Day 4 of NaNoWriMo. I have come to a realization: It isn’t about word count or deadlines; it’s about the story.
I have been stressing over how I’m going to meet the 50,000 word goal by November 30. The bar graph shows me that I am way off the mark already. The ‘At this rate you will finish on’ indicator tells me that I will finish on Christmas Eve. The progress bar has only the slightest sliver of blue at the left hand side.
Unfortunately, there is something that the stats page lacks: A story progress indicator.
I signed up for NaNoWriMo without a plot in mind. Thankfully I got an idea that wrote itself out in my head on Oct. 31, but translating an abstract into a reality is a whole other thing. I assume it’s a journey for even the most experienced writers who have traveled that road time after time. For me, it’s blazing a trail through completely unfamiliar territory. Everything is new, everything is exciting: meeting my characters (they’re becoming good friends already!), discovering their stories, learning how everything will turn out in the end. Even the frustrations of writing seem like agreeable challenges.
So why am I trying to measure this experience by how many words I can type in a day?
It’s a wonderful goal that is pushing me to get this thing written, but in the end that won’t be what I remember. In the end I will have gotten an idea out of my head and into reality. In the end I will have (hopefully) improved my written organizational skills. In the end I will have accomplished a goal. And maybe, just maybe, I will have written a novel.
The story may not be 50,000 words, but if it’s complete, I’ll be satisfied.
And now I will step off the soapbox and return to the world of words.