To demonstrate the insanity that sometimes occurs, ruining your writing plans, here is a brief account of something I learned this summer.
This year, I wanted my NaNo story to be something new instead of a sequel of a previous story. I had a few ideas about the princess’ family that I was following, and I was unsure of what to do. Then I heard about Camp NaNoWriMo. The creators of the site duplicate the awesomeness of NaNo for the diehard fans, but put it on months that are a less stressful for some people. This year, they did a camp in June and August.
I participate in an online game during the month of June, so I set my sights on August. I would finish the stories following the princess and find a new story by November. I started rather well, and penned just over 7000 words on the first day.
Then the weekend came. I had little time that first Saturday to do anything related to writing. My church was having a final youth event for the summer. All youth leaders were encouraged to come and participate with the youth. So I came along and joined in the main game of the day – Tank Wars.
Each team’s main goal was to defend our tank – one designated person – from getting wet. Due to other circumstances, our tank was the most vulnerable. We were determined to play to the best of our ability. During the last round, people from other teams were allowed to enter our team’s area. I was assigned to guard the tank and to stop anyone that approached by any means necessary.
Some kid ran in from the team directly in front of me, holding a water gun. Remembering my mission, I became determined to stop this kid. When it became clear he was going to run around me, I tried to take the water gun out of his hands. We struggled. And somewhere in the process of trying to defend my teammate, my ring finger on my left hand apparently bent back. I let go when a searing pain began around my finger.
Less than five minutes later, our team was disqualified when our tank ran out of their designated area. :(
When my finger was still throbbing two hours later, I went to Urgent Care. An x-ray confirmed I had broken my finger. I was given a splint and told to rest. I was told to follow up with a doctor that week. That doctor put two of my fingers in a cast for three weeks and ordered me to rest it.
Now, back to my NaNo story. I was able to type slowly with my injured finger in a stabilizer, but it still hurt my hand, even if I didn’t use my hurt finger. I was determined to keep going, but I couldn’t type. So I pulled out a notebook I had bought just that weekend and began handwriting the next scene. When I was put in a cast, I had no choice but keep writing the story by hand.
By the end of August, I had three notebooks full of handwritten chapters. After a few online word wars, I learned that I averaged at least 250 words per page. Using this safe guesstimate, I counted the number of pages in my notebooks and added that to my word count total of my story. Though I did not validate, I managed to pen around 61,000 words during the month of August. Over half of that was by hand.
If I can do it with one hand on paper, you, with two good hands and a computer, should be able to reach 50,000 words in 30 days. Where there’s a will, there’s a way!