Wednesday, November 21, 2007

NaNo Blogging: The Lack of a Word Count

One of the nice things about having “won” (In case you don't remember, I wrote something like 65k for my first novel before abandoning it and I'm well into my second – which is proceeding more slowly but being written better, if you ask me. I've yet to actually finish one, however, so that's the crunch I'm working under.) NaNo already is that I don't have to worry about my word counter.

In the beginning, I did. Because I wanted to keep my quotas. Didn't want to stop writing because of everything going wrong and needed to know that I was chugging along at a decent pace. And, of course, so I could measure myself in any number of words wars. Most of them went well. Except for the one I foolishly entered into with someone who's threatening to crack 400k for the month. Sigh. Maybe next year after I spend the intervening months doing keyboard crunches and daily word sprints.

This year, however, I'll freely admit that I have not been having the best time of it. Which, again, I know sounds absolutely awful considering I've already got more words in the bank than most people. But, again, this is all about where my boundaries are and how I'm pushing against them, not the standards set by anyone else. And I could do more. I know I could do oh so much more, given the chance. Too many lazy days. Too many hours spent with video games and researching blog posts and other frivolities I could cut away. But, above all, too much time spent obsessing about that word count.

Checking it regularly. Logging into the official site to update it. Worrying when it seemed like it was slipping. Concerned when each milestone became a millstone around my neck. A weight tied to my fingers, making each page, each word, an excruciating experience.

It was slowing me down in other words. Making it seem like my writing was even harder than it already was. So, that's why I haven't been updating my word count lately. Not because I haven't been writing. But because I've been bothering to keep track of how much I have been. But, trust me, I've been writing up a storm.

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