NaNo Day 4: Reality Check

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Ok, by now the excitement and new-ness of NaNo is starting to wear off and reality is setting in. Since I started on Monday, I have written almost 6,000 words. Sounds great right? 

It is, I’m very excited about my story and how it’s progressing. I’ve found that setting the timer on NaNo’s “Word Sprints” challenges really helps me focus when I have super-short intervals — of maybe 10 minutes here and there — and I know I would otherwise be wasting time because it’s only 10 minutes. (Try it and see how much you can write in 10 minutes, I guarantee you’ll be pleasantly surprised!)

This all sounds good, until, I looked at the little bar on the my NaNo personal stats page and noticed the little line that says “At this rate you will on …”

Just the other day it said November 28. Excellent right?

That was then and this is now, today it says I will be finished December 5. Now I know I have the whole day to accomplish my writing, but even if I make it to 1,667 today – there is virtually no chance I will be able to do so tomorrow what with the Jewish Sabbath and some prior (happy, fun and scheduled a long time ago) commitments that are slated for Saturday night.

Does this mean I’m already doomed to fail at NaNo? Is it a failure if I finish on December 5? Will it matter to the universe if it takes me a few extra days to complete my story? Will the kids who read the third book in my series (which is my NaNo book) really know the difference when they hold the book in their hands?

That would be a big, fat ​NO! 

And that’s what I will remind myself when I look at my personal stats page and see that it isn’t moving quite as fast as I’d hoped. I need to be happy with the progress I’ve already made and the progress I will continue making. And even when the dreaded “boring, sagging middle” rears its ugly head, I will keep moving forward to the best of my ability.

And what if December 5 comes and goes and my story still needs work? Then, I’ll just close my eyes and imagine my readers sitting there reading the book once it’s done, whenever that is, and get back to work.


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