NaNoWriMo 2012 – Check!

NaNoWonMo

NaNoWonMo

NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) ended yesterday, and I am so pleased to have “won” it again!  I finished my 50,000 word novel in time, hitting 50,288 words at about 2:30 p.m. November 30th – with hours to spare.  HOURS!

I am really pleased.  And this one is flippin’ scary!!  It freaked me out the whole time I was writing it… or maybe that’s the current state of the house, after 30 days of NaNoWriMo-ing… gotta go!  🙂

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Balance, Schmalance

I so admire the traits of moderation and balance.   I aim for them constantly.  I plan, schedule, research, limit, design, check and re-check my life and activities with those ideals held firmly in my mind.  “All things in moderation.”  And, “Balance.  Ba-lance.  Baaaaaa-lance.”

For most of the year, I diligently aim for balance and moderation.  For example, balancing work and health (or, at least, attempting to) is the only way I can manage several projects at once.  I take time to exercise, etc, giving myself energy to work fast enough to have time left over for exercising, thereby giving myself energy to work… it’s a nice cycle.

However, half-way through the month of November (otherwise known as “National Novel Writing Month”), I start to change my tune.  As the days dwindle and the EXPECTED word count outdistances my ACTUAL word count, I start to not even care about balance.  Let alone, moderation.

In fact, by now, November 20th, I am figuratively wadding up my revered ideals and tossing them out the window, because I’ve arrived at my favourite part of NaNoWriMo.  Now, eyes fixed on my word count and deadline, I am allowed, encouraged, even expected to forget about balance for a bit.  For the last 10 days of this wonderful, flat-out busy, tumultuously creative, “no, I can’t do the dishes, I’m writing” month, I get to tip the scales towards an excess of two of my favourite things:  writing and coffee.

So, until December 1st, I take time to drink coffee, giving myself energy to work fast enough to have time left over to drink coffee, thereby giving myself energy to work… it’s a nice NaNoWriMo cycle.  As Mark Twain said, “All things in moderation… including moderation.”

Stubborn as the Day is Long

A 2012 Participant, R.D. Girvan hopes to bat 1000, earning her 4th NaNoWriMo win.

My friend Natasha Deen is a terrific writer who is also participating in National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo).  This is an annual contest where over 300,000 writers from around the World must write a 50,000 words novel within the 30 days of November.  It’s like a marathon:  cross the 50,000 word finish line and you win.

This morning, Natasha posted:   Day seven of NaNoWriMo and in order to reach my 1667 words/day, I’m tempted to start writing sentences like: She was sad, depressed really. Actually, she was despondent, very, very, very, very, very, very, very despondent…

I replied:  That’s a really, really, really, really, good idea. In fact, I am tempted to say that again… that’s a really, really, really… 🙂

Holy Hannah, is 50,000 words in 30 days ever a LOT!  I am so behind…

If you’ve experienced me NaNoWriMo-ing before, this will sound familiar.  Even the kids have heard this so often about NaNo that when I say, “I am so behind…” they are not alarmed or distressed.  They just smile and nod.

One year, I still had about 10,000 words to go and only 2 days left to do it.  That’s the year I got my scar:  I slipped on a front walk and cracked my chin open on a concrete step.  In the process, I sprained both wrists while trying to break my fall.   After returning home from the hospital (6 surface stitches and 2 deep tissue), I noticed that my wrists were starting to stiffen up.   I figured that if I went to bed, they would seize up entirely and I wouldn’t be able to type the next day.  So I stayed up until I was done, hitting 50,002 words at about noon on the 30th.

This is a good indicator of how determined/persistent (perhaps “stubborn”) I am, but it’s still no guarantee, so I repeat:  I’m so behind…really, really, really behind.  🙂 Rd