Here we are on the 18th of the month, which happens to be NaNoWriMo, and I've got a WIP, In the Land of Pangaea. According to a pace I've previously determined, I should be at 28,000 words, roughly, as of yesterday. But I'm at 20,000.
Previous versions of me would have been in a panic. Previous versions would be running around as a giant bundle of nerves, the way turkeys would be at this time of year if they realized how delicious they are at least once a year. But then, because of previous versions of me, I'm behind but am already on my way to catching up.
When I did NaNo in 2004-06, I set a daily goal of 1,667 words per day in order to complete the challenge in November's 30 days (via cold calculation). Anytime I didn't write on a given day, I knew I had to double that count the next day to catch up. By the third year I was able to complete the challenge in far fewer than 30 writing sessions. In the years that followed, I varied the length of my daily writing goals quite a bit, going so far as 10,000 per day in 2011, and then scaling back to 5,000 last year. This year I intended to do about 3,000, but since I started falling behind I upped it to 4,000 and then to 4,500. If I keep at this kind of pace on the weekdays I have available to write, I will hit the NaNo goal of 50,000 words in the month before Thanksgiving (and just who is this sadist Chris Baty to have organized the challenge in a month with a major family holiday in the first place???).
I've stated before that I'm not really concerned. I haven't officially participated in NaNo since 2006. I have no one watching over my shoulder except myself, and I guess you blogging readers, if you choose to be all judgmental and nasty about it. But you guys are pretty okay. You wouldn't do that.
As always, it's not the words but the sentences that increasingly interest me. I love when a story that I think I know starts to take over. While I plotted Pangaea fairly intricately two weeks ago, I like it when I discover new little bits of inspiration. Pangaea has turned out to be an excellent way for me to meditate on other manuscripts I've written, a commentary and summation on those stories that will hopefully make all of them the easier to process, although each of them are completely independent, including Pangaea.
The only tough part remains that I know even after November ends I will still have plenty to write. Which is also great fun to consider!