Thursday, November 15, 2012

NaNoWriMo Pitfall #4

And we're back to the installments of my old NaNo Pitfall Posts.  Today is #4 - also known as 'Why bother finishing when I'm already behind?'...

Welcome to November 15th, aka The Halfway Point.  At this point in your NaNo experience, you should be somewhere around 25,000 words - or at least near there by midnight tonight.  As you can see from the progress meter, I'm behind (by about 8K when I wrote this post).  This leads us to NaNo Pitfall #4 - I'm so far behind now, why bother?  (Sorry the two proposed topics got shunted aside, but I thought today was the best day for this.)

Okay, so I'm 8K behind.  Why?  Well, some of it was life stuff - like the out of town trip I took Thursday and the right-cross Amazon dealt me that I have to deal with by Monday.  Some of it was squirmy stuff that will be addressed in a later Pitfall post.  Of course, the reasons and/or the excuses don't really matter.  Whatever they are, they've occurred and now I'm behind.

At this point, I could sit back and figure this year's NaNo is a wash.  When am I going to make up 8 THOUSAND words?  PLUS do the 1667 every day I'm supposed to do to reach the goal of 50K, mind you.

That's where the pitfall lays.  Like the dude in the picture up there*, I have to find a way to swing across the gap.  (And he didn't even dig his own hole like I did.)  I could stand on this side, shaking my head at the depth of the hole, or I can find a way to get past the expanse.  2200 words a day will get me to my goal.  That's a load.  Or, I could bust out extra words on the weekends.

The point here is: Stopping isn't an option.

Sure, this is only a self-imposed deadline, but if I ever do get a book contract with actual deadlines, I'm sure as hell not going to be able to tell my publisher "Sorry, I had some things come up.  Maybe I'll hit that number next time."  I guessing there's a quick way to say buh-bye to your career.

So, there is nothing to do but forge ahead.  If I have to miss some sleep, or sit in this chair until my ass falls off, or type all day on Thanksgiving, I will do it.

And if I don't I will still count it as a win because I will have tried my damnest.

Whether you're doing NaNo or not, how are your word counts looking this month?  Has anything come up that's put you behind in whatever you're trying to accomplish?  Regardless of the answer...


*picture deleted because I didn't have the right to post it.  It was from the old Pitfall video game and showed the character swinging on a vine across a chasm.


  1. Such great advice! My mini-Nano got stalled due to unavoidable life events, but I'm still working away, because I want to accomplish something.

  2. Are you talking to me? Are you talking to me?

    OK, I know you're talking to me - and I am listening! I'm behind, but will keep at it, slow and steady wins the race!

    Great pep talk, B.E.

  3. Thanks, Andrea! Keep at it. You can do it.

  4. LOL, no, Janet, I wasn't talking to you. Not specifically anyway. Heck, I wrote that back in 2009, but every NaNo since then, this was about the point when I started to angst about being behind. Talk about sagging middles. November has a big saggy middle. ;o)

  5. I hope you find a way to get those extra 8k without it wreaking any havoc in your life!

  6. Thanks, Nat. =o)

    No worries, Lydia. These posts were actually written three years ago. I got the 8K done and this is the book I entered into the Harper Voyager submission window this year. It's all good. =o)