I can’t believe my fingers aren’t bleeding. I can’t believe my mind isn’t NaNo mush. I can believe that I won. I knew I’d write the 50,000 words and get my sweet little winner’s badge (See above. Sweet, ain’t it?) and other winner goodies. The reason I knew I’d do it is only because I told myself I’d do it.
My sister once plunged her hand into a sink of scalding hot water to unclog the drain. My mother and I stared at her in utter fascination while we watched the steam fog up her glasses. She unclogged the drain, and we resumed our Thanksgiving dishwashing. She shrugged. Mind over matter, she said.
That’s how I approached this challenge. I planned out when I’d write my novel and aimed for a higher daily word count than the average 1600 or whatever it is. I told myself to write every day, even if I had no desire to write. I told myself to ignore my difficult characters. I gagged and bound my inner critic for the month. When I got stuck–which was often–I switched gears in the story and wrote something action-filled and exciting. Even if it had no logical place in the story.
I didn’t give myself an out. I never said to myself can’t or won’t or maybe. I never gave myself an excuse about how hard it is to fit writing into a busy life. I told myself when, not if. I used the word do, not try. I didn’t give time a chance to knock me out. Instead I wrote during an hour that couldn’t be hijacked by anything. Every day that I wrote my quota I thanked the writing Gods for giving me inspiration and energy and motivation. And they rewarded me with more inspiration and energy and motivation.
So if you’re lagging behind, feeling the urge to give up, tell yourself you will finish. Tell yourself that if you want it bad enough, you’ll make it happen. The minute you give yourself that one break is the minute you do break. Gag and bind your inner critic and finish what you started. There is still time to win!