As a first year NaNoWriMo participant, I made a deal with myself to start day one and keep moving forward with one goal in mind: 50,000 words.
In preparation for the event, I scrounged around inside my head and pulled out some heartfelt, funny, and awkwardly painful memories of my high school days and threaded a story line through it. My chapter and scene outline, character sketches, and research amounted to over 8,000 words. None of which, I would count towards my rough draft.
Then on day one, I started to type.
I liken the experience last Sunday to running up hill holding my breath.
Not being allowed to reread, delete-delete-delete, revise, and then keep on going has been a slow, torturous journey for me.The reason is because I like to fine-tune as I go.
Notice how I didn’t say polish.
So rereading became inevitable by mid-week, and to scratch my nagging itch, I finally gave into bolding the lines I thought were keepers…the rest, debatable…but not delete-able, not yet anyway.
Getting to 10,000 in one week was a lot harder than I expected. Not because chocking up a word count was some sort of challenge—I’m more than capable of rambling on and on at the keyboard—but that I examined every word in my head before it came out of my fingertips like I was picking out the perfect mix of my own assorted Godiva box of chocolates.
If you’ve never done this, grab a credit card and go to the mall.
(You’ll thank me later.)
I admit, some words did get the ax here and there when I broke down and reread what I had written after a few days, but overall, the story is unfolding, as is.
And I have 21 days left to go.
I know I need to pick up the pace to reach my word count, but I do get a full week off before the deadline (Yay, teaching perks!), and I am finally finding my groove with the MC’s voice.
I just need to resist the urge to backtrack, as well as, stop treating every single word like it’s there to stay. I still have 40,000 more words to go, and I’m learning to accept that they’re just not all going to be a mouthwatering delight. And I must Keep. Moving. Forward.