A deadline I wasn’t convinced I would be able to make. Why? Because 2000 words a day has been my absolute max for the last couple of months. And now I suddenly had 10,000 words I needed to squeeze in somewhere. During the holidays, of course.
I wrote 6,700 words on that flight.
Which reminded me of two things. One, that you can write anywhere. Anywhere. And secondly—and the point of this email—it’s those days when the words just come that make the rest of the days worth it.
People approach NaNo in a lot of different ways. Some budget each day based on their personal schedules, some people have a minimum requirement and write every day, some people depend on a good, long several-thousand-word session every few days. Whatever your particular approach is, sometime during the month of November, you will have a day when you forget to look at your word count and when you do, you have way more words than you thought.
Being an author takes a lot of discipline, just like NaNo does. But the really wonderful part of writing is those days when the words just flow. That doesn’t mean that the other days aren’t important. Truth be told, they’re probably more important; certainly there are more of them. Most of your NaNo days are going to simply be about pounding your fingertips against the keyboard until you reach your word count and then slumping back in your chair and muttering, “Thank you, God.”
I know. I do it 80% of the time. :)
But sometimes inspiration really does strike, and it’s easy. No, it’s magic. It’s day like these that keep you going on a manuscript you believe in, or pushing through a manuscript you’re sick of looking at, or finishing that last few days of edits that ended up being more extensive than you anticipated. (That has happened to me six times in six books. ;)
One of the reasons I love NaNo is that it’s such a microcosm of an author’s life. I often see the statement go up on Twitter, “NaNoWriMo prepares you for NaNoWriLIFE,” and it’s so true. Although, admittedly, most authors don’t regularly write 50,000 words every month. :) It’s Author Boot Camp. And considering where we are in November, most of you are finding out it’s not easy.
And that doesn’t change.
But keep at it. Because when you’re done, it’s all worth it. To look back and see the book you built one word at a time. The thrill of finishing 50,000 words seriously doesn’t change whether you have written one book, or fifty. And the process is the same too. Every author builds their book one word at a time. One paragraph, one chapter.
Just like you.
And you’re almost there! So get to it! You’ve gone too far to finish the month with only half a book. And may you have a couple really great writing days in there to help you meet your goals!
Aprilynne Pike is the #1 New York Times best-selling author of the recently-concluded WINGS series. In 2013 she will be releasing LIFE AFTER THEFT--a modern-day retelling of The Scarlet Pimpernel--and EARTHBOUND--the first book in a new paranormal romance series. When not writing, Aprilynne can usually be found outside running; she also enjoys singing, acting, and (of course!) reading books about magic and kissing. Aprilynne lives in Arizona with her husband and four kids; she is enjoying the sunshine. For more information about Aprilynne, go to www.aprilynnepike.com.