Here we are, at the start of Camp NaNoWriMo’s Week 4! Where did the time go? In some ways, it feels like it’s been April forever…and then I look at my draft and realize that I’ve been working on this for more like six weeks (yes, I’m a rebel who started early!!) and I can’t believe how fast it’s gone!
Week 4 finds different writers at different points. Some have surpassed their goals and are coasting toward the finish line. Some are trucking along right on schedule, due to meet their deadline right on time. Others are struggling a bit more to hit that coveted number of words, hours, pages, etc. that they’ve set for themselves.
This is where I love Camp NaNo: it’s never too late to adjust your goal.
Anyone who’s read through my backlog of blogs may start to think I talk a little too much about the writer’s worth vs. their goal. Sometimes I feel I talk about it too much, as well! Yet in my interactions with my fellow writers, I’m always discovering new ways in which we hold ourselves to impossible standards. Sometimes, those standards are unnecessary, even harmful. Like when we Campers run ourselves ragged, devolve into poor self-talk, and even become depressed, angry, or feel hopeless and worthless because there’s just not enough time to catch up to the goal we started out the month with, or changed to in the middle of the month when we realized April was going to be busier or trickier than we thought.
It’s good to be competitive. It’s good to push ourselves. But it’s also good to be realistic, in that if you’re sitting at 10,000 words out of your 40k goal, and between work, school, relationships, socializing, mental or physical health struggles, etc., you realize that’s just not happening, you can face that, too.
And then stop it from defining you.
My encouragement to any floundering Wrimos this week, whose goal is too daunting and even unattainable as it stands now, is this: just adjust it. It’s not too late to set a goal you can realistically achieve by month’s end. Of course, every word you write is an accomplishment, but meeting milestones creates a huge surge of joy, too, and all Wrimos deserve to feel that. Even it means switching from 40k to 15k and just squeezing in 5k more this month between all the other things you have on your plate.
You have hung in this far. You have put down words. You have achieved. Now is a good time to reassess your goal for Week 4 and see if you need to adjust in order to meet your goals. If not, great! Go tackle that original goal! And if you do need to adjust, remember that this is not a reflection on your worth, talent, dedication to writing, etc.
You took on the challenge of NaNoWriMo for a reason. But NaNo is not the definition of who you are as a writer. The beauty of Camp NaNo is its fluidity: the power to change goals and still meet them. It’s leisurely. It’s laid back. And you alone have the power to push yourself to a previous goal, or amend it.
Flex your power over your goals this week. Whatever they may be, set them and smash them. See you all at the finish line!