Thursday, November 5, 2009

Mission Nano: Day 5

It was a dark and stormy night. (Oh great, that's only seven words. What do I type now?)

Thus goes the Nanowrimo. Not to be a word counter, but when you have software that allows you to keep one eye on the word count and one on the manuscript, it can be discouraging. Too late I understand that chapter in C.S. Lewis's book, The Horse and His Boy. During said chapter came a point during Shasta's desert crossing at which no matter how far he had travelled, what was behind didn't look any farther away, and what was in front didn't look any closer. Guess what. That's where I am right now.

That must be why people give up around 12,000 words. That is where I threw in the towel last year. Of course, I wasn't officially signed up, so I didn't care that much. Not having told everyone under creation that I was going to write a novel in one month and then trying to get them to join me in the literary misery, I was easily able to skulk quietly away and wait a year to try again.

2009. The year of a finished novel. This year (sigh) I signed up for real, which in my book is tantamount to a total commitment. There is no cutting out because, quite frankly, I'm getting a little tired of this. The bridges are burning, and I can still smell the acrid char from my computer keyboard. Only one option remains. Finish by midnight, November 30th.

You also have to understand, this is a big deal to a picture book writer. My manuscripts are usually only about 600 to 800 words. Total. To have to do three times that every day goes against everything in my inner editor, who has been sending me endless telegrams from Tahiti saying that I need to go back and fix early problems. Again, another reason why people quit. If you let yourself decide that you need to go back, you'll never move forward.

So that's how it's going. Any comments from those of you who have left me (the tortoise) in the dust? (That would be Christine and Dwight, who have blasted past me in their word counts.)

I may not be fast, but at least I'm consistent.


  1. Consistency is what wins, not speed. It's only quitting that keeps you from success.

    For me with nano, quitting is not an option.

  2. I agree. Quitting is not an option. We are made of sterner stuff than that!

  3. And hopefully the acrid char you are smelling isn't your keyboard, or the dinner you forgot in the oven while you were busy getting that word count up there. Did you remember to add the corn meal to the corn bread?