Last year, when I first attempted NaNoWriMo, I drank the Kool-aid and then vomited up 20,000 words before I realized it wasn't good. I wrote until I got writer's high - writer's nirvana, as one of my friends calls it - and I kept writing. I'm surprised there aren't rainbows and butterflies in those chapters...actually, maybe there are.
I was more than a little depressed about the wasted effort (mommies of three-year-olds don't have a minute to waste). I stopped writing for about six weeks and questioned my ability as a writer. Uncool.
This year I vowed to do NaNoWriMo again, but by my terms. I decided not to get caught up in the word count. I planned to write one quality chapter at a time and edit after writing a few - because this is the process that works for me. I would use the hype of the month to keep me moving - and to give my family a relatively concrete reason to give me blocks of time to write (which they have).
Something happened yesterday as I approached 30,000 words...I became obsessed with the word count. And my Muse sprinted away.
I was writing just to add numbers to the awesome graph on the NaNo site. But my plot was murky. My chapters weren't contained units. The the last sentence of the last few chapters sucked - and yet I kept writing.
Today I refuse to add new chapters until I fix the three or four chapters that aren't good. To hell with the word count - it doesn't mean a thing if it's not quality work.
If I do nothing but fix these chapters before the end of the month, it's a win. And I will have proven to myself that I can write half of a quality novel in a month, a pace I would love to keep up over the next year.
To those of you racing to the finish line, carry on. I'm dropping out but am still cheering you on.