This post originally appeared as a NaNoWriMo 2015 Pep Talk sent to participants in the NH Region. I will be sharing my NaNoWriMo 2015 Pep Talks and Pep Talks by Guest Wrimos on this blog throughout November. – Yvette
And to Wrimos for whom the end is in sight – GO GO GO! I wish you speedy fingers and endless plot ideas!!!!
And finally, for Wrimos who have resigned themselves to the fact that they will not reach 50K…this talk is especially for you. I’m watching the clock and typing as fast as I possibly can but resigning myself to the probability that I won’t reach my goal this time around.
I understand that this year EVERYONE can validate regardless of word count because that total will be added to your overall, lifetime word count achievement. Kind of a cool feature, even though it reeks of consolation prize. But I’ll take it. (Ironically my MC has set out on a quest that he will fail, but will still return with a boon, just not the boon he expected. Life imitate art much?)
The wise book says, “There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven– A time to give birth and a time to die; A time to plant and a time to uproot what is planted.…” Sometimes there isn’t enough time in the day–or in the month– to address all the many cares we have in our lives, because it’s just a busy season in life. Ecclesiastes (the book I just quoted) mentions all of the possible activities under the sun, but what we need to remember Wrimos is that activities spent in the service of others or in creating something beautiful is never time wasted. I know some of you have had that kind of month. Demands from work, family, or friends have vied for your precious writing time…and you’ve only been able to come up with a couple thousand words. Maybe you’ve gotten stuck, or frustrated or lost. Maybe you’ve battled your own self-doubt. This is still good, worthwhile work, Wrimos, because you have honored your own creativity. The question is – now what?
I think you have two choices – to feel shame or to feel triumph. Shame seems obvious – I committed to this 50K goal, told all my friends, bragged on FB, and didn’t make it. But triumph? Let’s reframe that shame statement: I committed to this 50K goal, told all my friends, bragged on FB, and didn’t make it…AND…entertained guests this month, worked overtime, cared for a sick family member, wrote longhand when my computer crashed, killed on a school project, oh, that NaNo novel, oh, I just CREATED SOMETHING OUT OF NOTHING….
That’s nothing short of FREAKING MAGIC.
The choice is obvious – claim triumph and then you’ve got to keep going. Blow past midnight 11/30/15 and keep on typing until the damn thing’s done. Based on your average word count that could be February 22, 2016 or that could be December 5, 2015. The date is irrelevant! I want you to promise me, Wrimos that you will carry with you the spark of creativity beyond midnight tonight.
So let’s do this – since we can’t spit and shake hands in this virtual world, I want you to raise your left hand in the air and place your right hand over your heart and say with me, “I promise to honor my creative self and keep writing. I promise to silence self doubt and keep writing. I promise to honor my work, family and social commitments and still keep writing.” (now that I’ve typed it, I’ve paused, one hand up, the other over my heart and made my promise to you)
The world still needs your novel; so what if it’s just going to have to wait a little bit longer?
ML: New Hampshire