There are times on this blog I say that I’m really writing this for me (and inviting you to come along for the ride). This might be one of those times.
I just hit 23,924 words in NaNo this year. I will count this blog post toward my daily word count today, so that total might be higher. But rather than get in to some weird edit loop…you know what, nevermind.
Twenty-three thousand, nine-hundred, and twenty-four.
That’s almost a thousand more than I really hit last year.
Last year I started a book called The Treachery of Rainbows. This year I am continuing to write that book.
This is, historically where I get stuck. So, this is a note of encouragement to Future Todd.
It’s going to be late. You’re going to be tired. You’re going to look at the word average and think that it’s OK to skip a day. Keep writing. Even if it’s ten minutes to midnight and you don’t think you can form a thought, keep writing. You did Box of Doom. And so far, you have proven that you can easily hit 300-400 words in ten minutes if you don’t puss out. Don’t puss out.
Work is busy. Dude, I know this. You work for a retail company, and while not on the retail side of the company, you still have to make sure shit flows. And that’s cool.
But you’re not writing because it’s a neat hobby. you’re writing because long ago you realized that the words in your head had to come out. To make way for more words. Because there will always be words. And if you don’t put them out on paper, or screen, or a journal that nobody will ever read until after you are dead, the words must still come out. It’s how you’re wired. Work is work. It pays the bills. Writing is writing. It feeds the soul. Keep writing.
There will be a natural tendency to compare yourself to others. You are friends with some amazing writers and authors.
And you have a bit of a confidence problem.
You think that because you can only do the smaller challenges, or not type as quickly, that you are not as good as them. Here’s the secret–it’s not about them. Their word count is their own. And has fuck little to do with you.
You will never write the stories that your friends and fellow writers can and will. But the secret is–they will never write the stories that you can and will.
Don’t give up when looking where they are. Just as you see them, their path and their success, there is someone looking at you and thinking, “Wow. How does Todd do it? I’m never going to be able to do what he does.” You need to keep writing. For you, and for the people watching you.
There are people watching you. Always. You opened a can of worms by posting your word counts. And your goals. And guess what? It’s too late to stop that. You did it. You started it. Own it. OWN. IT. The minute you stop, the people who are hoping you fail-and you better believe there is at least one person watching you and waiting for you to fail-but the minute you stop, those people win. And fuck those people. They are hoping you fail because it scares some people when they meet someone who so clearly knows what he wants to do in his life. Keep writing to shut those fuckers up.
Just as there are people waiting for you to fail, there are people who are waiting for you to succeed. You’ve already made a short list of them. Your inner circle that has been rooting for you from day one.
Would it surprise you to know that there are more? There are people who only see you from time to time, or who see your posts about word counts and have never met you in real life. They are rooting for you too.
Why? Because you are bringing something new in to this world. You are creating a story that has never existed the way you are telling it. You are bringing something new, and shiny, and creative, and you are giving it up to the world.
You are saying, “Hey–I made this thing. And it makes me happy to have made it, and hopefully it makes you happy to read it.”
Making that thing is beautiful. Making something from nothing. Something physical that started as an idea in your beautifully fucked up head; that my friend, is magic.
What it comes down to is this. You NEED to write. You need writing in your life like oxygen. The most important reason to keep writing is self preservation. If you don’t write, you die. It may take decades for your body to catch up, but you will have known the death. You have been on the brink of feeling it before. Don’t go back to that place. That place was dark, and it sucked. Just keep fucking writing.
And there you have it, Future Todd. I don’t know when you’re going to get to the point where you feel like giving up. It might be tomorrow. It might be years from now, but Present Todd, sitting here in this moment knows that you can do it. And seriously, you better. Present Todd has not published any books that he can see in Airport news stands, so clearly that’s on you bro. And the only way that’s going to happen is if you keep writing.
Oy!! Future Future Todd. Listen up. Here’s another reason to keep writing. You see, I wrote this post as a way to encourage you..er me…er us to keep going when things got bad. So, on a whim I added it to our NaNo count (because it is writing, and more importantly-it is writing about writing). And when I added it, it put us at about 165 words shy of hitting 25,000 words.
Halfway. Adding another one-hundred and sixty-five words to this letter of encouragement would cause us to tip the halfway mark for National Novel Writing Month. Two days before the actual half way point.
So, it occurred to me that if I followed my own advice and keep writing that we might actually be able to hit this.
And seriously, how motivational would it be (will it be, will it have been) to know that by following my own advice, I hit a goal that we hadn’t hit before?!?!
I guess you’re wondering why I called you ‘Future Future Todd.’ You see, once I posted this, Present Todd no longer had a hand in this, but when I found out that I was so close, I came back and kept writing!! But because it was after this was posted, technically Future Todd was the one that made the updates, so now, as you’re reading this you are the Todd from the future of Future Todd who is doing the updating on this little note. So you are both Future Todd and Future Future Todd.
And with that, because we decided to keep writing, Todd, we hit 25K in NaNo for 2016.
Kick ass, brother! Now we’re on the back side of this thing and it’s time to turn it on and rock it out!!