NaNoWriMo 2016 Day 23: Small Victories

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“Every drop in the ocean counts” — Yoko Ono

A week from today, we’ll be entering final word counts, so the pressure is definitely on. Every word you write in support of NaNo counts toward that goal at this point. My Scrivener files often end up looking like a complete mess by November 30 because there is always this collection of items where I know I absolutely went down the wrong path, or I finished the scene and realized I really didn’t need to detail a character getting up and going through their morning routine, so that was dropped out. All of those words count, because they are words I wrote as part of the NaNo process. This year, I’m going to count my blog posts as well, at least the ones written during November, because they all focus on NaNo.

Why? Because the 30th is coming faster than we think and many of us are looking at not crossing the finish line. I’ll be honest with you: I’ve had a miserable NaNoWriMo this year. The writing is not moving as it should, the election sucked, there are technology issues, I’m sick, and my muse seems to have taken an all-expenses-paid cruise to Alaska despite my best efforts to nail her to the floor. At this moment, I really want a victory of some kind and realizing that I managed to write 50,000 across this blog and two different story projects would help.

A lot of us need that victory at this point, but we also have to look beyond a winner’s certificate and a video cheering our accomplishment. Once December is done, what do you plan to do with your project? Is it going in the drawer as you return to a life that’s becoming increasingly packed with year-end obligations? Do you hope to get back to it at “some point” — or are you going to keep adding to it, drop by drop, until you can call it done? I hope you’re trying to do the latter, that you’ll let the momentum of NaNoWriMo carry you forward, even if that momentum hasn’t been as great as one might hope. The idea is to keep working at it and get the thing done. Then you let it sit for a month, taking it out of the drawer in January and settling down to the fun work of revision.

We’ve got so many more words now than we had before. We’ve got stories living in our brains we hadn’t told before. Let’s keep creating those drops and filling the ocean because we need to keep moving forward, even if only for ourselves, if only for the small victories of a video of folks cheering you on. Keep going.

For those of you on the road today, good travels and come back to us safely.

Word Count Goal: 38,341