Remember: You Are Not Alone

If you are struggling this week, remember that you are not alone. There are hundreds, probably even thousands, of writers who are several thousand words behind in their Nanovels. Everyone struggles at some point during the month. Even in my biggest year, when I wrote 300K, I still struggled. I didn’t write 10K every day. I couldn’t write every day. There were several days during the month when I felt uninspired and my head hurt too much to figure out where to take my novel next. The reason I got my extreme word count was because on the days when I did write, I wrote 20K or more.

This year I’ve been struggling a lot to stay on top of my Nanowrimo. I spent the last week of October and the first week of November extremely sick and recovering from dental surgery, and I’m still behind where I should be in order to reach my goal of 100K for the year. While my word count seems impressive to some, I am disappointed with myself this Nanowrimo. Still, I’m reasonable to understand that a combination of being sick, busy and dealing with my tendonitis–which I’m now being told might not be tendonitis at all, and in fact that they might not know or have ever known what it actually is–has held me back and, frankly, would hold anyone back.

Staying active in the Nanowrimo community has helped me keep this in perspective. Through the Toronto Nanowrimo chat and the wider forums, I’ve reminded myself that I am not alone. I have read several threads and spoken to several chatters who are also behind on their novels. Some are reaching for 50K and are struggling to get past 10K. Others, like me, are reaching for the stars beyond 100K and are flailing, but are still in good standing to officially ‘win’ Nanowrimo.

Wherever you are in your novel, be it 5K, 10K, 20K, or 40K, know that you are not alone. Somewhere out there in the vast Nanowrimo community, there is at least one person–probably a few people, maybe even a few dozen–sitting at the same word count as you, shaking their heads and wondering how they got there. Remember too that every year only a small percentage of Nanowrimo participants win. Most are already behind and will stay there for the whole month. 50, 000 words in one month truly is an accomplishment, something to be proud of.

So remember that you are not alone, but choose to distinguish yourself from the crowd: choose to put your whole self into it, to write furiously and to win. And remember, it doesn’t matter who you are, where you live, or how many words you have now. We might be almost halfway through the month, but you can still win. I believe in you, even if you don’t believe in yourself. Just keep your eyes on the prize and you’ll be amazed at what you can accomplish.