Today I bring you the second of my reports on how NaNoWriMo 2018 is going thus far. If you have no idea what I’m blathering on about, then please do check out my week one progress report or my initial post explaining my approach to NaNoWriMo this year.
In my last progress report I mentioned that, as is often the case, I struggle to plot scenes and trajectories in any stories I write because it requires me to make a decision on an action that will lead to a consequence. In my last post I said that this was why I always struggled with NaNo and I also said that I wanted to force myself to sit down and plot even this relatively fluffy, tropey novel I’m writing because then I’d be able to transfer this technique to more complex and demanding plots that I have percolating in my head. However, I think that was a bad call to use the word “force”.
You see, personally speaking, I’m bad at making decisions generally in life, because for so many years I didn’t really have to or need to, someone else made them for me. (This is a wholeeeee other post in and of itself, I’m sure!) The point is that this definitely has an (largely negative) impact on my writing too. In this first half of November, however, I’ve been trying not to dwell too much on this aspect of myself. It’s not a part of my personality that is going to change overnight, and it’s probably something that requires more time and experience to conquer, so I’m just trying my best to make it to little goals here and there throughout NaNoWriMo. So, no, I’m not on-track with my word count. I’m a little shy of 20,000 words when, at the time of writing, I should be at 25,000 words. But, do you know what? I’m ok with that. I don’t feel like I’m failing NaNoWriMo which is… it’s a new feeling for me.
I’ve participated in NaNo for 4 years, and I have never succeeded in getting past 10,000 words on whatever project I was working on. The fact that I’m finally able to break this streak and write 20,000 words on a project that, sure, isn’t the most complicated thing ever but does contain scenes where I’ve had to make decisions about plot points and character traits? That’s huge for me, even if it might seem like the most basic building block of any good story. It feels like it could be the first small step to maybe being able to persuade myself that I do have at least one story inside me waiting to be told. It feels like maybe I could write, if I put my mind to it. It feels like I have the chance to be a writer even though for so long I thought my complete inability (allegedly) to make decisions would render it an impossible ask.
So, yes I’m “behind” with NaNoWriMo right now… but I’m more than ok with that.
Are you participating in NaNoWriMo this year or have you participated before? What are you writing about at the moment? Let’s chat in the comments!