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NoQuiNaNoWriMo part 4: Schizophrenic auto-persuasion

When all else fails, abandon hope completely.  Somebody completely forgettable once told me “If at first you don’t succeed, try again: then quit.”

I love NaNoWriMo: I think it is an awesome idea, and fun and exciting for writers of all walks.  It reminds me why I love writing, that exciting moment where the story’s force becomes apparent and it just sweeps you along as its tool for articulation — that kind of writing is exhilarating and so much fun.  But November, well, this November, has been a pretty insane time for me. Unexpectedly so. (Pause to recall that last November was bookended by the death of a relative in the early days and Salmonella poisoning in the last days.) I’m a legislative editor by day (I fight crime in my lunchbreaks) and November is the last chance that legislation will get for the year, because our Parliament rises in December and doesn’t sit again until February.  So there’s a big push on to get plenty of papers up to Parliament, and I’m inescapably caught up in that.  And it has made it a bit challenging to find the energy during the day, or once I get home, to burp up the required 1667 words every day.

And on top of that, I have other stuff on too.  Social things, family things, knitterly things (*waves hand vaguely*).  You wouldn’t believe the backlog of cryptic crosswords I have to get through.  Not to mention the reading I haven’t been doing.  Who’s going to finish reading the complete collection of Agatha Christie’s Quin & Satterthwaite mysteries if not me, hmm?  And how am I supposed to do that while writing NaNoWriMo?  That’s just silly.

Look, I know the whole point of NaNo is that it’s a challenge.  It’s tough to find the time in your daily life to pursue your dreams and goals, especially when you’re not getting paid for them and ‘specially especially when you know that nothing is going to achieve them but to sit down and do the butt-in-chair work yourself.    That’s why people do NaNo: it is a semi-official, earmarked block of time with a deadline and a goal and a bit of fun to it.  You can say to family and friends “I know I’m a bit ratty and peculiar at the moment, but it’s cool: I’m doing NaNo this month, remember?” and everyone can relax and attribute your new-found need to eat nothing but Jatz straight from the box to that.  It’s just that I am not finding it in me to meet this challenge this year.  I’m way behind.  Really, really really behind.

At the time of writing, it is November 24.  Late in the day on November 24.  Even given some sort of illicit stimulant, I could probably only hope to make around 4,000 words today, leaving just 6 days to make up the rest.  Current word count: 22,000 (and I’m rounding up).  I need another 28,000 words to finish. That’s exhausting.  And I’m not going to push for it.  My value as a person and my ambition as a writer are both firmly intact if I fail to write 50,000 words by November 30.  Even if I made that mythological 4,000 today, I’d still need to make up 24,000 over the next 6 days, which is about 4,000 per day.

(Actually, now I break that down and write it out loud, that sounds almost feasible.  Stop it stop it stop it.)

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