Fall seven times and stand up eight — Japanese Proverb
I’m behind at the moment. Not by much, but Monday morning found me a good 800 words down from my personal NaNo goal. With 15 days left to go, I needed to write an additional 54 words each day in order to make it up. In short, I’ve fallen. I let the difficulties I referred to in yesterday’s post get the better of me and I fell short.
This is the point where folks start having real difficulty, and we start hearing the words “I’m not going to make it this year.” You may be at a point where you feel like saying it yourself. If there’s any way possible, don’t. Don’t look at the words you need to make up as a whole, but break it down into manageable chunks. Make it a separate goal, if you have to. Write your 1,667 words and then write 54 separately. Try word wars or sprints — I’ve found using @NaNoSprints to be very helpful to me this year.
The point is to get back up. We all fall sometime, but the point is get back up and try again, to not stay down. Yes, sometimes we need help getting back up and sometimes it hurts and all you really want to do is just stay there and forget you ever tried in the first place. I know that feeling because I’ve had it. There are days (and weeks and months) where life can just suck and you don’t feel it’s worth making the effort because you know you’re never going to make up the ground you lost.
The thing is, sooner or later, you have to get up. You can get up on your own, or other people or events will physically drag you from where you to someplace else that is not of your own choosing. As much as it can hurt — and it really can hurt sometimes, physically, emotionally, mentally — it’s better for us to rise on our own. Finish or not, at least we know we made the choice.
Writing is a constant process of falling and standing up again. Plots don’t work, characters veer in directions we didn’t intend, our carefully constructed house of cards falls to pieces in front of our very eyes. Sometimes we need to walk away from the keyboard for a little while, but we come back, sit our butts into the chair and stand up again on the page.
I fell Sunday. I’m in the process of hauling myself back on my feet again, because even if I don’t make the goal I set for myself at the beginning of November, I’m going to be damn close to it and I’ll have most of a story that at 11:59PM on October 31 was nothing more than notes and fragments. I officially passed the halfway mark at lunch yesterday and even though the novel currently has a beginning and an ending but no middle, it is more than I had seventeen days ago — and in thirteen days will be even more.
If you fell, rise again, as many times as are necessary. If you need help, hold out a hand. You’d be surprised how many people there are who are willing to help.