On writing

Halfway through November – you know what that means

Halfway there

NaNoWriMo is half over.

If you’ve managed the word count, you’ll be 25,000 words by now. You’re halfway there. Keep it up and in another fifteen days you’ll have 50,00 words.

If you haven’t … don’t panic.

Sherylyn and I both enjoy NaNoWriMo, and we’d love to do it every year. Unfortunately, life often gets in the way.  We’ve both been trying since 2009, but we’ve only managed to finish twice with more than 50,000 words.

Sometimes we don’t start. This year, for example, we’re too busy writing book three of LINESMAN to even consider it. Another year we both had major projects due at work.

Sometimes we start and work—or life—gets in the way.

It’s not a competition

Note that I said ‘finish’ and not ‘win’.

I don’t know when the idea of ‘winning’ NaNoWriMo came about, but I don’t really like the term. It’s not a competition. At least, not to me.  It’s a marathon, and most people don’t enter a marathon to win, no matter how nice that would be. They enter it to run in it. To do it. To beat their own personal best.

It’s not a life or death situation

Don’t beat yourself up if you don’t can’t get the word count. The important thing is to keep writing. Don’t stop just because at your current writing rate you’ll only have 30,000 words at the end of the month.

Keep writing.

30,000 words is pretty awesome anyway, but it’s the habit of writing regularly that you want to cultivate.

Again, it’s like a marathon. Just keep working at it.

You’ll be surprised where you get in the end.

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