I started off with NaNo pretty strong, as you could probably tell from the word war. I was so excited and happy with my novel so far. You know, I wrote more words than I’d ever written for a single story in five days.
Then came the dreaded storm of homework I’d actually expected to arrive during November. Since it’s near the end of my school year, the loads of homework and assignments, were, and still are, engulfing me. I stressed out so much this week, trying to balance running, homework, my five important assignments which were all due at least one or two days away, and procrastination. Between this suffocating timetable, I had absolutely no time for NaNoWriMo and got quite behind on my word count.
Yesterday (Friday), I had heaps of time to do my novel. But I just didn’t feel bothered. And so I realised the reason that I always gave up on my stories and the reason I was ready to give up my NaNo novel. It’s because, with novels, absence does not make the heart grow fonder. No, time away from your novel makes you get more and more sick of it and less and less proud of it.
All of you who are participating seem crazily busy. But surely you can find a few minutes for your novel, whether it be you getting up early to work on it before school, or after you’ve finished all your homework in the afternoon. Even if you feel like not touching your novel at all, you should still do a few-hundred word bursts to keep yourself excited with your novel. Rebellion In Bloom, A Demon’s Shadow, Why You Should Hire Me To Be Your Evil Assistant At Once (if that is its title) and Lost In Reality all sound exciting and I’d be greatly saddened if you stopped because of absence from your novel.
You know what you all need to do? If you have a laptop, bring it with you somewhere peaceful and serene. For example, you could sit by the nearest river on the grass, or under a giant tree in the park, or in the coffee shop with a nice Choc Ice beside you (or a cappuccino, if you actually drink coffee). Preferably, it should rain. All you need to do to increase your word count a bit is get away from the daily grind of life and spend some one-on-one time with your novel. Wear some casual clothes, do your hair nicely and walk or bike or catch the bus to the best place to get intimate with your novel.
Please don’t give up.
I don’t believe I will win NaNo this year, but I still want to keep going. Why? Because I’m happy with my novel. I’ve written 13,268 words already, and I wish nothing more than to write the other 36,732 words and complete my novel. It doesn’t even matter if I go over the deadline – NaNo is just a stimulant to keep me going. My true goal is not to win NaNoWriMo, but to finish my novel. This cannot happen if I give up. And I won’t.
So please, please, please, don’t give up. I’m going to head down to the park where no-one goes, which is about ten blocks away from my house. It’s a great place, with a picnic table right beside the river where little duckies float along. Even better, it’s raining where I am. (Of course, I’ll have to protect my laptop as I walk to the park, but there’s a shelter above the table.)
And finally, don’t ever ever feel like your novel sucks. You wrote it. And nobody’s going to read it if you don’t want them to – you are writing this novel for yourself, and yourself only. Don’t write to satisfy the expectations of others. I always compare my writing to that of Kathy Reichs, Chanda Hahn, and, sadly, J.K. Rowling, and of course my talent is like an ant compared to their mountain of talent. It doesn’t matter, though! I’m not getting published. I’m not showing my friends my novel. And I don’t even know if I’ll post it on here! The fact that I know I don’t have to write to anyone’s expectations helps me to keep on going.
I must start my walk to the park, in my warm rainy day clothes, with a satchel bag for my laptop and an umbrella. Now – resume writing! (In the case of Ana, start writing!)
P.S. I made a simple cover.
P.P.S. If you run out of ideas, make your main character go to a place where they can meet lots of secondary characters! That’s what I’m going to write in the park.