Her name is Jane. She is a woman in her late 20’s, with a reasonably good job, living alone in her own apartment in a big city.
Jane loves writing.
One day, she heard – or read online, actually – about something called NaNoWriMo. The name itself was very curious, so she followed the bread crumbs.
Turns out that NaNoWriMo is a game – one that you play against yourself. The goal is to write a novel during the month of November, one that you must start and end (hopefully) during the 30 days of the month.
“Now that’s an interesting challenge”, she thought.
She still had two days before November and the game started. She wondered if she’d have the time to do it.
“I think I could skip the gym for a month if I only ran for 30 minutes everyday… And I could grab a snack afterwards, so I can get home and just start writing.”
But she still wasn’t sure about it.
Only one day or one year to start challenging herself – “after all”, she caught herself wondering from time to time, “if I don’t join this year, there’s always the next one!”
Talk about procrastination…
Sometimes she thought it was totally doable, sometimes she was 100% sure she would never meet the target.
Sometimes, when she was at work and got up to get some water, she thought that would be a good time to use writing the novel. Every coffee break could be used to write, she could do it on her phone! And all that unused time waiting for elevators, or in traffic, or on lines for whatever she had to wait in line…
“We do waste lots of our time in this planet, don’t we?”
But she dismissed that thought with a wave of hand. There would be no use wasting even more time thinking about how much we waste our time!
So after all that mind blathering, Jane was hit by the truth: if she ever wanted to write a novel, that would be the best incentive of all!
“Let’s do this!”, she said to herself – outloud, by the way, which startled the old lady sharing the elevator with her. Jane thought she’d better wave away what the old lady might have guessed with her sentence.
After all, she had been named after Austen!
So there she was, on the first of November.
“A day as good as any other day to start the novel that will rock the world!”, she thought. And then she giggled. She wasn’t going to write to anyone else but herself, and she was sure the result would not rock anyone’s world – but her own. Jane embraced the game and decided to challenge herself. Nothing more, nothing less.
Fifty thousand words. How much is that? She still was at work when she decided to actually join NaNoWriMo, and she was at her desk. So being in front of the computer, she just moved the mouse over the right option and opened a calculator.
“Fifty thousand words in 30 days… that would be 1666,66666 forever, which means I have to write around 1700 words a day to nail this.”
She stopped for a moment in front of that number.
“Can I actually do this?”
She had never written with a goal like number of words before. Well, not for herself anyway, school assignments didn’t count. So she had no idea if that was doable.
“I wonder how long it takes for me to write 1700 words. I have never timed my writing!”
But then she started thinking that maybe she’d do best if she just started typing.
She decided to create a blog for that, since it would be easier to write from her phone by doing that. She would also be able to see the word count that the mobile app had and keep track of how much she’d write every day. So she quickly setup one, wondering for a moment if she should make it private of not.
“What the hell”, was the conclusion, so public it was.
And then she started typing.
For a while, words flew from her keyboard (since she still was writing from work). Then she had to stop from time to time because, well, she was at work! During lunch, she only had a quick meal and then went somewhere she could just sit and write on the phone. And the lunch hour was gone by with 433 words added to the blog post.
“Four hundred, thirty-three words?”
Would that be a good mark or not? She had no reference to know!
“Just keep writing”, she thought to herself. It was the only strategy she had so far.
In the afternoon, she kept going back and forth between her work tasks and writing some more. Sometimes she felt it difficult not to write, what looked like a good sign. She was secretly afraid of having a writer’s block in the middle of the story, another waved-away thought.
Before going home, she had 832 words.