Do not give up. I keep having to repeat these words to myself at the moment. After two days of not writing due to illness any lead I may have had in NaNoWriMo is now gone and I’m still struggling with my health.
But, I will not admit defeat. I choose to do NaNoWriMo because I am a writer. I want to complete the challenge. I do not want this to be the year that I fail to make the target.
This is week two and the doubts always creep in around this time. Week two is the time to rip open that In Case of Emergency letter and remind yourself exactly why you signed up for this crazy challenge. Because you wanted it – you wanted to write alongside a whole swell of writers who are experiencing just what you are right now. For a whole month you committed to prioritising writing and attempting to write that novel inside your head. Don’t abandon your efforts now, you’re still on your way.
Let me tell you a story…
During November you are the protagonist. Week two is the instigation of the Act One problem where you have to make the choice to carry on regardless. Our protagonist faces their first challenge against the antagonist – whether that be de-motivation family troubles or ill-health – this is where our real story starts…by making that active choice to do it anyway, despite everything.
Once week two comes to an end, our protagonist writer will feel a surge of pride, of self-belief and inspiration. Words will begin to write themselves and all will seem right with the world. Of course, as storytellers, we all know that this is just the Mid-Point Reversal – where pride comes before a fall and a disaster may occur…
But it’ll be okay. Because our protagonist knows about this now. They can formulate a plan to help soften the blow, to deal with it, to continue on their journey no matter what. Their high from the end of week two will remind them that it is possible, that they can do this, they just need to keep writing. They are committed to making this change.
Before long, the end of November will creep near and it’ll be a race to the finish line. All of a sudden our writer will transform from panicking about those last 8,000 words to discovering that final plot twist in their own story that allows them to glide past the finish line.
They might not even notice straight away that they’ve made it. But they have. Their story is coming to an end. A story that might well have stopped had our plucky protagonist not fought past the struggle of week two to face bigger battles and win nevertheless. The beginning of December, therefore, sees our writer enjoying the start of the Christmas spirit with a relaxed sigh of accomplishment and a dream that is just beginning to take shape…
Where ever you might be in the NaNoWriMo challenge – be that 10,000 words ahead or 12,000 words behind – don’t give up. The idea of making it to 50,000 words in 30 days was enough to propel you onto this journey in the first place, don’t even think of turning back now. Just forge on ahead.