A writing friend accused me yesterday of borrowing Hermione Grainger’s time-turner in order to write this much in one month. I would love a time-turner!
I’m just back in the door from our region’s Sunday Night Write-in. I wrote 550 words, which is a help as yet again I’m behind on word-count. I’ve got 28,788 words written. I’m 5000 words off target.
Those are 28,788 words I probably wouldn’t have written this month without NaNo. It’s ten thousand more than I wrote in 2007 when I tried NaNo for the first time. But it’s not enough. This time last year I had already passed the 50,000 word finish line. My final word count was 74,000 words in 2010. But I wasn’t working part-time in 2010. I wasn’t training to become a Beaver scout leader. And I didn’t have mid-term or my entire immediate family falling ill during November either.
That’s the problem with a month-long writing challenge. Life happens during the month, whether you like it or not.
I asked my writers tonight to sum up their week three. “Like a cyclone”, “mental – but good”, “hellish”. So much for my theory that week three is a dream, an easy run-in to the final finish-line. That only works if you’re well on top of your word count, and most of us aren’t.
However spirits remain high. We’ve cheered on the writers who’ve passed the halfway point this week (well done Maera, Barroc, Scribblerbug, MariaM, MariaH and others). We’re all still confident that we can manage the 50K by midnight on November 30th. In fact I’m going to host a “woo-hoo, we did it” chat on our regional NaNoWriMo forum just after midnight, as I’m convinced I’ll write up to the wire.
That deadline is the whole point of NaNo really. Having a deadline makes you write. Every reporter knows that.
So tonight we worked out how we’d like to celebrate finishing NaNo. We’ll be throwing a traditional Thank Goodness It’s Over Party (or TGIO) on the 1st of December. It’s a social gathering, where for once we don’t write. We’ll swop war-stories of late-night writing, ignored housework, and runaway plots. We’ll rejoice that the month is over and think about the draft completion, revisions, and editing which lie ahead for those of us who write year-round.
December 1st is just ten days away. Thanks to tonight’s brain-storming – as a writer I have clues to lead my heroes to the treasure and the final showdown with the grave-robbers, and as a Municipal Liaison for Ireland NorthEast I have a time, date, and venue for our TGIO parties, both online and virtual. Ten days. 20,662 words still to write. Me, my laptop, and my imagination. Wish me luck.
Grace Tierney (www.gracetierney.com) writes in Meath. Her work has been published internationally in print and online. She is the Ireland North East organiser for Nano (www.NaNoWriMo.org) and actually enjoys the challenge of writing 50,000 words in just one month. After Nano 2011 she will complete her second chick-lit novel. She blogs on unusual words at http://wordfoolery.wordpress.com/.