NaNoWriMo 2015 Day 8: Don’t Be a Hero If You Want to Last


So the bad news is that I missed a couple of days posting to this NaNoWriMo journal.

The good news, and the news that matters to me and should matter to you, is that I haven’t missed ANY of my daily writing goals since NaNoWriMo started.

The reason that’s so important is that it means I can likely sustain my pace without killing myself.

Especially for working stiffs like me, there is a tendency to let the day-to-day grind get in the way of your personal goals, the accomplishments that will make you feel fulfilled and happy with yourself.

When it comes to a project like writing a novel for NaNoWriMo, it’s easy to tell yourself that it’s OK to slide during the week because you can catch up on the weekend. If you bag even a couple of days during the week, though, you’ll lumber into Saturday looking at a deficit of more than 3000 words. Slack off a couple more days, and you’ll have to crank out nearly 10,000 words on the weekend just to stay on pace.

After a long week at work and worrying about not hitting your word count, what could be more invigorating than spending all weekend tied to your keyboard, right?

That’s a recipe for burnout, and even if you do manage to get back on track, you’ll start the new week exhausted and without much motivation for writing or anything else.

Make writing a part of your daily schedule, though, and hold your writing times as inviolate commitments on your calendar, and you can stay on pace without resorting to heroics.

There may be times when you’re forced to miss a day here or there, and everyone needs an occasional break, but the only way to write a novel or story or article is to keep pounding the keys. Consistently.

Daily Word Count: 1700

Total Word Count: 15,700

Daily Excerpt (totally raw — I know it needs editing — it’s OK if you tell me that anyway):


Gabbie was wearing a blue short-sleeved blouse over beige waders, and Troy had on his baseball uniform. In the breach of their conversation, Dan heard birds chirping and glanced out the window, then did a double take as the buds of spring hit his realization again.


Finally, he stood and walked to inspect the calendar over the phone. He hadn’t noticed it before, but Gabbie had marked off the days in a penciled ‘X’ like she always did, but she had also written a number in each square. The last marked space was Friday, April 6, and the number in that box was TK.


Dan weebled back to his chair and plopped down, hand on his forehead. “Oh God, it’s April, isn’t it?”


Gabbie put her hand on Dan’s again and nodded. “Yes, honey. Don’t you see now how lucky we are that you’re here with us today. We didn’t know if you ever would be again.”


Dan shook his head a few times as if trying to jar something loose. Then he held up his hands.


“Hold on a minute,” he started. “Why am I here, at home, and not at the hospital? Didn’t Dr. TK say they were going to keep me at Clay County for the whole time I was under.”


“Dan, you knew this treatment was experimental, and the board of directors only gave Dr. TK the go-ahead to house you for three months. He removed you from the anasthesia drip the day after New Year’s, but your vitals barely moved at all.


“After another three weeks, already past the point when you should have been discharged, your brain activity was still depressed. Dr. TK petitioned the board for an extra month to try and figure out what was happening with you, and they agreed.

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