In case you didn't know I did a live-blog update thing on Day One of NaNo. You can find it here. In keeping with tradition, this is my weekly update on how my NaNo-ing is going.
Word Count: 60,740
Goal: 200,000. This is 50K lower than last year's goal because the quarter of a million (as fun as it is to say) nearly killed me. I'd rather have fun writing then kill my motivation when panicking about being behind. So yeah, I reduced my goal and I'll likely forever keep a 200,000 word goal every year I do NaNo until I can write full time.
Words Needed: 139,260
Novels: Mists of Time Book 1: Discovery.
Plot so far: Blair has been forced out of xer house and is now living on xer own. Oh, and Blair thought xe was going insane but xe's not. Turns out Blair's a Time Knight and has to protect the world/universe. Oh, Blair's bi-gender, so physical male who occasionally feels female and dresses/acts according to those feelings. Yes, Blair does prefer female pronouns when xe feels female and wears a padded bra to give the illusion of breasts as well as special underwear to hide her downstairs. No, Blair does not want SRS surgery as even if xe becomes physically female xe will feel male on some days and want to reflect it in xer look and how xe acts. Blair's also 18. So this is kind of a coming of age story with magic thrown in because ooooo--OOOO...magic! :D
Thoughts: I was doing great until I read a thread in the NaNo Ate my Soul section of the forums. The thread was about how people were unmotivated because of over-achievers like myself. One even went so far to say that this was his last NaNo in part because of over-achievers. At first: anger. Then, well, I got upset.
I will freely admit: IT UPSETS ME TO KNOW PEOPLE OUT THERE FEEL LIKE CRAP BECAUSE OF MY HIGH WORDCOUNT. I know how demotivating seeing someone with a higher word count than you can be. Hell, even as an OAer I STILL FEEL BAD WHEN SOMEONE HAS A HIGHER WORD COUNT THAN ME. Here's what I wrote in said thread and I'll stick by it:
Yeah, I have 60K. Yeah, I'm a regular OAer. Does that mean I'm better than you? Nope. Am I going to flaunt it in your face and call you slow? Nope. You're awesome for simply taking the challenge and writing. Even if you don't get the 50K you wrote SOMETHING. That's what matters.
Anyway. Threads like this kill my motivation. Why? Because it upsets me to think something I can do (and have practiced hard to get here) makes someone else upset enough that they want to leave or give up.
So what if I can hit 60K by day six? I've been writing for almost 20 years. That's almost 2/3rds of my life. I know what works for me and what doesn't. I know my limits. I know how hard I can push. I've dedicated countless hours to this craft and written over 3 million words in the past three years. I've practiced writing for quality and quantity in tandem. I've learned to edit as I go. I know what to do so I can hit the word counts I do. I also have no life to speak of so all my free time is dedicated to writing. And so what? I'm not better than you. I still suffer from the writing blues and I still struggle with plotting and getting the motivation to start writing. I still have nights, like tonight, where I don't write a single word because I'm just...bleh.
I can guarantee every OAer was in your shoes at some point in their writing life. Heck, some of the OAers are stunned at other OAers because of even higher word counts. I'm at 60K. There are others at double my word count. Am I jealous? HELL YES. Do I care? Not really. I know I can't physically get to that amount unless I'm not working most of my days and even then I'd be killing myself to attempt it so I'm not going to bother. I'm going to focus on my story and what I can do, not what someone else can do or if they're doing it faster.
NaNo isn't about racing to the 50K or getting over 50K before anyone else. It's not about being better because you have a higher word count. It's about setting out to write a novel. It's about having fun. It's about accomplishing your own personal goals. Screw what everyone else is doing. Focus on what you're doing. And if it really kills your motivation then make it a challenge. Decide that you're going to push your own limits to see how high you can go.
WRITE FOR YOU. This is YOUR challenge, not anyone else's. Don't make this a competition because we are all the same. We're all writers struggling to get our stories out. We all have our own personal challenges and demons to face. We all bleed the same red, shed the same tears, and have the same hand pains when we push really hard. How high your word count is and how quickly you get there means nothing in the grand scheme of things. What matters is you accomplishing your own personal goals and NO ONE can take those accomplishments away from you.
SO CONGRATULATIONS ON YOUR WORD COUNT...whatever it may be because YOU are awesome for getting it.
End rant on Over-achieving, etc. The novel itself is going well. I've been having fun with the story, Blair especially as it's awesome to see xer growing and becoming more xerself. Xe couldn't do it at home and now xe's happy. Well, happy-ish.
I've also been (just) informed that I'm representing bi-gender well. This has made me UBER excited as I was nervous about tackling a bi-gender character when I'm not bi-gender myself. But, everything seems to be good with Blair's characterization so I can continue on how I'm going without worrying. Thank you to em--dash and everyone here for that. :)
Until next time, rants, raves, questions, comments and everything in between can be directed to the comments. And don't forget to check out my kickstarter campaign to get Burnt: The Story of the Fire King out there if you feel so inclined.