Catching (Back) Up

The following is a guest post from Danni (Epic Robot Danni).  Danni is a yet unpublished writer that likes to work on far too many projects at the same time.  A plotter by nature, she is a huge advocate of figuring out the story before starting to write.  She also has a healthy-ish obsession with stationary.


I’m behind.

This might not come as a shock to anyone. At any given moment, most people doing NaNo will tell you that they’re behind on their goal. And right now, I’m one of them.

This, of course, happens every year. At least once during the month of November I find myself falling further and further behind on my goal, the wall I know I’m going to have to climb growing bigger and bigger until I can’t even see the top. Until the rope dangling from it that’s supposed to help me is suddenly is slick with oil, so I can’t even take that first step.

Why this is happening is no secret: Distractions!

The world is filled with them. Whether it be the lure of a full PVR just begging for your attention, a beloved pet thinking your arm is the perfect place to sleep, or the simple fact that you need to eat and have decided to make a grand production of it.

So how do we get rid of those distractions? How do we put down the remote? How do we gently set the pet on the ground (despite how much we were enjoying cuddling with them)? Okay, we can’t stop eating, but how do we stop making such a grand production of it?

I’m not going to lie to you, I don’t have the answer to all the questions. Especially because I know that, every year, something is inevitably going to pop up that’s going to make me step away from my writing to deal with it.

Family drama is going to happen. When you get behind in your word count, don’t beat yourself up.

Car troubles aren’t something you can avoid. But you can look at the bright side of things and use the time you can’t be out driving for writing instead.

Computers may (sadly) have issues. Switch to paper and cut yourself some slack.

Because if you get behind, you can catch up. No matter how tall that wall is. No matter how much oil has been slathered on that rope. Get yourself a grappling hook and find a new way over that wall.

NaNo isn’t easy, and distractions will happen. But the only thing that’s going to make sure you don’t reach your goal is giving up. And even if the outcome isn’t what you thought it was at the beginning of the month, be satisfied that you gave it all you could.

Take a moment and recommit yourself to this crazy adventure we’re on. Find the excitement that filled you at the beginning of the month, turn off that TV, and get writing.

And when everything is said and done, take a moment to be satisfied.

Because, no matter what your goal is, you took this journey. And you survived. And you ended up with more words than you started the month with.

And that is what NaNo is all about.