I did it. I wrote a novel in a month. That was big and heavy and hard. Not surprisingly, having endured twenty-seven days of wordcount hysteria, I learned a few lessons along the way.
The first, surprisingly, mimics one of the goals I set for myself at the beginning of this year.
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NaNoWriMo lasts an entire month, thirty days to pump out fifty-thousand words. When I first started, I was excited and scared but hopeful. My first week of NaNo was amazing. I was pouring out my words each day before work and found myself way ahead of schedule.
And then the second week rolled around. I went on a trip to California, a vacation I had planned for quite some time, and thought, Oh, I’ve got this. I’ll write while I’m there, no problem.
And then the jet lag set in. And there were classes I wanted to attended. And I just had to spend time with people because, for goodness sake, they live on the left coast, thousands of miles of way.
In a heartbeat, I fell behind. I got down on myself. I wondered if I was going to make it.
But I kept writing.
When I came back home, I still wrote. Even as my daily output had slowed. Even as I struggled for ideas of where to go. Even as I wondered if my novel was worth writing. Still, I kept writing.
I endured. Sometimes all you need to do is gut it, push through, slog and scramble and suffer, but endure.
In life, nothing is easy. Nothing is easy. As soon as you think something is easy, you learn it is not.
As I worked my way through fifty-thousand words, I was writing with one hand tied behind my back: my ‘s’ key worked only half the time.
This was a major issue at first, seeing as the password to enter my netbook contained that letter. Thankfully a co-worker informed me of how I could pop up an on screen keyboard and at least log into my computer.
But that was only the first in a long sequences of annoyances, starts and stops. I had to use the copy and paste function whenever I wanted to write an ‘s’. Think about this for a moment. Count how many times, just in the paragraphs I’ve written so far, or in just this paragraph, that I use the letter ‘s’. And think about this: that doesn’t even include the capital. One of the characters in my novel goes by the title ‘Sir’.
The mental hoops I jumped through to get beyond my keyboard issue was the height of inconvenience, but I did it. Yes, it sucked. Having the vibe going. Knowing what you want to write, and you can feel the words ready to pour out of you, but you have to keep remembering cntrl-C each time you want an ‘s’ or you have to find the a capital ‘S’, copy it, paste it, and then find the lower case version again, copy it, paste it…
I don’t know why my keyboard decided ‘s’ is going to be finicky. I have noticed it works fine when my netbook is cold, which I’m exploring as a possible solution.
But I digress. Even with that annoyance, I kept typing. Even when my brain was all headache-y with the confusion, I still found a way to pump out my words. Even when life threw me a curve ball, I learned to adapt, adjust, and find ways to make that shit work.
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