Oh. My. Goodness. You would not believe the weekend I’ve had. Last Wednesday, if you recall, I was at 36,521 words. After I finished my post, I wrote a little more and ended the day with 37,287. And then I didn’t write for several days. It was Thanksgiving, and I had two dinners to go to. In two different states. I drove, ate, slept. Rinse and repeat, except for Friday when I also went to a Pacers game. Having not written a single word since Wednesday and still needing 12,713 words come 1AM Sunday morning, I didn’t really think I could finish. Driving those four hours back home on Saturday, I had pretty much decided to give up. How could I write that much in two days? There’s no way. Absolutely no way.
But then something happened. I got home and felt really really bad about giving up so easily. I wrestled with myself. If I gave up, then I could slow down and breathe a bit. Sunday and Monday were going to be busy days for me, and how would I manage to squeeze in 6,356.5 words each day? And then the devil (because I consider this masochistic behavior!) on the other shoulder nudged and nudged. He said, “Type it, Maya. Type. You’ll save yourself hours of time if you typed. Type. Type. Type. You’ll hate yourself if you quit. You’ll let everyone down.” His whisperings were hard to resist. I gave in. Before I went to bed Saturday, I typed up 1,024 words. Both mornings I woke up extra early and refused to leave my bed until I had written another 1000 or so.
It paid off. Somehow, someway, I managed to squeak in those 50,000 words. Tonight at 11:34PM, I validated my 50,035-word novel. NaNoWriMo said, “Uh huh, sorry. You only have 49,965.” Do you know what that does to a girl’s already burned out mind?! It deflates and then freezes. I stared at the blinking cursor and then the clock on the bottom right-hand corner. It seemed the minutes clicked along much faster than my brain. My fingers hovered over the keys, motionless. This was it. This was the end. I only had 26 minutes to come up with 35 words and somehow that was as bad as David facing Goliath. And then I remembered: I was in the middle of a wedding scene. Surely, I could bust out a couple of sappy sentences. I wrote in a flurry and revalidated my novel at 11:37PM. This time they said, “50085! Winner!” And I said, “Oh thank God,” collapsing against the chair because I was overcome with the vapors.
For your enjoyment, I’ve included a screenshot of my stats and the graph of my progress throughout the month. As you can see, it was pretty sporadic. Please ignore the tabs at the top. Two of them are designated for looking up lyrics to a song that I don’t know the name of. Still haven’t figured that one out. Now everyone has had a glimpse into the secret world of my web browser, and I am not at all embarrassed.
Even though I had to forsake my notebook and pen, I did write 50,000 words in a month. And even though I’m pretty sure those 50,000 words are a bunch of nonsense and most likely don’t make up any semblance of a plot, I did begin Glitch and beginning is always the hardest part. So if you don’t like your novel, or you didn’t finish, or whatever state you find yourself in come December 1st, keep in mind that you did do something. I say that a lot, but how can anyone ever accomplish their dreams if they don’t even try?
Glitch will be hitting bookshelves after ten drafts and 300 rejection letters. So, pencil it in!
P.S. The Columbus Crew played the second leg of the series against the New York Red Bulls. They lost the game but won the series and are Eastern Conference champions! The final is next week again the Portland Timbers in Columbus. Here’s to hoping they win their second MLS Cup!