So many people I know are pulling their hair out already, and I have to wonder why. For those of you that are not a member of the self torture club known as NaNoWriMo, let me explain. The goal is to write at least 50,000 words in a month. No, it can't be the same word 50,000 times. The purpose of this month of writing abandon is to make yourself write. To turn off the inner editor and get the words out on paper, or in most cases, the hard drive. You can write whatever you want: fiction, short stories, non fiction, exceedingly long poems.
Many of my friends sign up to do this year after year. For me, this is my fifth year, and I have won every year. I have never had a problem with just sitting with the laptop and letting my fingers tell a story. I have a rough idea and I let it take me where it wants to go. So why are my friends having so much trouble?
I think one of the problems people have is the anticipation for the game to start. They have their notebook or flashcards filled to the brim with ideas and characters and amazing plot lines. They get 5,000 words or so in and BAM. Roadblock. And they don't know how to back up and go another direction.
I admit that I get stuck occasionally. I write myself into a corner and have to stop and wonder what I just did. And sometimes that happens at 3 in the morning. So I hit "enter" a few times and get going again. I go with another character or a situation. I keep moving forward with the story, even if I now have to take the dirt road with all the bumps and dips. I'll still get to point "B," I've just decided to take the scenic route.
The point is to not get discouraged and throw in the towel. There are 30 days in the month. Plenty of time to get back on track. And don't let the word count of others bother you. If you can only manage 2,000 words a day, you're still above the daily average. I am a person who writes at a fast pace and finish with my 50,000 words pretty early in the month. But I still keep going along with the story. I can't leave my little babies hanging. And if I can help others that are struggling, all the better.
Just keep going and don't get discouraged. Before you know it you will cross the finish line and will have a goofy grin on your face. And then you will sleep soundly, knowing that you did something that not many people can do. You will have created something that came from your own imagination, your own experiences, and your own knowledge. And that is something to be very proud of.