Motivation is hard to find around this time of November. For a month, I’ve been dabbling on a novel as part of my yearly NaNoWriMo challenge. The goal is to write 50,000 words in 30 days…and I’m nearly 45,000 words behind. Needless to say, it’s been a rough year for noveling.
I love the writing, I do, but the words just haven’t materialized. It’s tempting to blame work, my social life or my other creative endeavors, but I know that’s a cop-out. I simply haven’t given this project the attention it deserves. Sometimes, inexplicably, the thing you most love is the last thing you want to do.
Normally, I could cut my losses and move on to a new, shiny idea, but I told people about this novel. I hyped it to pretty much everyone I know and now they’re asking me about it. “How’s the novel going, Jonny?” they ask. I cringe and have to admit that it isn’t going very well at all. Awkward silence and pangs of guilt set in.
I’m tempted to tell people as soon as I walk into a room that I really don’t want to talk about my novel. It’s a sensitive subject. But, you know what? Every time someone asks me how I’m doing on my novel, it forces me back to the keyboard. The guilt drives me back to work and I inch a little closer to my goal.
I’m under no illusions that I’ll finish in three days, but I’d like to see how far I can get. And if this crummy draft starts to resemble something akin to a story between now and Friday, I may just find the motivation to continue into December.
So, when I say, “Please don’t ask me about my novel,” what I’m really saying is, “Please pester me about my novel so much that I’ll be forced to write to save my pride.” I’ll thank you later.
The novel continues! If you’d like to bother me about my progress, please comment or mention me on Twitter: @jonnyeberle.