It’s official…NaNoWriMo-Panic!


“Her Name is Melancholy” by FlyPi (Found:

Okay, I am not certain whether I should be elated or crushed that I have completed approximately 40,000 words.

You see, National Novel Writing Month is really about to end come Friday, November 30th and I am supposed to write the remaining 10,000+ words by then–no, no, no, it’s impossible–while managing my regular life.

I am panicking–and who wouldn’t? It’s a competition between myself and my brain and I am losing–because I tend to be a bit of an over-achiever… and I am nowhere near where I “ought” to be.

However I am also relieved because I have come 4/5ths of the way, even if I do not arrive at my destination (50,000 words) by midnight Friday. (Let this serve as an example of a positive reframe of my initial thoughts).

So, what comes next?  Well, I am going to sit with the panicked feeling for a while longer before getting dinner.  Then I will plop myself back down in front of my laptop and begin hammering away at those last 10,000 words.  I can do it, right?  🙂

In the midst of all of this (well, really early this morning to be exact),  apparently I had time to write a poem. Thinking about it now, I would like it to be a part of a series revolving around the theme of winter.  I’m not panicking, right? It’s just 10,000 more words…I am beginning to wonder if blog entries count…


Insomnia, along with the howl
of the wind.
Night is no longer night, but
fragments of moments,
through which sometimes
there is sleep.

Tonight, Rome is beautiful chaos
wrapped up in serenity.
-Diedré M. Blake

NaNoWriMo and the 10,000 Words…

NaNoWriMo, Day 19.  I am in bed today.  I am in bed today, because my fibromyalgia symptoms are significant enough to keep me in bed today.

I am in bed today although I ought to be doing so much else.  Perhaps I am in bed today because I ought not to have been doing as much as I have been.

Regardless of which it is, there is only one thing that I can do today:  write.

I will be writing many things today, including approximately 5,000 to 10,000 words for NaNoWriMo.  Writing so many words will, apparently, bring me back on track to complete the required 50,000 words by November 30th.

The idea of writing so very many words does not seem daunting at all, but rather enjoyable.  This is what I have discovered as I have been doing NaNoWriMo.  I truly enjoy writing stories.  I enjoy the process of discover that happens with every written word.  What I mean is that even though I have an outline (and thank the universe that I do), I am still discovering new aspects of my characters and of the stories.  I am learning that a story is not a linear experience and involves more trekking off the main road than I had previously thought. In other words, I am recognizing that writing a story is akin to writing a poem, where each word hold innumerable meaning.

Of course, it helps to have a deadline, which one may choose to meet or not.  For me, I am certain that I will meet it.  I understand, however, as I have been writing that getting to 50,000 words is not the end.  Truly, getting to 50,000 means only that I have formed the skeleton upon which the body of my story is to be carried.

The setup for NaNoWriMo at home, if I need to ...

The setup for NaNoWriMo at home, if I need to be portable. Long exposure lit by sweeping an LED flashlight over the scene. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Really, I suppose I want to reiterate the point made by other NaNoWriMo writers and bloggers.  That is, the point of NaNoWriMo, I believe, is not to force one into writing a novel in one month.  Rather, it is to inspire one to draft a story, on which one will continue to work until its completion.

Truly, writing an entire novel is a daunting enterprise as many, who have tried to so do, can attest.  The standard novel is approximately 100,000 words.  NaNoWriMo’s challenge allows one to get to the half-way mark, i.e. 50,000 words.  Moreover, having to meet the deadline of November 30th aids in pushing one pass the block of procrastination.  I believe that the focus on quantity rather than quality forces one to dismiss the voices of self-criticism and self-doubt, in order to put down on paper the ideas that have been floating in our creative minds.

NaNoWriMo is not about writing a bestseller off the bat, but perhaps getting our thoughts organized enough to write something of interest to ourselves and hopefully others (if we choose to share it).  I am glad that I read Harley Jane Kozak‘s “NaNoNoNoNoNoNoMo” in Write Good or Die that deals with the challenges and humour of doing NaNoWriMo.

English: An Italian shopping list for groceries.

English: An Italian shopping list for groceries. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Like Kozak, some of us may find ourselves thinking that the “only way to pull it off is to throw grocery lists into my novel, along with my Thanksgiving Squash Souffle Recipe, William’s home phone number, notes to my kids’ teachers, and drafts of the text for my Christmas cards, which need to get to the printer.”

Perhaps, as Kozak ended, we may even choose to cut and past our blogs to make our word count. 😉  Either way, we should try to have fun with it, no matter how it turns out in the end.  After all, as one of my professors recently said to me, “Every month is National Novel Writing Month.”

I hope all NaNoWriMo-ers are also making their way towards the deadline in good spirits.  Eleven more days to go! 🙂

Until Next Time!