‘Twas a dark and stormy night-
No, wrong story.
‘Twas the month before Christmas, and the Wrimos were stirring. Not a word had been written before, for November the first was upon them, and they merely had their outlines.
And among them a Sarah planned her ideas, thinking of a simple doppelganger tale. The first day, she wrote 4,000, but then she had a phone call from her employment agency.
“To the library with you,” the woman on the other end proclaimed. “You begin on Monday,” she elaborated, and Sarah packed a lunch on Sunday evening and went off to the library without a murmur – for this was a dream work experience placement. She shelved books, and nicked her knuckle on the metal shelf – ah, but it was a library, and there are no complaints.
She intended to continue her Wrimo activities, certain she could do eight-hour days and still write when she got home; alas, it was not to be. And after the first week she picked up her computer, pulled off another four thousand, and crashed into sleep. She’d forgotten to blog too, but posted a brave declaration of intent to post, unfalteringly optimistic.
Only she never did remember, what with the employment agency and the library at the front of her mind, and behind them, the NaNo. Oh, the poor NaNo – abandoned at eight thousand words young. The intent was there, but the actions were not – instead, the blog and the novel both fell by the wayside, until the work experience came to an end, and the employment agency only required presence three days a week.
And now she remembered, in this last week of November. “It’s not too late!” she cried out loud, measuring that there were still some forty-one thousand to be written, and only about four days. Opening the Word document, she read over the work that languished, pretending to collect dust – for it was not a tangible thing, to be held in one’s hand, and could not collect dust.
Placing her fingers to the keyboard, she typed. For the next few days, this pattern was repeated: come home from the agency, eat dinner, then slope off to write. She live-tweeted her progress, and jumped into mini-conversations with other tweeters. She wrote as if possessed, allowing her novel to run away and jump between countries and centuries, creating a second new character and for one brief moment, what might have been a third character – ah, but having a tritagonist was not in the plan, for there was no plan. There were only ideas, haphazardly scribbled on a ratty piece of A4.
Forty-one thousand fell down, replaced by twenty thousand, replaced by five thousand remaining, and oh the speed with which she typed, taking part in a little event called the #1k30min – one thousand words per half hour. Who could resist such a way to bring up the word count with velocity?
And then! On that thirtieth day of November, she typed like the wind. Hovering at thirty-seven thousand, she let her fingers fly, and just before midnight, reached precisely fifty thousand words: no fewer and no more.
She took to Twitter to celebrate, wired on coffee still, and took up the mantle of cheerleader. The first of December showed up, with no fanfare, and she made her new, much more sincere, promise to resume her daily blogging.