And if there's one thing you need to write a novel, it's not community, or time, or skill, or even a good story idea -- it's obsession.
"Determination" is a milquetoast. Screw determination. Obsession will get you through this.
And okay, my obsession was with pleasing the community and having done what I needed to do to stay in the club. If no one in my clique had posted, I was devastated. I'd write a hundred more words and check back to see if there was a new post by anyone of interest. Then a hundred more. Honestly, I got a lot of work done waiting for my people to talk to me.
I wiped my plate of everything else that first month because my obsession was how much of the novel I could complete . . . and therefore talk about having completed on the message boards.
My goal was as much to achieve a personal best as it was to stay a thousand words ahead of the woman whom I'd designated my friendly-rival pace-car doppelganger. Tuns out that she and I really had nothing in common, but at the time I could have sworn she was my long lost twin. So it goes.
Now . . .
Particularly the fast-out-of-the-gate hares who are quick to tell everyone else "don't worry, you'll catch up." (I'm not doing this to catch up to you.)
Particularly those whom you have a word war with and they type 1000+ words in 15 minutes. (My accurate typing speed is no where near that fast, and when I stop to consider word choice and punctuation, hell no.) And then they can't understand why you're so damn happy about 396 words in the same time frame.
Particularly those who think that your day's writing is done by the time they go to bed. (That's when some of us start our day's writing).
And don't even get me started on the people who finish five days early and treat you like you're going to lose and comfort you with sentiments of "maybe next year." (Hey, in NaNoWriMos past, I've written over 15,000 words in the last three days of November. Never, never count me out.)
(Unless I tell you to count me out. Then -- really, it's over -- just leave me out of it.)
Currently I'm that not quite middle aged woman who stands in the window grumbling to herself that she really should have the courage to tell the kids to shove off, or get zen enough to not care what happens to her lawn.
Although if I hadn't been so confused by what was going on, that little girl who was shoveling the snow pile back onto my driveway would have gotten a lecture that might have at least bored her into going far far away.
I'm not against kids per se. Or against kids playing in the snow. Or people walking their dogs. Nor am I against NaNoWriMo if that's what works for you. I'm just weary of dealing with the fall out, whether it's falling out of someone's message board or out of their dog.
I call for #HermitNaNoWriMo.
First off, there's the deadline at the end of the month.
Second, there's this taciturn leave-me-alone-I'm-doing-a-thing thing that I love . . . but that really isn't a difference.
Okay, there's this ideal -- this glorious ideal -- that you will emerge from your Hermit Cave at the end of November, striding forth as choirs sing and smoke machines billow forth light-show-catching clouds, because yes, there will be a rock-star-worthy light show as you bear aloft your novel, completed on deadline, in Hermit cave, without yelling at any kids. And people around you will gasp, and say, "I didn't even know you were trying to do NaNoWriMo." And you will reply, "Yes, that's just how awesome I am: Novels pop out of me without warning. Mind your step, I feel another one coming on."