#NaNoWriMo: The first time you get behind.

Maybe it was your first day.

That happens. The first time I decided to do NaNoWriMo, I had already scheduled a convention for November 1st through the 3rd, so I hit the 4th with about 1300 words.

Maybe it was Day 3. You had two big, exciting, productive bursts, and then you hit Tuesday and work kicked your ass all day and you just knew there was no way you were getting to 5000 words.

Maybe it was Day 4 and you just … totally … forgot. Believe me, that happens.

Maybe you’re a secret detective, and you made this fundamental error in judgement:

I'm running late, but I'm sure nothing else will come up...

Maybe you’re learning how to do podcasts, and your first one takes five and a half hours to finish up, instead of one. *looks guilty*

The details may vary, but the end result is pretty much the same: you, innocently standing there, and the daily wordcount for NaNoWriMo comes up and…

You needed how many words today?
You needed how many words?

Knocks the air right out of you, doesn’t it? It’s okay, Tiger; shake it off. Sit on a chair and bounce up and down a couple times, with your legs together. It helps.

I talked a couple days ago about how we have to remember that all this writing stuff is supposed to be fun, or else why do it?

And that’s true. That’s absolutely true. But I need to share the other half of formula, and it’s pretty technical, so bear with me:

It’s also work. Work we love, yes, but work.

A writer is someone for whom writing is more difficult than it is for other people. – Thomas Mann

I don’t know if you can imagine doing something you really love as your actual for-pay job, but I want you to try. If you really can’t do it, try to find someone who has a job like that, and ask them if they ever get tired of it; if they ever feel like calling in sick so they can play Torchlight all day.

Feeling like that is easy to imagine, really, because we all feel like that sometimes. And we still go in. We still do the work. Maybe not always, but usually.

Thing is, this month, you need to have that “get it done anyway” attitude about writing. Even though you love it, because the day will come where you just don’t feel like it or you get discouragingly behind on your word count and you want to give up. You especially need to have that attitude on the day after you blew your writing goal and you have catching up to do. You’re going to have to take more than four of those elephant bites today; sit at the keyboard longer; stay up later than you’d like, and wake up tired.

It’s called “overtime”; butt in the chair, hands on the ‘board. Tappity tap.

Some people think that treating it like work will take away the magic of creation and imagination and the glittery pixies will abandon them and … I dunno. Whatever people like that say.

I have names for people who think like that. I call them “That guy that didn’t finish this year.”

So you’re behind.

Big deal. So am I. I’m gonna fix it.

Tonight, I’ll write until I get caught up. Tomorrow, I’ll write some more.

“Weekend” is just another word for “no one’s fucking interrupting me.”

Overtime. Work. Fun work, most of the time, but work.

Get to it. Let the pixies take care of themselves.

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