There are two more days in November as I am writing this and I have been hard at work for NaNo Rebel. I have a cycle when I’m writing or when I’m trying to hit a goal that is a tale as old as time. In the beginning, I’m fresh and excited, eager to tackle the new project. A few weeks later, I’m in the middle of it, just slogging away. I have my head down, ignoring the junk along the way. Near the end, I suddenly rebel, kicking and screaming. I hit 91,000 words and suddenly just did not want to do it any longer. In the Before Times, 100,000 words in a month would have been fairly comfortable for me to do. I’m not saying it would have been easy, but I wouldn’t have stressed out about it too much.
During the pandemic when my state is exploding with new cases–let’s talk about that for a second. I live in Minnesota. We went from being 30-something in terms of cases in the beginning of the pandemic (not great, but not terrible) to being in the top ten–and not in a good way. It’s because Iowa and South Dakota are 1 and 2 in testing positive (over 10%), and North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa, and Wisconsin are 1, 2, 3, and 4 respectively for most cases of COVID per 100,000. Guess which state is surrounded by those states? That would be Minnesota.
Anyway, all that is to say that I’ve been understandably distracted a bit by *waves hand around self* Writing these days is very fractured. I’m not happy about it, but I’ve accepted it. Ten minutes, then surf the net. Ten minutes, then grab a smoke. Ten minutes, then have a snack. When I hit 91,000 words with four days to go, I suddenly didn’t want to do it any longer. I wanted to quit and be done with it, which is sadly how I operate in general when it comes to projects. I lose interest at the end for one of two reasons or both. One, I have my next project set up and am raring to go on that. Two, I hate the end of things. I always have and it’s the reason I still haven’t watched the last Prime Suspect episode even though I loved the series.
This time, however, I did the opposite of what I’d normally do, which is give up on the project. Quick note, even though my NaNo Rebel goal is to write 100,000 words, my personal goal is to finish this novel by the end of the year. So the NaNo Rebel goal is folded into my bigger goal, which in theory should have given me the push I needed to power through the end of my NaNo Rebel goal. Did it? Not really.
What I mean is that I haven’t really thought about my bigger goal because I am so focused on the NaNo Rebel goal. Or rather, I should say, was. I smashed my goal last night by cranking up my productivity for the last three days. I decided to set a mini-goal of reaching my NaNo Rebel goal with two days to go because, well, just to re-motivate myself. I hit 95,000 two days ago and decided to push myself by writing 5,000 words in one day. Saturday is my day only to write fiction (today is Sunday), so it was a reasonable goal. Again, in the Before Times, I would not have sweated about any of this at all. I have written roughly 230,000 words for NaNoWriMo before just for comparison. That’s over 7,500 words a day so 5,000 should be nothing. However, I hadn’t done that for a second day this NaNo Rebel, so I was nervous.
One thing I’d been able to do during the last few days was to write a thousand words at a time–something I’ve had a hard time doing during the pandemic. But, I am very goal-oriented. If I set a goal, I’m going to meet it. That’s why I’m careful as to what goals I set because I can quickly spiral in my zeal to meet the goal at all costs. I simply told myself that I had to write 1,000 words at a time and I did it. Now, I have to know my mood because there are times when I know damn well I won’t do whatever it I have planned to do.
When I hit 91,000, I knew I had to finish it up quick or I’d quit. Again, it’s my personality to push until I collapse or give up. NOT a good trait, but I own it. I’m not going to pretend it’s not true because it is. I decided to do four-thousand words in one day (Friday) because then I’d have three days to do five-thousand words. That was doable! I could take it nice and easy!
Yesterday, I saw my word count sitting at 95,000 and I suddenly decided that I was going to finish it completely. 5,000 words in one day. Why? Because I just wanted to be done with it. I wrote a thousand words upon waking up (after my morning routine), then I had my taiji class. I wrote another thousand before doing whatever else it was I did. In that fashion, I got 5,000 words written yesterday–well, probably technically today as it was after midnight by a half hour I think, but that’s yesterday to me. The day does not start until I get up–and what a thrill when I saw that I had hit my goal on the NaNoWriMo word counter.
I joked with Ian that I was done writing forever, but it really wasn’t that bad. Having a goal focused my mind in a way that just writing can’t do. I’m glad I have another goal in mind so that I won’t let up. I do think I’m going to be easy on myself for the rest of November, though I will still write, because I know the dangers of burning out.
A quick note: I was filling out my food delivery order and got curious about the difference in the labeling of eggs. What I read about what they do to the chickens to get the eggs so horrified me so I cannot in good conscience buy eggs any longer. It’s a shame because I love eggs, but I cannot condone the process. If I knew of a reputable seller who was 100% cruelty free, then maybe. Until then, though, it’s *sigh* no go on eggs from me.