That’s what my wife said to me in 2006 when I started Nano for the first time. So well does she know me and my penchant for going overboard on whatever I’m doing. So with that I plunged into my first novel writing month determined to not just write 50k words but to shatter that goal. (I told you my wife knows me well!)
I did find it challenging to generate the 1,667 words a day let alone reach my true objective (at least 100K). To insure my wife knew I was writing I printed the day’s output and give it to my wife to read. I also found a satisfaction in physically see the pages accumulate in a three ring binder.
Then about a week into the month I’d written later into the evening than I’d intended and went to bed without printing out the pages. After I turned out the light and pulled up the blanket I heard a voice in the darkness ask plaintively, “Where are my pages?” Down went the covers; on went the light; and the computer; and pages printed. As I handed them to here I mused, “Who’s being compulsive?”
I didn’t make my personal goal of 100k words that first year. I only wrote 75k. I found that I could write but I determined I’d break my 100k words the next year. And I did. In the process I found competition valuable. Not only do I compete with my last year’s word count, I also have several writing “buddies” (a feature of the Nano website community). For six years I tried to beat one of my buddies word count (K.L. you know who you are!) and only succeeded once. Still the competition pushed me to write.
Call it competition; call it compulsion; call it obsession; call it whatever you want. For me it works. During November I write and for the seven years of Nano I have averaged over 119k words breaking 150k three times.
I may not meet my last year’s word count, but who knows, maybe with better time management, less Facebook, email, and games on my phone I may surprise myself. Then again…