Last night I hit 40,000 words for my new novel, Saga of the Sinner, and I must say that I am feeling both happy about that (of course), but I am also feeling quite sad too because I know it’s coming to an end.
You probably know that NaNo is the time when I am most productive. It is the sad truth I realise from the program. Really, it should tell me, “Look what you can do if only you would get more committed to a project.” And that alone should be enough to push me. Yes, that message is very clear to me, however, I find this very difficult without NaNo there holding my hand and telling me, “Good girl!” whenever I meet certain targets. I love the rewards. Although small, it’s still nice to get a symbolic award or trophy for reaching 40,000 words.
I know it’s silly, and I know I should be disciplined enough that I don’t need a program to get me to write, but as I said it can be hard. So, when I hit 50,000 words this month — according to my stats above that should be around the 24th (this week!) — I will continue working, whether that is writing, researching, or editing.
If only NaNo would go all year, because what it does tell me is that I need deadlines to push me. I can set myself my own deadlines, but I can’t get them to stick because I know they’re not real. I can take a few days off if I want because no one is actually breathing down my neck demanding I finish before… (insert whenever deadline here). And the reward, when you hit 50k during NaNo, is a certificate and other awesome prizes, including a tonne of discounts for amazing sites and programs. Scrivener, for instance, but my favourite is the ability to have my novel printed on a Litographs scarf! I think it might be time to get Eleanor printed on one. What do you think?
There are the Revision Months of NaNo, and I will try again to stick with those deadlines, but again it’s not the same as the NaNoWriMo program itself. I tried doing it last year and failed. I think it could have been that I had just run out of steam, but I also felt I was writing things that were going to be scrapped anyway.
I’m just realising how depressing this post sounds. I think part of it has to do with the content itself. A lot more research is required for this subject matter, and there have been times during this month where I’d find myself down that rabbit hole instead of writing. There have been a lot of, “Did Sade actually say (or think this)?”, “Do I have his voice right?”, “Is this ethical?”, “Is this anachronistic?”, “Will the readers get an accurate picture of him?” and so on. And then I tell myself, “Get the words down and worry about this later.” Still, it’s a daily struggle I have to contend with.
Despite all this, I will set myself a deadline (post NaNo), and I will try and stick to it. I want to finish Saga of the Sinner earlier than I finished Eleanor. Just that little friendly competition with myself has been so helpful in motivating me this month. I have a calendar set aside with all my daily targets for Eleanor, and I have overtaken them, yay!
I think I just need some time (and I will likely do this after I hit the big 50k) to do more research to get every detail right. I’ve got plenty of fill-the-gap points in the manuscript, such as, “insert Inspector’s name here.”
Next week, I think I’d like to post up some more information about the project itself — the general plot and storyline for starters. I think that will be helpful for me as well.
Thanks for joining me. And please, send me a hug if you can. I think I need it to get through the NaNo blues.