NaNoWriMo Halftime: Are You Insane?

areyouinsane So it’s Day 15 of NaNoWriMo, and one of two things is floating around in your mind:

“Woohoo! I'm on top of the world, baby! Look at those stats!”


“Oh, why do I even bother? I have, like, seven thousand words. Why did I even agree to do this? I knew I couldn’t write a novel in thirty days. That’s insane!”

(I will be talking to the latter person today.)

Here’s the thing: you are insane. You committed to writing 50,000 words in 30 days. Who does that? Insane people do that, and that’s you, honey.

You’re doing something that’s outlandish and difficult to achieve. You’re attempting to shock everyone when you say, “I wrote my novel in thirty days.” You’re doing something crazy.

And isn’t that what writers go nuts over, anyway? I don’t know about you, but it has been a blast to hunch over my laptop with my snack (popcorn) to my side, pulling at my hair because I don’t know what I want Norah Anderson, my main character, to do or say in the courtroom. And as I shove a handful of popcorn into my mouth, I think and I think and I think—

And then a blow-your-mind idea strikes me, and I all but shout Eureka! How incredible is it to pour your life into a book—your book—and get frustrated and fed-up, only to be struck with a brilliant idea that makes your book simply unforgettable?

That’s the type of craziness that I live for.

So I guess what I’m saying is: don’t give up. You’ve got work to do. You need to finish this, because there is someone out there who will fall in love with your book the same way you did when you wrote it. Get up, get a plan, and get to writing.

And if you’re going to tell me that you can’t write 50,000 words in 30 days, then I guess you’re just not insane enough.