This last weekend, I managed to make up some lost ground. I wrote around 7000 words in two days, which is decent when you’re about 14,000 words behind.
But I still ended the weekend behind, and I’ve slipped ever further behind this week.
There really isn’t much I can do about it. This is the busiest time of the year in the power industry. Monday, I worked a bit late, and had band practice. Tuesday, I worked a bit late, and took the night off. Wednesday, I worked really late, and was too exhausted to even write a blog post.
Tonight, I’m going to a write-in at Richard‘s house. If I can produce at least 2000 words tonight, and 2000 words tomorrow, I’ll be in a great position for another strong weekend. In order to feel confident about succeeding this month, I’ll need to do better than I did last weekend. With the Night of Writing Dangerously taking place Sunday, I don’t know if that will be possible.
There are side effects to missing goals, and falling this far behind. Self-doubt creeps in. As I was getting ready for work this morning, I let some of the despair take over for a little while. I thought, “Maybe it’s time to stop pretending that I’m a writer.”
Then I stood up straight, took a deep breath, and let that thought go.
I might not write 50,000 words this month, but that doesn’t mean I’m not a writer. It just means I’ve had a really busy month, and I’ve been doing the responsible thing, which is to work and support my family. There’s no reason to feel bad about that.
The truth is that the story I’ve started this month might be amazing, someday. It’s not right now. It’s clumsy and misshapen, as many first drafts are. But there is some really good stuff in it. Whatever happens with NaNoWriMo, I’ve got something. In spite of all of the craziness and business that is my life right now, I’ve still managed to start something beautiful.
And that’s what it means to be a writer.