Wednesday was the Hump Day — not just of the week, but of the month, the first day of the second half. Writing’s going well. I like the stuff that’s coming out, better than the “first shitty draft” I expected though it will certainly need some polish time and elbow grease (er, brain grease? ew.). Haven’t quite gotten into the right rhythm for style or dialog or even balancing description and action, but as they say, you’re never really qualified to do a thing until after you’ve done it.
Right now, I’m running almost exactly 60% of what I should be; this means every day for the first half of the month I was behind by 40%, so every day for the second half I’ll need to be 100% plus that 40% make-up. So during the second half of the month I’ll need to more than double my average per day to hit the finish line of 50,000 words by November 30.
I think it’s possible. I think I’m still in this race. Francesca wants to remind me that if I don’t make it I’m still at nearly 20,000 words of a novel that didn’t exist a month ago. Yes. True, dat.
It’s important to me, though. Not because if I miss the 50,000 I’ll feel like a failure, because my happiness is not tied to the end result. And not because it will be worthless if I don’t reach the deadline. This ain’t a cake. If I get 80% of the ingredients in there, things will be just fine.
But 50,000 is audacious. There is value in striving toward an audacious goal. And hitting that goal makes it even more powerful. So I’m reaching for that power. I think it’s worth it.
I spent yesterday and today researching, plotting, filling my head with images and conflicts. I know more about the correlation between latitude, dark days, degrees of twilight, Seasonal Affective Disorder, and Solipsism Syndrome than I ever felt necessary. (BTW: the tendency toward Solipsism Syndrome in isolated Antarctic stations is a main reason my tough-as-nails detective cares for a greenhouse. That’s also the source of this great “See Also” pic.) Today or tomorrow I plan to watch two years’ worth of webcam footage from above the arctic circle to get a real sense of what “Night At Noon” is all about.
That set me a little behind, but in order to get a running start sometimes you need to start a little behind. Thanksgiving is coming up, I’ve set those days aside and the boss won’t wonder where I’ve disappeared to. Also, I’m counting on a little last-minute panic and over-the-hump momentum to build me up to a few 3000-word days near the end.
Go go go!