We are all safely out of writing whirlwind that is NaNoWriMo. There toward the end was one of the hardest struggles I’ve endured so far for a NaNo challenge.
All of week 3 I got further and further behind with just a bit of writing happening here and there. I’m not sure what happened, but I think I fell into that 30K pit hole I’ve seen many Wrimos talk of. I had been flying through my story, but honestly once I hit 32K I had no idea what was happening anymore. Who had these characters become and what were they doing to me? Not only did my story hit a slump, but my mind was also rebelling against me. We had been working 3 weeks non stop on this story and all my brain wanted to do was take a break. I tried to fight against the urge, but ultimately I believe that’s what ended up happening.
The beginning of week 4 was full of anxiety, wanting to throw in the towel, and moments where I would be full of power to finish my novel. I had more moments where I wanted to quit the challenge completely. I figured I had failed the previous two years I had attempted this challenge what was one more year to that list? Hours went by agonizing over my wordcount and threatening to give up than actually writing the story. I was still partly in the 30k slump of week 3 and a part of me didn’t know how to allow me to succeed.
During the last 3 or so days of NaNoWriMo 2015 I suddenly became terrified of failing for my 3rd year in a row. I kicked my brain into gear and had my fingers flying across the keyboard once more. The concept for the entire story was because of one image, on single image, I had one day of an ending. That’s right, from the very first sentence up until that point had all been driving toward the only solid image I had for the whole story. From the point of hitting 30K I had been in a rut not knowing how to reach that image the story desperately wanted to end on. I forced the characters forward and there were some patches here and there where I was happy to write the story, but for the most part all of it was crap that I knew would end up being taken out of the story later.
The last week of NaNo I kept up a mantra. I repeated this mantra to myself no matter if I was watching a YouTube video when breaking from my writing, when I was working, if I was just lying down to sleep, and it didn’t matter what I was doing, even if I was writing, I wold repeat this over and over,
“I will not fail. I will not fail. I will not fail.”
It was day 29 and I hadn’t even managed to hit 45K yet. I was doomed or at least, that’s what a part of my brain wanted the rest of me to believe. Day 30 rolled around that whole month I had been getting up early to get 30-60 minutes of writing in before work and more often than not when I got back home for the day I was staying up well into 2AM.
Day 30 was no exception. I rolled out of bed the earliest I had yet, I believe, around 6:00 AM or so and went to work. I hit close to 3K before heading into work. Everything came down to when I arrived home for the night. I scarfed down a light snack and repeated my mantra,”I will not fail. I will not fail. I will not fail.” and I became to type.
In those hours I did not tolerate any distraction or get up from the seat in front of my computer. In no time it seemed I had reached 50K. I couldn’t believe it! I had barely been writing for 5 hours and I had already hit the goal I had been agonizing over all month. That day alone I wrote upwards of 7K words. Nothing is impossible you guys. Never forget that. Everything leading up to that point had shown that I would most likely not reach 50,000 words, but I proved everything wrong.
The time was going on 9PM, but it might as well have read 3Am. My brain was incapable of any more thought or action. I had reached 50K, but my story was still incomplete. I knew I could make myself write a bit more, but I really couldn’t bring myself to. I pretty much checked out for the rest of the night and the better half of the next day.
Congratulation to all the writers out there who reached the 50,000k words and for those who didn’t… there are so many factors to take into account and maybe one of those was this just wasn’t the right story to see you to the end. For the first time in the 3 years that I had participated in NaNo I had finally won for the first time. I hope you all join me again next year for this insane challenge.