I did it. I got home from work early yesterday, dug deep, and wrote 5,000 words. I’m officially over a day ahead of schedule. I’m 1500 words away from finishing. I would have stayed awake longer to just power through those last words, but I was practically dead from exhaustion. I’d been nodding off during a meeting at work and couldn’t shake the feeling of fuzzy-brained idiocy I get when I’m warm, not nearly caffeinated enough, and sleep-deprived. So I opted to go home early at the cost of working an extra hour or so every other day this week. The trade seems to have worked out for me because I’ll easily be able to finish writing tonight and I feel so much better than I did yesterday.
I was always sure I could finish (and I REALLY hope I’m not jinxing myself by assuming I’m going to finish at this point) but I know that I truly considered giving up more than once as I fell further and further behind during the first two and a half weeks of the month. If I hadn’t gotten sick, I probably wouldn’t have been so exhausted that I had to write almost half of my word count in four days. I’d have spaced it out better. If I’d had better discipline from the start, I wouldn’t have fallen so far behind that giving up seemed like the right option. I know for a fact that I only persevered because I knew I could do it and I am too stubborn to do anything but double-down in the face of this kind of adversity. If it is something that relies on my ability to work hard and keep going, I will always double-down.
As much as I’m often conflicted about the many different parts of myself and my internal life, I really appreciate this sort of stubborn inability to give up. I can safely say that it is either a result of learning to cope with my mental illnesses or has been instrumental in coping with them. Or both. Something as core to my self-identity and self-experience as my stubborn refusal to accept giving up as an option is hard to trace to its source. Maybe I was born with it, maybe I developed it, maybe its just a tiny voice inside me that constantly says “you’ve gotten through worse so you can get through this.”
Whatever the case, I can verify that the wakefulness and focus this sort of determined stubbornness provides is one of constant and exhausting tension. I can always feel it in my back and in my neck when I’m relying on it. I can feel it in the way my head rests uncomfortably on my pillows and in the way my headaches start at the base of my neck and work their way up when I get so tired I can hardly see properly. Losing that tension, born of a need to accomplish a goal, leaves me feeling all limp and unfocused. After I finally caught up, it took me almost an hour last night to get back to work and only by focusing on another goal, on getting my word count to the point of being ahead one day, was I able to become productive again.
Today, I will finish writing. Tomorrow I will look back and reflect on my journey through National Novel Writing Month. Friday, I will look to the future. I’m interest to see where this goes.
Even the best of friends will fight or have disagreements from time to time. No matter what we do, we will eventually lose out temper with someone we love and respect. It may not even be their fault. Maybe we lost our temper with them because they were the dozenth person to ask us a question we don’t want to answer or address. Maybe we’d had a very frustrating day and something they did that normally is just a cute annoyance was the straw that broke the camel’s back. Regardless of why, a lot of the burden of fixing what happened is on the person who lost their temper. Not because expressing their anger or frustration was wrong, but because they lost control or weren’t respectful. To be sure, that is not always the case, maybe us losing our temper was entirely justified, but we’ll still often feel incredible guilty about it. For today, write a scene in which your character loses their temper with someone they love. Show us whether or not they were justified and show us what they’re willing to do to fix things, even if they weren’t the one who was in the wrong.
Today’s inspiration is something I’ve technically shared before. On the second day of this month-long project, NaNoWriMo Day 2 (11/2), I shared a link to an hour-long compilation of Pokemon Route music. Today, I’d like to share a specific song from it because this song, to me, is what victory sounds like and I’m feeling pretty damn victorious today. This link is to a half-hour version of this song. This one is to a Jazz rendition of it. They’re both pretty good, depending on which sort of music you’re in the mood for. I was definitely feeling the jazz version last night as I sat in my room, writing, my room light only by the softened glow of my monitors and the four pillar candles I’ve placed around my room. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do and that it propels you on to finish your writing.
Music has a huge influence on my mood and on the tone of what I’m writing. I like to keep a variety of playlists around specifically for changing and influencing my mood as I write. I used to keep my playlists on iTunes, but I’ve changed computers and had my library deleted by iTunes too many times to rely on it any longer, so they’re all on YouTube. That way, I can access them pretty much anywhere on any device that has internet access. I high suggest that you do something similar if you’re looking for a way to affect your mood while you write. Even just putting on something that makes you feel good about yourself or the world or other people can turn what started out as a burdensome day of writing into a more exciting and fulfilling day of fun.