|A new day, a new reason to get the words down. Image © Lori Gravley.|
On Nov. 20, for the first time since Nov. 4, I actually caught up to that little upward line on the NaNo bar graph. I had written all the words I was supposed to have written this month.
I breathed a sigh of relief. Today, though I’ve had a lot of other stuff to do for my bill-paying work, I made enough time in my writing schedule to keep my personal word line aligned with the line on the chart.
That’s momentum. Pushing forward and meeting goals creates more movement, movement we don’t have to work too hard to capture.
Of course, there are always forces dragging us down—work, families, dramas, disappointments, fears, and many other physical, social, and psychological demands on our time and attention.
But, if we pay attention, there are forces pulling us forward, too. That’s part of the wonderful magic of NaNoWriMo. Our friends and buddies pull us. The National organization pulls us. The charts and forums pull us. Our own characters pull us. We can feel torn between the pages and our daily lives, but during NaNo, we tell ourselves and our families that it will be over at the end of the month. We’ll have finished the book, just a draft, and we’ll be able to focus again on all those things other people want us to focus on.
But for now, we can use the momentum of this powerful month to pull us through to the next milestone (40,000 words? 45,000? a win?), the next scene, the next chapter ending and beginning. All of these things help pull us forward, and even if you aren't hitting that NaNo win milestone of 50,000 words, the work of NaNoWriMo has given you momentum.
I find that momentum generally lasts well into the new year (leading to possibly overly ambitious goals). But even if it ends on Nov. 30, it's helped pull me through a large portion of a book that didn't exist or didn't exist in this form before Nov. 1.
I hope you're feeling the pull of your book. Let it take you to a strong finish.