I’m working through all of the stages. At once. Here’s a pep-talk from Christine.
While my blog, I’m Sick And So Are You, is a mere baby in the blog world, I am not a novice blogger. I’ve been around the block, as they say. I’ve had blogs in the past and have scribbled I don’t know how many tens of thousands of words on the walls of this here internet. The one thing I’ve never done as a blogger, though, is participate in National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo).
I’ve thought about it, gone so far as to seriously ponder it. I’ve read about other bloggers’ experiences with it. I’ve researched it. I’ve talked about doing it, but I’ve never just gone ahead and participated in it. It was one of Lorna’s posts, here at Gin & Lemonade, that was the final nail in my NaNoWriMo coffin. She was doing it, so why shouldn’t I? I threw my proverbial hat in the ring and shouted for all to hear, THIS TIME I’M DOING NANOWRIMO!
So, it makes sense that, when I was given the opportunity to write a guest post for Lorna, it would be centered around NaNoWriMo. After all, Lorna is the whole reason why I decided to take part. She’s also the reason why I stupidly told others that I was going to take part instead of just pretending like I never said anything, then leaving the internet for a month, then reappearing in December and pretending that I did indeed write an entire novel. She’s the reason why I can tell you all about NaNoWriMo regret. She, Lorna. It’s all her fault.
Stage 1: Denial
Committing to writing 50,000 words in a month should not be taken lightly. In fact, if you’ve any intelligence at all, your decision should be made while you are swimming in the deep, dark waters of denial. In your head it should go something like this:
Sign me up! NaNoWriMo will give me the push I need to finally write that novel I’ve longed desired to! This is going to be great! And I’m going to do it! I am! At least 1600 words a day, EVERY SINGLE DAY IN NOVEMBER! And then I’m going to get published and win a Pulitzer Prize and solve the world’s hunger problem and find a cure for cancer!
Stage 2: Revelation
In stage 2, three truths will be revealed to you.
1.) 50,000 words is a lot of fucking words.
2.) 30 days is not a long time.
3.) No one besides your blogger friends knows what NaNoWriMo is, nor do they care about the incredible, life altering stress you have just put yourself under. Case in point, the conversation I had with my husband on Day 2:
Husband: What are you doing?
Me: I have to write. I have this NaNoWriMo thing I have to do.
Me: NaNoWriMo. It’s this thing. It’s a thing. You write an entire novel in the month of November. I’m behind.
Husband: Why are you behind? How can you behind?
Me: I only have November. You have to write a certain amount of words a day or you get behind.
Husband: Rushing like that can’t make a good novel.
Me: It’s just a start. Then you have a solid foundation. After November, you edit, add, keep what works, scrap the rest.
Husband: So, you’re not writing an entire novel in the month of November.
Me: *sigh* *eyeroll* No, I suppose not, but I am. I have to.
Me: Because I said I would.
Husband: To who?
Me: Other blogger people.
Husband: Oh. Also, they have a bit of marketing problem.
Husband: NaNoWriMo. It sounds too much like NAMBLA.
Stage 3: Comparison And Abject Self Loathing
Every one that is taking part in NaNoWriMo is writing the exact appropriate amount of life affirming and brilliant words per day with the exception of YOU. And, they are doing this while simultaneously thriving at their high pressure job, raising at least a half dozen children, knitting sweaters for orphans in Ukraine, fostering several rambunctious puppies that need to be bottle fed every 3 hours, and baking pies for the homeless. You suck. You’re hopeless. You’re never going to finish. Quit now, or better yet, move to another country, change your name, and hope no one remembers you said you were going to participate in NaNoWriMo.
Stage 4: Consuming Anger And Excess Snacking
Go out and purchase no less than 12 pairs of elastic waist pants because you are going to be stress eating like nobody’s business. Plus, you need that kind of flexibility in your pants to be able to kick things. You’re going to get kinda pissy. So, basically you’re going to gain a whole bunch of weight from eating all the chips and candy in the whole wide world and then you’re going to have all this energy to feed your rage. Then, you’ll realize you’ve gained all this weight and you’ll get even more angry. That’s when you start kicking stuff. Ya know, the usual, chairs and cabinets and curbs. Fat and bitter, that’s your future.
Stage : Begrudging Acceptance
Once reality sets in, once the gravity of it all bears down on your shoulders and digs its claws into your back, you start to realize that maybe this NaNoWriMo thing isn’t the flaming hell-pit of misery that you thought it might be. Yes, 50, 000 words is a lot of damn words and a month is just a blip in time, but what’s a writer to do? Uh, write?
So even if you don’t get 1600 words a day and at the end of November you’re far from the end of a novel, you wrote something. You got into the glorious habit or daily writing, or even daily thinking about writing. And however many words you write at the end, be it 50 or 50,000, that was more than would have had if you decided not to participate in NaNoWriMo. Like any hard thing in life, yeah it sucks a little, but no matter what happens you’re going to come out the other side a little bit wiser and a little bit stronger and some of us may even have completed a novel as well.
I see what you did there, Christine. Thanks for the pep-talk.
What stage are you at, groovy