Suck it, Trebek! (aka NaNoWriMo on my own terms)

It’s only day four and I’m already depressed.  Over something so trivial as word count.  You don’t win anything for hitting 50,000.  I just want the bragging rights — and the 50% off Scrivener.  I’m almost 4000 words behind just to “break even” with the word goals thus far — and then have to complete a minimum of 1667 words each day following.

It’s making me feel like a failure already.  I’m compulsively updating my word count every hour.  Then I go and check my stats.  Then I see how far behind I am.  Really, NaNoWriMo, telling me I’m 3 days behind schedule is going to encourage me?  50,000 words is freaking daunting.  Damn near insane to do it in a month.

“Set realistic goals that you’re prepared to pursue. 30,000 words in a month is reasonable. 50,000 is pushing it. 120,000 words is almost impossible – and when you fail to meet it, you’ll feel bad about yourself.” (via)

So starting today I’m doing NaNo on my own terms.  Because before, while I was actually writing, I felt good about my self.  Awesome — shiny even.  But then those stupid word goals kept bringing me down.  I’ll still update them, but word count is not my goal.  Starting today, this is what I’m working towards:

  • To write for a minimum of one hour every week day; three hours for one day on the weekend, and then at least an hour and half the other for the month of November.
    (I have a life, a lot of my time is spent at work, I should not be ashamed of that.)
  • My story does not end on November 30th.  Just because it started as NaNoWriMo doesn’t mean that’s where it’s staying.
  • To write a cohesive story that I’m proud of.
    (And I have been thus far.)

And that last bit is probably the most important.  I’ve been proud of my story.  It’s a complete rough draft, but I like where it’s going — even more so I love the process.  A lot of that is thanks to the free trial of Scrivener.  My mind isn’t linear.  The idea of writing 50,000 linearly makes me want to gag.  With Scrivener, I’ve been able to write scene by scene.  If I want to jump from part 1 to part 3, I can.  And it’s all organized so it makes it easier to do just that.  I never thought I’d like any of those gimmicky novel writing software programs… but folks, I sort of love this one.  That’s why I want that 50% reward so freaking bad.  (20% off isn’t bad, but I could use the 50%.)

By the end of the month I plan to have a pretty damn good story started.  I might even have one that’s ready to be workshopped.  (Another goal: this story will be workshopped by someone.)  All of this regardless of word count.  I realize that it’s just a goal set up by the organizers and I don’t have to reach it — NaNo’s all about having fun with other writers… but the only way I’m going to finish this is on my terms.

*Just in case you were wondering where this title came from:

This post is 525 words in case you were wondering.