Today is Day 15. The word count goal for today is 25,000 words. Today is the half-way marker.
If you’ve made it this far, take a moment and just breathe for a moment. Isn’t it rather astonishing? Did you ever think, starting in to November, that you’d make it to this point? Honestly, I’m not sure if I believed it myself. I mean, I told myself this was going to be the year. And so far, this is the year. I’ve never made it to the half-way point before. Perhaps you never have either. Maybe this is your first time. Or maybe you’re a veteran who knows well the view from the summit.
But what if you’re struggling now? What if you know you should be half-way, but you’re not? Week Two was a completely different animal than Week One, and if you had a bad Week Two, you may be feeling extremely discouraged heading into Week Three. To you, I would say don’t worry about the word count. It can be discouraging to see how far your friends are ahead of you, and to know that you have thousands of words just waiting to be written. What you ought to do is remember why you decided to do NaNo back in Week One. Because it’s fun. You want to write! Don’t think about it as a contest if that’s demotivating to you. The whole point of doing this wasn’t to create frustration for yourself, or to stick it to the other guys because you’re faster or better than them. It was to write a story—your story—because you wanted to.
Do you still want to? Then write some. Instead of feeling overwhelmed with “I need to write,” think about “I want to write.” And then eventually, you’ll realize you used words to do that. Honestly, the only reason to do NaNoWriMo is because you want to write. The only reward you get at the end of it is the novel you wrote. If that’s not worth it, don’t bother. If it is worth it, don’t worry. It’s your story.
If you’re looking for something to inspire you, I highly recommend having a friend or two read your story. It’s fairly likely they’ll come back to you and say “this is really interesting, I want to read more.” Sometimes, that’s all that you need to get that enjoyment back—you’re producing something that other people are interested in. And don’t discount the value of other writers on other topics. Some people are producing some incredible content this month in addition to working on NaNoWriMo novels of their own. Be sure to read Victoria Silenus’s blog Jabberwocky Anonymous, where she lays it straight on everything from Neil Gaiman to Disney Princesses.
And remember, fellow writers. Two weeks to go.