Well, it’s November. So of course all of my insecurities are focused on NaNoWriMo. Let me know if these thoughts are familiar to you all:
“Oh No! Two hours and I’ve only written 724 words?!? What is going on?”
“How the heck am I supposed to get to “The End” when I’m agonizing over every word?”
“10,627 words?!? How on earth did (insert writing buddy’s name here) get so far ahead of me? I’ll never have that big of a lead!”
“This is horrible! Wasn’t the whole point of doing this whole thing to have fun, anyway? What was I thinking?”
Have any of you felt this way? I most certainly have. In fact, this has been my thought process for the first few days of the challenge.
And I was wondering why, at first. Because I’ve done this before- four years in a row, actually. I’ve miraculously managed to cross 50k and beyond in every NaNo novel I’ve attempted. (I haven’t reached “The End” very often, but I’ve crossed the 50k line.)
And I remember those miracle days- the ones where your thoughts are so desperate to get out of your head that your fingers can scarcely move fast enough and you end up pounding out several thousand words within a relatively short period of time. I’ve had those- I know what they felt like.
So how, I wondered, did I end up here in this purgatory where I’m second-guessing and judging and seriously thinking of scrapping the whole damned thing on a daily basis?
And then I flipped back through the pages of my writing journal and found some entries I had written at the beginning of NaNo 2010. And guess what? It was exactly the same. The same thoughts, the same insecurities, the same fears, the same frustrations- it was exactly the same process. Agonizing, falling behind, getting stuck for thousands of words in pointless scenes and interactions that fail to move the plot forward- all of it. I’ve done it all before.
And yet, every single time, I managed to hit word count before the end of the month. I’ve managed to have those magic moments where everything just flowed and my fingers barely kept up with the words pouring out. I’ve managed to win NaNoWriMo.
So maybe this isn’t a crisis. Maybe I’m doing what I do every year. Agonizing, fighting through, finding the flow, losing it again, keeping on with the sheer stubborn will to finish and reaching 50k. Maybe this is just my pattern.
They say that hindsight is 20/20, but that’s not always the case. I think my memories of past NaNos are more like highlight reels- the victories, the little triumphs, the magic. And while that makes it somewhat problematic when I have hard days, it also gives me the confidence to keep moving forward- assured that I will have everything I’ve had in the past, including the win.
Be sure to visit the other bloggers on the list to spread the love and help beat those insecurities down!