This is my first “dive in head first, don’t look back, keep your chin up” NANOWRIMO. I have to say the first three days went pretty well. I was feeling pretty good but then I started to slip. The following is a somewhat embellished account of what happened next:
I paced the floor of my humble cottage, not knowing what to do next. I returned to the NANOWRIMO web site and checked again. My word count was low for this day and the NANOWRIMO Stats taunted me like some Arthurian oracle:
“Keep up this pace and you will finish on December 3!”
“I’m slipping!” I said to Scout, my loyal yellow Labrador.
I worked a little harder the next day to write 1,800 words. After verifying my word count, the NANOWRIMO stats praised me: “Keep up this pace and you will finish on November 30.”
“See? That’s better,” I told Scout. “The Stats Oracle has smiled upon me. Let’s go play catch.”
But the next day, words did not flow freely into my novel. So, I took a break. I became distracted by a holiday mail order catalog. Then I became enchanted with a popular social network site. When my word count was verified that day, the Stats Oracle condemned me: “Keep up this pace and you will finish on December 5!”
Darkness loomed ahead. How could I avoid slipping further into the Abyss of Incompleteness?
I caressed my toy dinosaur amulet. I searched for my Grail: The Noveling Affidavit. I rushed to the dining room where I had staple-gunned it to the wall. Like a prayer, I read aloud the third paragraph that says, “I acknowledge that the month-long 50,000 word deadline I set for my self is absolute and unchangeable, and that any failure to meet the deadline, or any effort on my part to move the deadline once the adventure has begun, will result in well-deserved mockery from friends and family.”
The words said aloud energized me. I can slay the two-headed dragon of procrastination and embarrassment, I thought. I can prove that I am worthy of this great task before me. And I will again be ready to face the Stats Oracle by midnight.
“I lost today’s battle but I will win the war of words by November 30!” I announced to the dog.
I sat down at my laptop to write. Scout came over with her tennis ball but I was not to be swayed any longer.
“There will be other days to walk in the light of the back yard, my friend,” I said.
“Today, I must transport the novel in my head through my fingers into this magic box before me!”
Scout walked over to her bed and fell asleep. I think she understood.
Press on, fledgling and experienced NANOWRIMO participants. Together, we can lay siege to the Castle of 50,000 Words and slay that two-headed dragon together!
I will post more encouragement notes (hopefully) every day!