the end of these 1,667 words?” Do I want them to finally express their love? Do I want them to make a decision I don’t agree with? Taking it a step further, I ask, “Where do my characters want to be at the end of these 1,667 words?”
- Keeping an open mind and a flexible outline. During Week Two, I had a character ready to spring in halfway through my plot, preparing to woo my protagonist with bisexual interest, when – BAM! – that character disappears, and in jump two wonderful characters with more personality. I now have two male supporting characters in love, because I was open to changing my story as it grew. (Said bisexual character will find a place in a novella that I write next year!)
- Blogging about the experience. Posting blog updates about my writing strategy encourages me to bring new content to the table at the end of every week. This means that I have to continue writing, or else I won’t have anything to blog about come Sunday! Blog posts that detail my NaNoWriMo experience are similar to my telling family and friends about my challenge. I don’t want to blog or tell my family and friends that I did not reach my goal. I have made it this far, so I know that I will be able to continue for one last week.
I have found that adage to be true: I am not writing the story; rather, the story is writing me. I don’t care if this ever gets published, nor do I care if this ever sees a second drafting. I’m hoping this book will be done at the end of next week, though I may be getting a bit too ahead of myself. I will just write as much as I can, and I will finish any outstanding plot points in December. I have felt myself grow as a writer through these past three weeks, and there is still one week left to go.