NaNoWriMo: Day One

by courtvanhaaren

Day one of NaNo is officially over! Take a break from the pens and coffee and take a deep breath. We are one day in and one day closer to reaching the goal!

At least, that’s what I want to tell myself after today. I have to admit I am not as confident as I was going in.

It’s funny, I was so pumped up for NaNo to begin. I was itching with anticipation as I waited for Halloween to end. (I think that’s the first time in my life I’ve actually said that.) I was just bursting at the seams with excitement.

One thousand words is nothing. If I can write almost four thousand just analyzing a poem, I think two thousand should be an easy goal. 

This thought had crossed my mind multiple times throughout the day. I was so confident; why wouldn’t I be? I planned out everything in advance, I made a story board, I talked plot lines and characters so much that the only thing that remained was the novel itself. In fact, I resisted the urge to write any ideas that came to mind (just scratched a mention in the outline) so I could truly say that my novel was a product that came strictly out of thirty days.

Yet all that went down the drain when midnight passed. My mind went completely empty, blanking out on absolutely everything that I had planned since Carlyn convinced me to participate.

Oh no, I’m not a novel writer. What am I doing? I didn’t take this into account at all. I’m not going to do well with penning a novel. I should have joined the rebels and tried to do a 50k poem challenge.

Within minutes of NaNo starting I was having a meltdown. I’ve never doubted myself more. So instead of sitting at the computer, I ditched the 2k goal and went to bed.

I wasn’t happy about it. I felt guilty enough that I grabbed a pencil and a notebook and kept it on one of my pillows- and I’m glad I did. Half of my word count today came from the thoughts that flowed in my mind before I went to sleep.

As the day went on, I was a little relieved to see that I wasn’t the only one having doubts and difficulties. My dear friend Carlyn was needing a push, so between the two of us we were able to make some decent progress. She made it a little above 2k, and I hit 1,458. Not bad, but I wouldn’t have even went above 1k if I didn’t talk to Carlyn.

It’s funny how much I’ve learned in one day. Do not, DO NOT psyche yourself out enough to get overwhelmed. It’s not a final product, it’s a draft. Keep your notebooks close and your friends closer.

We are a day closer to the goal loves, keep writing!

~C M VanHaaren

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