The Daily NaNo (WriMo) – week 4

Day 22 and 23: I forgot to update the blog with my progress yesterday. Actually, that’s a lie, I remembered as I was headed to bed but decided against the idea of firing up the computer again. I was tired, damn it! Although, I was chagrined today – chagrined? That’s not the right word. Let’s go with humbled instead. I was humbled today a couple of times about the subject of being tired. Once when reading this article from a woman named Linda Tirado about some of the thought processes of people who are chronically poor and why they are chronically poor. One line in the article: “Rest is a luxury for the rich.” Given that girl’s schedule, I can understand that girl’s attitude. She is busting her ass! Then while I was out doing a little shopping for my trip to NYC coming up next week (and doesn’t that sound just so la-te-da!), the clerk checking me out was chatting with her coworkers about how she’d already worked 8 hours – her day started at 7am and she was happy to be off the day after Thanksgiving so she could be out with the other shoppers. My first thought when I heard her say that was ‘why in the hell would you be out buying stuff if you have to work two jobs??’ Um, my guess is see exhibit A (the first link). Linda Tirado talks about why the poor make choices that don’t make a lot of sense sometimes – because the short term, very temporary substitution for bliss in those poor choices is all they have to look forward to. And here I am, feeling a little tired because I chose to take on a project like NaNoWriMo. However, for the record, I am not putting myself down. I have actually been where Linda is. I have been that poor before. I am not rich now but I have enough that I don’t have to sweat the bills. I worked hard to get here and I am grateful to be here. Damn grateful! Anyway, all this struck me as I sat down to write this update tonight. Also, I have discovered the magic of timed writing sessions. Thirty minutes – go, go, go! Take a break, write for 30 more. Add another few minutes if I am so inclined to hit my word goal. Last night, I was so inclined. Word count: 1783. Tonight, I was not so inclined. Word count: 1388

Day 24: I mentioned the timed writing thing? What a wonderful discovery this is. I don’t know what happens in my brain when I hit the start button – if it’s just that I become hyper-focused or what – but I’m hitting my word count goal in almost half the time. Maybe it’s because I’ve been practicing everyday for the last 23. Ya think? Oh, and I broke the 40,000 word mark today too. Woo hoo!! Word count: 1829

Day 25, 26, 27, 28, 29: The challenge of NaNo wasn’t enough for me. I decided to take a spontaneous trip to New York over the Thanksgiving holiday. My sweet friend (& brother from another mother) John was cooking. Trust me, you’d book a flight too. Prepping for the trip and then enjoying the trip almost kicked my ass. I discovered that upsetting my writing ritual/space/time upset the progress a good deal. I started to let that bother me until I remembered a quote from Stephen King’s book “On Writing”: Life isn’t a support-system for art. It’s the other way around. It might not make sense since as to why this helped  considering my art was interrupted but it makes sense to me and that’s what matters. The experiences I had in NYC fed me in a way that staying home to be sure I hit my daily word quota never could. Besides, I got to the airport early enough on Friday to find a quiet, out of the way spot, plug in my earphones and crank out some words before flying home. I had a little notepad on my desk that I kept up with my daily word count on but I left it behind. Yes, I realize I could have used Notes or something but I’m such a creature of habit, it didn’t occur to me. Some days the word count was an abysmal 300-hundred-something and other days I had a much more respectable out-put. Word count: enough

Day 30: My day pretty much centered around hitting the NaNo goal. It was a steep climb but I was SO close. And my attitude all month long has been that I would finish, although my faith did falter while I was living it up in the big city. Determination, however, is a wonderful thing! I wrote my fingers off today, although I saw in one of the NaNo forums (while I was procrastinating or taking a break, depending on how you look at it) that some people finished with over a 100k words. Or how about 250k words? How the fuck they hit that – while having jobs and I assume, lives – is a mystery to me. Although my writing speed has increased tremendously, I don’t see myself cranking out 100k words in a month. But who knows?! Before I got this idea, I didn’t see myself as a novelist either so I’m going to leave it up to chance, fate and good old fashioned hard work to see where this writing ride takes me. Jesus, that sounded cheesy. I apologize; I’m brain numb. My point to all this is… I did it!! I hit my NaNo goal and it’s not even midnight yet. Final word count: 50,359

And what did I learn from this experience? Shit tons! That’s for another post. Coming soon :-)


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