I was off work today in observance of the Veteran’s Day holiday and, in addition to showing my respect to the folks who served our country, I decided to treat the family to a nice plethora of grilled meats, and I wanted to enjoy a beer (Boulevard Brewing Co. Smokestack Series Tank 7 farmhouse ale; it was delicious). For this reason I wrote early. I made my minimum word count (2000 words, which I’ve only missed once… on the day my Wi-Fi went berserk on me) by 3:00 PM and posted my word count on the NaNoWriMo dashboard: 25,717… I’m on the other side of the halfway mark.
This is week 2… the dreaded week 2… when most Wrimos begin to question whether or not this was such a hot idea after all. This is the week during which many drop out of the challenge… the week that eats Wrimos alive. This is not a fun week. Like any participant, I hit the doldrums in week 2 and often my production will sag and I will find it harder and harder to focus… harder to make myself ignore the things I enjoy doing so I can work on the story.
This is only my third year participating in NaNoWriMo. The first year I took the challenge, I blew through week 2 like a monkey with its ass on fire because it was my first year and I didn’t know any better. Last year, week 2 almost swallowed me whole; but to be fair I was in the process of quitting smoking cigarettes and that made everything double the challenge of what it really was. This year I’m ready for the onslaught of doubt. I know what to expect, and I hope I know how to manage it.
I doubt my writing capabilities constantly (for example: I just read the preceding six word sentence half a dozen times to make sure it sounded right… I just read it again…). NaNoWriMo gives me an opportunity to put the doubt in the backseat and just gun down the street, writing for the sheer fun of it. This is a laborious hobby, but then most hobbies people absolutely love are. I love writing (I just read that six word sentence again), and I’m thrilled and terrified to do it… but I can’t not write… I don’t like me when I don’t write… things get messy in my brain.
So, one foot over the midpoint and the toughest week to go. I’ve got this, I think… 24,393 words to go.
An aside: the folks in the Philippines got walloped this past week, and if you can help you should. Oxfam International and Doctors Without Borders are accepting donations to help our neighbors in need. Just click on either link to port over to either site and click the “Donate Now” button; any amount will help, I’m sure.