It’s been one of those weeks when the novel I’m writing is just a struggle. I’m not sure what should happen next or how much more should happen before the final showdown with the sorcerer villain. I don’t even know how that showdown should end when it comes! In contrast to most of November, where I had my outline and things were smooth sailing, now I’m almost at the end and I feel like I’m faltering. I know I’ll get there. But day after day of only getting one page written–and no page of which I’m thrilled with–has become a super frustration when the rest of my life apart from my fiction is in a state of total flux.
Nothing Worthwhile Comes Easy
It’s moments like this in the writing process that I remind myself it’s okay to feel like I’m floundering about. It’s okay to feel unsettled with the project. I’ve written enough that I’m confident the characters will sort themselves out, and beyond that: as everyone says, “Nothing worthwhile comes easy,” or “If [INSERT TOKEN CALLING HERE] were easy, everyone would do it.”
All of that’s true. I’m glad writing has its ups and downs and its struggles, because if it didn’t, what would finishing a novel matter? What sense of accomplishment would there be? What genuine pride in knowing “This was a battle, but I persevered and I got through it, and now I can say I prevailed. And because of this struggle, I can say I’ve gained the knowledge, experience, and confidence to shape me into a person more likely to persevere and triumph in other struggles too.”
So, if you did NaNoWriMo, and you’re disappointed with your results, or you’re tempted to just throw in the towel and not complete your project: hang in there! Take it one day, one scene at a time. However long it takes. The point of NaNoWriMo is provide a jump to get you started, and whether you have half a novel or a completed novel full of holes, 16,000 or 100,000 words…. What you’ve got is potential. What I’ve got is potential, and I know that, so I’m just going to struggle through as many one-page days as it takes until I hammer out that finished first draft (how that’s for an oxymoron?).