Tuesday, December 3, 2013
Posted by Jennifer L Hart
Victory is mine! Yes, I did indeed make my NaNoWriMo word count goal of 50 K words. With almost a whole day to spare. Now, technically, for me that isn't so impressive. I try to average 2500 K words a day, or what amounts to a chapter. Try being the operative word here because of course, Shit Happens.
Gail posted earlier about one of the keys to Nano success being not to get behind. I usually try to take it one step further and get ahead as quickly as I can, to make time for the shit, which is fated to happen at the most inconvenient time possible. (Ref. Murphy's Law)
And this November shit, did indeed, happen. On November 2 my husband decided to break his ankle. About ten minutes after bragging about how he'd never broken a bone. I'm a superstitious girl of Scots-Irish decent, I know better than to say things like that. The universe likes to BITCH-SLAP people who say things like that. So yeah, he broke his ankle and then had to walk almost a mile on it, with yours truly acting as his crutch.
There were times this month when I wished I'd left him for the wolves. You see, it wasn't just that ill-fated incident. No, it was the care-taking involved after the fact. That and because I then had to do everything this household requires from a person with two legs. Driving, shopping, raking the leaves, cooking, cleaning, carrying his crutches when he does the stairs and so much more, including my other author/publisher/mom responsibilities. At times I may fancy myself wonder woman, I'll be honest, a lot of stuff that was supposed to get done, didn't. But that novel wasn't going to be one of the casualties.
You see, I'd made a promise in my fourth quarter newsletter that there was going to be a new Misadventures of the Laundry Hag book in early 2014. Out of all the books I've published under various pen names, this series is the most requested. I don't give my word lightly, but when I make a promise, I do my best to keep it. And that was a promise to my readers and to myself.
I took a screenshot of my Nano stats, you can see it below. See how I was 6 K in on day 2? Then there was a steady falling off as everything piled up and made my batshit. Danny had a science fair project, AJ had to go to get his teeth sealed. Time was against me and I had zero energy. Around Day 18 I was 5 K behind and ready to throw in the towel. Liane was ahead, Gail outpaced me. Hell, I wasn't even making minimums, so how could I made up 2 lost days?
Then I thought, how the hell can I call myself a professional writer if I DON'T do my damndest to catch up and see this story through?
In short, I couldn't. So I stopped thinking and wrote. I didn't catch up all at once, just added a few hundred words extra every day. Whenever I had a chunk of time I sat down and did it.
So how do you write a novel in a month, or at least a god chunk of one? Tenacity. Determination. Stubbornness. Even when you are convinced you are writing utter dreck, yes, sometimes shit happens. But sometimes, if it's given half a chance, brilliance can happen, too. Nano's about the marathon, not the sprint. And no broken ankle, crappy internet connection, science fair project or any other piddly obstacle can change the reality of if you want it badly enough, you can make it happen.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I have a novel to finish.