Two of my coworkers asked about my novel today. You know, the one I'm doing for NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). My response was something like, "Please don't ask me about that right now."
Why do I not care about Aria or superpowers or the other craziness in my novel? Halfway point, my reader friend.
The goal I set for myself was to hit 30,000 words by Nov. 15, halfway through the month. I did it! Yay me!
I'm sure if you ask 10 writers how they feel about the halfway point in their novel, nine of them will glare at you and throw their coffee mugs. That last person doesn't remember what his or her novel is about.
That's not based on fact or real statistics, but I'm pretty sure it's true.
Man, if I rambled like this in my novel, I would have hit 50,000 words a long time ago.
Let's make it simple: once I hit that halfway point, I stopped caring.
Here are some of the thoughts running through my head since Nov. 15: I can't do it. Why should I continue writing? No one is ever going to read this. Alyssa, your mother wants to read your novel. Aren't you going to let your mother read your novel? No. Why? It's stupid. I can't do this. What sane person tries to write 50,000 words in a month? That's not even a good-sized novel. Novels are longer. You can write more than 50,000 words in the month, Alyssa. No. You can continue the novel after November. You can work really hard and do lots of editing and maybe get it published.
No, no, no.
Yes, I argue with myself a lot.
At that halfway point, I keep telling myself I'm halfway there. I've survived this far and if I could do 30,000 words in the first 15 days, I can do 30,000 words in the last 15 days.
Real life got in the way. I went home for a long weekend. I got sick.
Right now, my day 15-count is the same as my day 19-count: 30,152 words.
I've written all of the scenes that I had even thought about already. I have no idea what's going to happen next except I know there's one more action fight scene.
That's definitely not enough planning for 25,000 to 30,000 words.
So is this my column telling you I'm giving up?
No, no, no!
It gets so hard after that halfway point to continue writing, but even if no one else ever sees my novel, I need to know that I can do it. And I know I can. I've done this in the past. I have to work hard, but I will reach 50,000 words.
I need to write 1,514 words today to get back on track. I can and I will do this.
Inside all of us is something that we need to do, whether it's write the novel, go back to school or even just tell that cute person, 'Hey, I like you.' We can make a million excuses as to why we shouldn't, but in the end, we have to do it. So I will.
As always, feel free to add me on Twitter at @MurphyAlyssa for my latest NaNoWriMo updates or harass me about all of the days I haven't written.