#NaNoWriMo: Looking ahead. Looking behind.

Story time. You’ve earned it.

(Yeah I know I busted you in the chops yesterday and you’re all grim determination and I-don’t-care-if-it-sucks-I’m-DOING-IT today, and that’s fine. That’s good, in fact. But first, story time.)

When I was a kid, we had a huge lawn. Huge. The trauma has blocked clear memory of the thing from my mind I don’t know precisely how big, but I remember that it was easier to express as acres than square feet. It took about five hours to mow the thing on a riding mower, if you had to bag the clippings.

I want to be clear here, because sometimes I joke or exaggerate for effect: in this case, I am not joking or exaggerating for effect; it took five damn hours.

Guess who got to mow that fucking thing every Saturday?1

To put it mildly, I hated it. It was a huge, daunting thing that never ever looked like it was going to be done.

When I complained about it, my mom had this suggestion:

In the first half, look at how much you’ve got done. In the last half, look at how little you’ve got left.

You get that little bit of midwest zen, guys? Take it to heart.

Look back for a second at what you’ve written. Thousands and thousands of words. Maybe you’re not quite halfway. Pff. Maybe you’re not loving the story. Fine. But it’s still a story. It generally hangs together in that way a story does, and you made it. You made up this thing out of your head and wrote it down — this amazing, gargantuan thing — maybe something bigger than anything you’ve ever done.

Be proud of that.

Now, look ahead. Compare what you have left to do to what you’ve already done.

Piece. of. monkey. cake.

How do I know this?

Because you have already done an Impossible Thing, and that makes you mighty.

You live here.
You live here.

Be mighty.

Write a book.

Have fun.

1 – And people wonder how I got so much reading done as a kid.

3 Replies to “#NaNoWriMo: Looking ahead. Looking behind.”

  1. I kinda of forgot that little bit of advice–maybe I should try it with housework and window washing. Too damn cold to wash windows now -20 this am at 5:30 and only got to +10 and headed back down again-N.D. guy said that’s what keeps the riff-raff out–works for S.D. too

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