In the words of a famous fable: Slow and steady wins the race. If that’s true, then call me the Tortoise of NaNoWriMo. Through the use of my mathematical genius, I calculated that I need to write 1670 words a day to reach just over the 50K marker for the National Novel Writing Month’s finish line. Well, it’s also what I wanted to limit myself to so I wouldn’t hurt myself physically.
Because I’m a spoonie, I decided to take on NaNoWriMo in my own terms. This is how I decided I’d “win” the thing. For me, winning means:
- I reconnected with my love for writing novel-length manuscripts.
- I discovered what a comfortable daily word count feels like.
And you know what? I’ve already achieved these things, so in my mind, I am done, and the rest is just bonus!
I also found out I love writing first thing in the morning, in my kitchen, by the patio doors, with my tea and breakfast. It’s so nice to have that totally self-indulgent time. I’m not thinking about my editing job (I’ve put it on hold this month), house chores, any personal crises or whatnot—I’m totally having me time with my characters. It’s wonderful. And great for my mental health!
My NaNoWriMo project is a prequel to Life in the ’Cosm called The Stealth Lovers. It’s the story of Xaxall Knightly and Vivoxx Tirowen, two legendary Draga warriors, and the story begins long before they would become legends. In ’Cosm, these men are 48 years old. In Part 1 of The Stealth Lovers, they’re 19. Without giving away anything, I must say I’ve laughed myself into coughing fits over some of the things that come out of Xax’s mouth. He might have channelled a combination of Blanche Dubois from A Streetcar Named Desire and Laura Wingfield from The Glass Menagerie at one point.
I’ve received many warnings from caring friends about trying NaNoWriMo because of my disability, and I’ve taken them seriously. This is why I’m not doing any heroic binges. I need to keep the neuropathy calm in my hands. I’m only writing this blog today because I felt inspired to add more words to my story yesterday evening, so today is almost like a day off.
If I reach 50K words, that will be cool, but I’m still not thinking about that. I’m treating every morning like NaNoWriMo only lasts one day. The moment I feel too much pain or it stops being fun, I’ll stop.
As I said, I’ve already hit my personal goals for this exercise. For now, I’ll keep writing at least 1670 words, as long as it feels comfortable (I have gone over but I don’t know how long that will last). We’ll see what’s what as the days pass. In the meantime, I’m having a ball, and look forward to writing when I wake up each morning.
The only thing about NaNoWriMo is that I can’t edit my work the way I’d normally do, because of the unique contest that it is. I’m just mapping out the story in that “crappy first draft way.” That’s not necessarily bad, because I can’t overthink anything, and must continue writing the story. So far, I’m close to 16K words. I know. I’m surprised at myself, too.
Anyway, stay tooned for moar updates of this wild ride I’ve thrown myself onto like a woman who’s lost all sense!
And to those writing for NaNoWriMo, may the words be ever in your favour!
An Irish-Canadian warrior princess and author of Life in the ’Cosm, a comedy sci-fi with an unusual amount of dessert. She's also the editor of the Spoonie Authors Network blog.
Quirky, bakey, eaty, faithy, drummy, wifey sorta gal who really likes writing words.