I’ll just put it right out there: this could be one of the toughest days of NaNoWriMo. For the whole month. I’ve been squeezing in my writing time, getting attached to my story and characters, and I’m just about to hit 10,000 words and now, what? Now I have a weekend day. A Saturday of amazing proportions and I could do all kinds of things like go to the market, visit with friends, anything and everything and yet, it’s still NaNoWriMo. This is the day that I could pat myself on the back for making excellent progress, and break all of my good habits. And I shouldn’t let that happen.
Instead, I’m going to try to swing the pendulum the other direction, and turn this into a power writing day. Get up, spend 90 minutes cranking out whatever words I can manage on a single mug of tea, and then take myself into the world. Hey, Pike Place Market beckons, right? It’s also not pouring down rain today, so for November in Seattle, I’ll see that as an opportunity. And after I venture outdoors, I’ll push to make more progress for the day. Currently my estimated finish date is November 28. If I could stay ahead of pace then I can better deal with the Thanksgiving holiday. Because we all know I’ll be cooking up a fun feast for Susanne and our friends while we’re here in Emerald City.
Parallax, my work-in-progress, is at the point where the protagonist is just realizing that he’ll need to rely on himself and not others, even though they want to help him. But for the moment he’s alone, struggling to find his determination. I’ve definitely drifted from my scene-by-scene plan for this novel, but I also like where it’s going. Even after I stop writing for the night my brain is flooded with the ideas in this story—responses to disability, gender expectations for teenagers, how to fit in, find one’s identity, developing a sense of compassion, learning to manage adversity, seeing one’s parents as real people—there are a lot of things in here that could turn out like the purple soup I created a couple of weeks ago, or they could mingle together and form a nuanced whole. After five days of writing now, I really care about Jack and his friends. That’s a good place to be in.
Today is not give up day, nor is it sit on one’s laurels day. November 2010 was kind enough to start on a Monday, knowing we’d potentially have more time just as we needed it to keep progressing. So make Day 6 your power writing day, too.