Week Three: When I was your age…
Remember those old stories your grandparents used to tell you? Not the ones about things that went bump in the night, or the ones about stuffed animals becoming real. I mean the stories about walking uphill in the snow both ways. Or walking for miles in the snow in summer with no soles on their shoes. Okay, maybe only Grandpa told those stories while Grandma rolled her eyes at him and winked at you.
Well, Day 18 is kind of like that. You’ve already walked uphill and you’re going to keep walking uphill. Someday you’ll be telling your grandchildren stories about how you “wrote uphill all the way to 50,000 words.”
Yes, my dears, we’re over the hump. For some of you, the snow is still deep on that uphill journey. For others, it feels more like a down-hill slide on a plastic disk – maybe even a little out of control and serendipitous and gut-flipping. If you haven’t quite hit that 25,000 word peak yet, you’re still feeling the pull of the Week Two Sludge. Everything slows down in week two, but fear not! If you keep slogging up the hill, you’ll eventually reach 25k and get that gut-flipping “over the hump” feeling.
Super-Wrimos, please don’t get the wrong idea. Even if you’re speeding downhill toward a large tree (and you’re wearing your helmet), 50k is still a bit of an uphill climb. It’s just more of a free-flowing, downhill sort of uphill climb. And it’s a lot more fun. Why? Because Risk – Death = Gut-Flipping Fun, and you took a big risk this month and you didn’t die, therefore it’s fun.
If you’re not tumbling downhill like a giant snowball, rest assured that Week Three gets easier. Maybe the snow is thinner. Or maybe it’s the air that’s thinner. In all my years of wriming, I can’t say I know why this phenomenon happens, but even though the climb is still uphill toward 50k, the words start flowing and you fall in love with your story again and your characters finally figure themselves out and plot holes start to fill in. Maybe that’s why I call this the Week of Miraculous Things Happening In My Novel. It’s especially refreshing after that steep Week Two climb.
So whether you’re at 10k saving up for the big finish, or at 40k on long skis, or just sliding clumsily off the chair lift while trying to stay on your feet (that’s me!), keep writing. Remind yourself the next “uphill” is really Grandpa’s way of saying he worked hard and wants to be acknowledged for it. So do you – so pat yourself on the back. You’re half way to a novel, more or less!