Things get away from us. We lose track of time, friends, old photos — it happens to everyone. But nothing slips away more quickly than a #NaNoWriMo word count goal. Not even brave Odysseus, when confronted with Charybdis, felt such a swift sucking sensation. It's not just a feeling of drowning, though; it's more physical than that. I have become Sisyphus; my deceitfulness is my belief that I had time to write 50,000 words in 30 days, and the slippery slope of my daily failure is no less a burden than the boulder he pushes up the mountain only to have it roll back down, only in my case, the rock gets bigger every day.
Just how bad is it, you ask? I’ve put it into pictures for you. I’m saving my words for the novel. For as insurmountable as my goal now seems, I’m still not giving up, because that is the only sure way to fail. Most days, the routine starts the same. I put at the bottom of the novel the number of words I need to achieve that day in order to stay on track. I use this as a motivator. So far, though, it’s more goading than helpful. Especially when compared to the actual word count.
|The Beginning of Day 11: the Goal is 18,337 words; I have 13,910.|
|By the end of Day 13 I had 17,013 of the 21,671 words needed.|
|At the beginning of Day 15 I had 18,116 words, but I needed 25,005 to reach the halfway point.|
|Today, at the start of Day 18, I have 23,697 words written of the 30,006 I will need before the day ends if I have any hope for the tee shirt, but I haven't even made the halfway point, so it's probably not happening.|
As of this blog post, here’s where I am in relationship to where I should be.
|It's a straight slope to reach the goal. Alas, for me, the gap is widening.|
I started out strong. Those first two days looked promising, but by Day 4 I was flagging. The word count doesn’t sit still, you see. It’s a moving target that leaps by 1,667 words every day. This chart shows just how far off pace I truly am.
|A more accurate visualization of just how far off track I am. The green line shows the number of words I am short in relationship to where I should be.|
I have not yet written the first word today, and I am more than 4,600 words away from where I need to be before bed tonight if I want the tee shirt. I want the tee shirt.
I’ll give #NaNoWriMo this: Despite the feeling I am sliding down a long steep hill with a boulder rolling after me, I’m writing every single day these days. Every. Single. Day. With the #52Weeks challenge I haven’t necessarily needed to go to that level. So if all I ever hoped to accomplish was a writer’s habit, I have already won.