writing

The Last Leg

At the time of this writing, there are six days left in the NaNoWriMo challenge (National Novel Writing Month-30 days to write 50,000 words.) So far, I am on par to finish, maybe even a day or two early, IF I can find enough story to make it to 50K.

Currently, I’m sitting at 40K and the end is nigh. There may or may not be another 10K words left in the story to write, which isn’t uncommon in my first drafts. They tend to be thin, skeletal beings of mostly dialogue. Then in subsequent drafts, I fill in the spaces in between when the characters speak, generally adding 10-15 K with the second draft and another 2-5 K in subsequent drafts until I land on something around 60-70K words (unless it’s a novella.) Since this is my pattern, finishing the first draft under 50K is my norm, I do worry that my sitting at 40K with that ending close ahead won’t be enough to cross the finish line and print my coveted winner certificate.

My 3 official wins and the one my daughter made me for getting sooo close.

This year, I planned ahead, something I have never done for nano before. I outlined a story (loosely) and carved out time to write in my planner. I even bought and wrapped up writing goal gifts to keep me motivated then asked my reader group over at Write All the Words, Danielle, to pick my prize! (Yes, I’m a dork.)

Only number 6 and my 50K prize remain!

At the end of the day, NaNoWriMo is a competition with yourself. It’s a challenge to see if you can make writing daily a priority in your life. Every year it’s that gentle (and sometimes not so gentle) reminder that if you want to write, you need to make space for it in your life. That reminder is good for us all to remember. If we have a passion or something we love to do, we need to make space for it. Even if it’s only a few minutes a day. We have to honor that creativity; that passion. NaNoWriMo is what jogs my memory of that. If only for thirty days.

Danielle Bannister, author, and NaNoWriMo participant

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