Well, I’ve done it.
I’ve navigated through the suffocating darkness of the wilderness that had become my most recent novel. As soon as I hit the middle… bang. All light was gone. The path had disappeared. My steps forward slowed to almost a stop. It’s NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) and I should be typing til my fingers bleed. I pledged to finish a first draft. But for over a month, I hovered here, moving forward, sideways, in circles and even backwards, an inch at a time. I battled monsters: depression, fear, doubts, frustration. Monsters leapt out of the shadows at every step.
I considered giving up.
But this is my sixth full length manuscript and if I have learned anything it’s that I must ask for help when I am lost. Enter my gorgeous and wise writing buddy (GWWB). My GWWB has also been writing for many, many years and also knows the pain of the so-far unfulfilled dream of a published book. She lets me cry and wail and rave on about how terrible I am, how terrible the book is, and how utterly hopeless everything else is.
Then she calmly reminds me of why it is that we write–simply, because we can’t not write. She reminds me that I am not alone in the darkness. Then she sends me home with firm instructions a map to keep going.
And I did. And lo and behold, I made it out of the wilderness. I can see the pathway once more. The end is in sight, lit up by my imagination and my characters that refused to give in.
Now, NaNoWriMo is nearly at an end and I still have 20,000 words to go if I am to finish this manuscript. Can I do it? Possibly. But not without the support of my writing friends. And that’s what NaNoWriMo is all about: connecting with others and getting it done.
So off I set again. My lunch pack is full, my water flask refilled. I am energised once more.