The second week of NaNoWriMo is over and I am still running a couple thousand underneath the word count goal (but hey, at least I’m consistent). For the first several years when I did NaNoWriMo (this was over ten years ago), it felt like a personal failure when I couldn’t make word count. Now, well, I’m much more sanguine about the whole thing. As the title of this post suggests, sometimes I forget it’s NaNo–I’m just writing every day, and that’s great.
To me, NaNoWriMo is kind of like what writing is like normally. (Okay, it’s a little more intense, but not a lot more intense.) See, for me, when I’m being productive, writing is about goal setting. It’s about looking at a novel or a story and determining how much has to exist for the story to be complete. It’s about being productive when I can and giving myself grace when I can’t. Or, as is more often the case, when I procrastinate and forget and just don’t get it done (even though I could have).
This NaNo, I’m behind word count. In previous years, including just two years ago, when this happened, I often stopped. Two years I was behind word count consistently for the first seven days. I stopped writing on Day 8. I still think about that story sometimes. I find that I don’t mind being behind word count because I’m still generating. Since I’m writing short stories, I will cut something off, maybe before it needs to be cut off, because I’m not enjoying writing it and because it’s not coming easily. I then move on to something else that comes easier, instead of sticking where I’m not making progress. Continue reading