This week Jess Mahler brings us another campfire story to enjoy after a hard day of CampNaNoWriMo.
Hey Campers, gather round! We’re all a bit worn out by now, I bet. If you’re on or ahead of schedule, you’ve entered the Maundering Middle of your story. If you are behind schedule you are busting ass to catch up. This is the hard part of NaNo, when the initial excitement is worn down but the end is just so far away.
Well, take a break for a few minutes. I’ve got a story for you.
Once upon a time, there was an “aspiring author” who thought ze would never finish a novel. Time after time ze would start a new story, power through the early pages, think ze were finally going to do it… and then ze’d get sick and miss a day of writing. Or work would call hir in for an extra shift. And one day became two, two became a week, and before ze knew it, it had been a month since ze had written anything at all!
This was hella depressing and ze nearly gave up on writing entirely. But one summer, when Camp NaNoWriMo rolled around ze decided to give it one last try.
Ze got off to a good start, pantsing hir ass off and pulling together plot and character. Ze even managed to (mostly) keep hir inner editor and critic gagged so ze could focus on getting words on paper.
But the second week, everything went to hell. Hir mother ended up in the hospital for three days and needed care after that. Everything else–including writing–took a back seat.
Thankfully, hir mom recovered quickly and by the third week, ze was able to focus on writing again. But by then ze was over 10,000 words behind.
It was tempting to give up. How could ze make up over 10,000 words with only two weeks left in the month? But ze had promised hirself ze would try. Ze got up early in the morning and wrote. Ze made Twitter friends doing writing sprints and too hir surprise, ze began to catch up.
By the last day of the month, ze was only 500 words behind. Which, of course, is when ze got sick.
So ze didn’t (quite) make hir Camp NaNoWriMo goal. But 48,000 words in one month is still damn impressive. Ze had proven to hirself that ze could do it. Ze wasn’t an “apiring” anything, ze was a writer. And ze had a book to finish.
Which is what NaNoing is all about.