Friday, November 15, 2013

NaNoWriMo Pitfall #4 - Why Bother...

NaNoWriMo Pitfall #4

And we're back to the installments of my old NaNo Pitfall Posts.  Today is #4 - also known as 
'Why bother finishing when I'm already behind?'...

Welcome to November 15th, aka The Halfway Point.  At this point in your NaNo experience, you should be somewhere around 25,000 words - or at least near there by midnight tonight.  As you can see from the progress meter, I'm behind (by about 8K when I wrote this post).  This leads us to NaNo Pitfall #4 - I'm so far behind now, why bother?  (Sorry the two proposed topics got shunted aside, but I thought today was the best day for this.)

Okay, so I'm 8K behind*.  Why?  Well, some of it was life stuff - like the out of town trip I took Thursday and the right-cross Amazon dealt me that I have to deal with by Monday.  Some of it was squirmy stuff that will be addressed in a later Pitfall post.  Of course, the reasons and/or the excuses don't really matter.  Whatever they are, they've occurred and now I'm behind.

At this point, I could sit back and figure this year's NaNo is a wash.  When am I going to make up 8 THOUSAND words?  PLUS do the 1667 every day I'm supposed to do to reach the goal of 50K, mind you.

That's where the pitfall lays.  Like the dude in the picture up there**, I have to find a way to swing across the gap.  (And he didn't even dig his own hole like I did.)  I could stand on this side, shaking my head at the depth of the hole, or I can find a way to get past the expanse.  2200 words a day will get me to my goal.  That's a load.  Or, I could bust out extra words on the weekends.

The point here is: Stopping isn't an option.

Sure, this is only a self-imposed deadline, but if I ever do get a book contract with actual deadlines, I'm sure as hell not going to be able to tell my publisher "Sorry, I had some things come up.  Maybe I'll hit that number next time."  I guessing there's a quick way to say buh-bye to your career.

So, there is nothing to do but forge ahead.  If I have to miss some sleep, or sit in this chair until my ass falls off, or type all day on Thanksgiving, I will do it.

And if I don't I will still count it as a win because I will have tried my damnest.

Whether you're doing NaNo or not, how are your word counts looking this month?  Has anything come up that's put you behind in whatever you're trying to accomplish?  Regardless of the answer...


* 2013: As of this morning, I'm only behind by 4300.  Which means I need to average 1953 words a day to reach 50K.
**picture deleted because I didn't have the right to post it.  It was from the old Pitfall video game and showed the character swinging on a vine across a chasm. 
*** Oh, yeah, Pitfall #3 got skipped because it didn't fit this morning.  I'll try and re-post it this weekend.  If you're interested, it's linked over to the left.
And here's a link to the old post if you want to read the old comments. 


  1. *sigh*

    Hoping to get some serious word count happening this weekend 'cause I'm so far behind it's ridiculous!! Oh, well - I'll just keep trying, November ain't over yet!!

    1. I hope you make your goals this weekend, Janet. And don't worry about being behind. Just forge ahead and do what you can do. And like I said, if not November, there's always December. =o)

  2. It's the journey. It's starting with a blank page and filling it with words to form sentences grouped together to make paragraphs on pages that becomes chapters that form a book. Or at least the beginnings of a book. If you don't start, you won't finish. And if you don't finish by November 30, you finish by December 15th, or New Year's, or Valentine's Day. The point is to commit and to finish. And damn straight that November ain't over yet! Now get to work. Yeah, yeah...I'm one to talk. I'm going. ;)

    1. Exactly, Silver. The point is to start, and then to finish. This whole month is an exercise in finishing what you start. Both you and Janet have proven that you can do exactly that.

  3. Good luck with the 4300 words. Any pitfalls I need to know about now that I'm past the 50K mark?

    1. Congratulations, Keith! The only pitfall I can think of after reaching the 50K point is slacking off. Been there, done that (usually after 11/30). Because we all know our books aren't finished at 50K. But from the sounds of your blog post, you're not in danger of falling off that ledge. Go you!


Share your wisdom.