F U NaNoWriMo- Friday November 16th

I gathered up all my courage and optimism again this year and joined National Novel Writing Month. The challenge is to write 50,000 words during the month of November.  You put the number of words you’ve written in a little box and hit “return” and then you see a graph of how much more you have to write to finish your novel!*

This year was very exciting because I finally had something.  I found that mental nugget I’ve been waiting for since I decided to become a writer when I was in the third grade.  I even had a few pages already written, so I’d have a head start.  After entering the words I had already written and finding out on November 1st that I’d “only” have to write about 1600 words a day to reach my goal, I pretended not to feel discouraged.  ”Slow and steady wins the race” I told myself.

The thing is, slow and steady actually doesn’t win the race.  I can’t think of a single race that could be won by going slowly but steadily, unless it takes place at a corporate picnic and dictates that your feet are tied to a co-worker’s feet.  The steady part makes sense…but slow?  Why would going slowly end up making you faster?  It just doesn’t make any sense.

I tried to put these thoughts out of my head, and just get to it.  Every spare moment I had I tried to bang out a few sentences.  My word count and my pride began to grow.  After a few days I checked my graph again.  Number of words I have to write every day to finish?  Only 2200.  My heart sank, but I pretended again not to be deterred.  More pretending; I didn’t even notice that impossible number, I’m not to beating myself up about my lack of focus and amount of time spent on the couch after Hazel goes to bed vs. writing my novel, I will achieve my goal!  These are complex pretending scenarios for an adult.

That was 10 days ago.  I haven’t written another word.  I’ve tinkered.  I’ve proof read and moved sentences and changed fonts.  I’ve given my computer screen the finger.  And I think it’s time to admit that I am not competitive, and cannot be motivated by racing.  In fact, competing tends to make me shut down and just give up.  If I were in the Olympics for figure skating, I’d probably forget my skate laces back at the room just so I wouldn’t have to try and then lose. If I were a runner, I’d probably eat a bagel and cream cheese and a sausage biscuit from McDonalds and a large orange juice and barf mid-way through the race.  It’s as if my brain is working against me.  It’s misfiring the synapses to my fingers so that I don’t press the keys.

3853 words per day to finish.

The stupidity of this number has finally cured my neurotic paralysis.   Before NaNoWriMo I was so proud of getting down a whole paragraph in a day.  My capacity to write 3853 words every day is equal to my capacity to fly. I will go back to my routine of writing when I want to.  That’s what works for me: doing what I want to do, and avoiding doing things that are annoying.  I’m not proud of this, I’m just telling you the truth.

I’m back to writing a little bit everyday.  I aim for a sentence and am so proud when I get out a paragraph.  I respect you NaNoWriMo, but I just don’t think it’s going to work out between us.  I would say we could stay friends, but we both know I’ve already started secretly hating you.



*The point is to just write write write, and edit later.



Poetry Thursdays- Thursday November 8th

Here’s a poem I wrote today.  I wanted it to be a Haiku, but, you know.  Please feel free to Haiku it in the comments.

My despair is like a flushing toilet

The water spins up higher and higher until I think it’s going to overflow

Then it gets sucked down into the pipes and fills up again to a manageable level.

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