Monday, November 16, 2009

5,000 Words Seemed Insurmountable

I could have woken up today feeling self-pity and doubt, because that's how I was feeling last night. I had put my son to bed and fallen asleep in the process. When I woke up it was late, and I had missed my final writing session in which I had planned to get caught up in my NaNoWriMo word count. I had started the weekend having to makeup 5,000 words by Sunday night, and I'd only written 2,000 so far. I was tired, unmotivated, and feeling like the 3,000 words hanging over my head was insurmountable. I just wanted to go to bed.

And yet, something inside me said, "Just go to the computer and try to crank out 500 words, because that's 500 words less that you'll have to make up. Then you can go to bed." So I went to my computer, checked email, checked facebook, and finally made my way to the NaNoWriMo website. Going to the site gave me a small boost in motivation, not much, but enough that I opened my writing document and starting adding to the story. I hit 500 words, and somehow I had a flow going. I knew what I wanted to write, and the story was ready to unfold before me. I started to get excited about where it was going. Those 500 words turned into 1,000 words, and then into 2,000. It was now midnight. And I debated whether I should just close down the laptop and pick it up Monday. But a voice in my head said to keep going. Another 1,000 words, now that things were flowing so nicely, would come at a quick clip. At 12:45 I had my last 1,000 words completed. I had made it, 25,000 words completed, half way through my 50,000 word novel. Wow, it felt good going to sleep knowing I'd accomplished that goal.

So this morning, I awoke tired, but excited. I didn't wake up with a huge deficiency in words that I had to make up. I was caught up and ready to proceed with my 1667 daily word goal. In past years I would have succumb to the desperation and given up thinking the task was too big. This marks a turning point in my writing process. Before this I was lucky to crank out 1,000 words in one sitting, and here I am shattering my own ceiling. It's just another layer of growth, and I thank NaNoWriMo for helping me learn that a writer is always a work in progress.

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