I had a couple of flat days as far as NaNo was concerned. I hit a plot minefield and realised that I had to think a lot further ahead than I had been doing and I didn't really have the capability to do that. Nevertheless, I scratched out a plan for the next three chapters and plodded along to a Leeds write-in yesterday afternoon. Perhaps it was the necessity to avoid eye-contact with other people (because I sure as hell didn't know what to say to them) but I got over two thousand words written in about an hour and a half. My inner editor was screaming at me to stop but I just kept going. Who cares if this chapter is heading for double the length of any of the others? At this point I'll take what I can get and a little bolstering to my word count courtesy of an old woman and her vintage bath mat can't do any harm.
However, I hit another snag when I got home and tried to continue writing. My motivation is sadly lacking. In Nero I had ample opportunity to listen to other people typing and it spurred me on to beat them. I have a rather competitive streak and, although NaNo is essentially a battle against yourself, being able to pit myself against other people really seems to help (even though the two people I spoke to had word counts above 35k and made me insanely jealous with them!). If I need that battle to write, along with the encouragement of Nero peppermint tea and ginger biscuits, then I'm really done for this year: my budget doesn't stretch to travel to Leeds and expensive coffee-shop afternoons.
So what do I do? Well, my stubborn streak has always been bigger than my sensible one. I don't like giving up, I don't like leaving tasks half done. What was the point of starting something if you're just going to quit? The story I've got is a reasonable one (or it will be after a few rounds of edits) and it's one I've wanted to tell for quite a few months now. If I put it aside I'll invariably come back to it later and then I'll berate myself for not finishing NaNo when I have the chance.
I'm still behind where I should be. As I write this my word count stands at 25,456 and I should be at 30,000 by the end of the day. However, when you break the figures down, it doesn't look too terrible: I only have to write 1,888 words a day to pass the target. It looks manageable in those terms, doesn't it?
I suppose the question is, can I justify giving up at this stage?
You know what? I can't. No matter that I have some serious aunt duties tomorrow or a PhD supervisory meeting on Tuesday or that my grandmother's finally losing her marbles and calling us every hour to ask if it's Wednesday yet. Why be bored when you could be busy as hell?