Friday, November 27, 2009

Time is NaNo More on My Side

Well, sad to say, it's time to face the NaNoWriMo music. Cue up the Rolling Stones. Tiiii-iiii-iiii-ime is not on my side.

Not even close.

Let's do the math, shall we?

I'm only at 18,180 words. In order to be a winner of NaNoWriMo, one must have 50,000 words. By midnight on Monday, November 30.

That translates into 10,666.67 words that I would need to write per day for the next three days. (The 666 part of that is kind of a sign that I'm doomed, don't you think?) Or, put it another way, I'd need to write 420 words an hour for the next 77 hours. With no break whatsoever.

Some diehards might say this is perfectly doable, but since I happen to enjoy the finer things in life like sleeping, eating, and going to the bathroom so this is not going to be happening this year.

And, you know what? I'm OK with that.
(um ... sorta).

With not finishing NaNoWriMo, that is. Not - let's be very clear - not the novel itself. There's too much invested on a personal level with that, so that will still go on. Just not via NaNoWriMo.

I kind of knew this would be the outcome, and I'll admit, in some ways this makes me sad. It's the perfectionist in me, the inner child who would never dare be seen with something as horrid as a Band-Aid on a boo-boo. That would, you see, be proof positive to the show the world that I screwed up, and that wasn't acceptable.

Now, as an adult who is psychologically mummified in Band-Aids from life's scrapes and bruises, this isn't as much of an issue as when I was a kid.

Nonetheless, it's still a little deflating.

Y'all know I've been kind of struggling with this project, and for a variety of reasons, this has been some of the hardest writing I've ever done. I'll admit, this is not how I write and it's not how I like to write. I write page by page, sentence by sentence, word by word. Maybe that's not "correct."

(If you ask Boo's second grade teacher, it's absolutely not. She forbids them to erase. They're 8, and they are not allowed to fucking erase. Believe you me, I asked her about this point-blank during parent-teacher conferences, and the answer was, "I just want them to get their thoughts down. There's no time for erasing and making things look nice and perfect." With that, I swore I heard my father, a mechanical engineer who I absolutely inherited my perfectionistic tendencies from, rolling in his grave.)

So NaNo has been tough for me because it has been really hard to just write without editing. Case in point: I'm the most pleased with the three excerpts I've shared, and those have been subject to a wee bit of editing and tweaking on my part, which is a big no-no in NaNo. Still, I'm glad I tried and I'm pretty pleased with having cranked out 57 pages. That's 57 pages and 18,180 words more than I had on Halloween.

To all those who finished (or who will most likely do so), I extend my most sincere congratulations. It's a tremendous accomplishment and you should be proud.

And to the ones like me who won't be finishing by the stroke of midnight, you've got company. Time may not be on your side ... but for what it's worth, I'm right there with you.

(photo taken by me in June 2009 at a Chuck E Cheese birthday party)

©Melissa of The Betty and Boo Chronicles 2008-2009. All rights reserved. If you're reading this on a site other than The Betty and Boo Chronicles or via its feed, be aware that this post has been stolen and is used without permission.

6 comments:

Infant Bibliophile said...

I quit before I ever began because I couldn't get an OUTLINE I was happy with! So, way to go -- I say you did a fantastic job. :)

Niksmom said...

I give you major props for attempting it. And now you've got the start of your novel. Keep going!

kristenspina said...

The best part: you're going to keep writing. That's what you hold on to.

Sheila (Bookjourney) said...

Maybe next year? I think I am going to try to do this next year as well.:)

rhapsodyinbooks said...

I think quality is important too! You definitely have talent so quantity will come eventually. I think you did great!

Jodie said...

Just thought I'd share Justine Larbalestier's (that may not be quite right) thoughts on not finihsing Nano and how any work on the novel counts: http://justinelarbalestier.com/blog/2009/11/26/nan-tips-no-26-giving-thanks/ and Maggie Steifvater another published author explains why she gave up on Nanowrimo: http://m-stiefvater.livejournal.com/136372.html