Tuesday, November 27, 2012

NaNoWriMo GUEST POST: one step at a time.

All, I'm pleased to share another guest post from my client Jessica Brockmole, who is a NaNoWriMo veteran and one of the best "NaNo cheerleaders" I know. Her debut novel LETTERS FROM SKYE will be published by Ballantine Books in summer 2013. Follow her on Twitter at https://twitter.com/jabrockmole

One November, I decided to take advantage of the discipline I was already imposing on myself for NaNoWriMo. I decided to take up running. 

Now, even though I’ve never done anything more strenuous than a brisk walk (I’ve never been what you’d consider an athlete), I had high hopes for my new venture. It sounded perfect! I had it all worked out: I would head out after dinner every night and get in an invigorating run, while clearing my mind and planning for the night’s writing. I plotted a mile course through my neighborhood, charged up my iPod, and, November 1st, I set off on my route.

I made it about an eighth of the way along the route before I collapsed, gasping. 

I walked the rest of the way home, cursing and vowing that I’d never go running again.

But I was out again the next night. This time, I cut myself a little slack. I probably wouldn’t get all the way around; I knew that now. Maybe I just wasn’t a runner. But surely I could go at least as far as I had the night before. And you know what? I did. Once I got to that point, I said to myself that surely I could go just a little bit further, to that lamppost. And, amazingly, I made it that far. To that crooked tree? There. To that house with the weird mailbox? I did it. To that…wait, wasn’t that my house? By setting little goals, I had made it the whole mile without even realizing it.

As you’re trying to get those last words, set small goals for yourself. Don’t think about the looming final word count you’re hoping to get. Just try to get another 500. Got that? Why not try to make it an even 1000? Well, since you’re already in the groove, just get another couple of pages down. Heck, since you’re this far, you might as well finish the scene. And, without even realizing it, you’re that much closer to your goal. 

Little steps. Little steps add up to a whole mile in the end.

Whether you've already crossed that finish line, whether you're still sprinting towards it, or whether you switched from a run to a very vigorous walk days ago, we’re all in this race together. Go, go, go!


Kaye Draper said...

I love the running analogy.

Although I hope it works better for me with writing than running. If you see me running, you'd better start running too, because I assure you I'm certainly not doing it for fun...

Best of luck on the final day!

Jessica Brockmole said...

Ha! Yeah, I'm not necessarily as devout at running these days, but for that one November, I was a STAR!