Yesterday I attended my first ever "write-in" celebrating the half way point, along with a huge segment of the Seattle NaNoWriMo community at the Hugo House. When I arrived just after its 10:00am start time, the work party was already in full swing, with perhaps two dozen writers sharing a dozen small, square tables. By noon, our numbers had more than doubled. Large folding tables appeared as if by magic, power strips and cables proliferated and walking became both difficult and treacherous. It was a good thing the fire inspector didn't choose yesterday to drop in. At final count, about 75 of us had shown up to work on our word counts in convivial company.
So how, you might ask, do 75 people all tapping away at their keyboards or scribbling furiously with pen and paper a party make? I wondered that too. Especially since I was also hoping to beat my highest previous daily word total by 1000 words! Balance, it turns out. Renda, one of our two Municipal Liasons, made a game of it - challenging us all to 10 minute writing sprints, at the end of which we'd call out word counts; those with the highest winning prizes. Namely rubber ducks. I am now the proud owner of a quite fashionable little duck complete with pearls, dress and buffant hair-do. Between sprints, she allowed plenty of time to visit with other writers, stand up and stretch (while there was still room to do so) or keep writing.
Over lunch (we all chipped in for pizza), some of the writers got up and read excerpts from their books. I was not one of them. Their books sounded so real. Like they were genuine writers. I was afraid to read mine aloud. What if my story turned out to be utter crap? I've written so much, and come so far, and what if its not worth the computer bytes its currently occupying? What have I done!?!
And then I realised that it's only been two weeks. In the past two weeks, I've written more than I've managed in the past two years of dreaming about trying to write a novel. And, so what if it is crap? At least its only going to take me a month to complete it. And if it turns out that there's something worth editing, huzzah! In the meantime, I'll just keep writing.
Oh, and as of yesterday afternoon, I broke 30,000 words!
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