Jill Weatherholt

Writing Stories of Love, Faith and Happy Endings While Enjoying the Journey


No Quitting Required

“If you can quit, then quit. If you can’t quit, you’re a writer.”
― R.A. Salvatore

Yesterday, I reached the NaNoWriMo challenge of 50K words, 50131 words to be exact. For reasons I’m not quite sure of, this year was more difficult. I began the challenge with the enthusiasm and determination to meet it head on. Most days, I enjoyed meeting my daily word count, but then there were “those days.”

On “those days” I despised writing. I questioned why I was doing this since no one was making me. I could be spending time with family or friends. Or I could be relaxing with a good book. Why am I torturing myself? My only answer was, “I couldn’t stop.” Once I started the story and my characters became real, I had to know what would happen to them. Since I’m not a plotter, I didn’t know where the story was going to go, so if I quit, I would never know.

Another reason I couldn’t quit can be summoned up in a quote by Winston Churchill, “It is not enough that we do our best; sometimes we must do what is required.” This year, when I made the commitment to myself to participate in NaNoWriMo, I knew the requirement for me was to write 1667 words each day. I could try my best each day, but if I didn’t meet that word count daily, I would be left behind to flounder in a sea of unwritten words. I chose to keep swimming.


A NaNoWriMo Thanksgiving

1. I’m thankful for the great camaraderie among fellow NaNo’ers.
2. I’m thankful to have reached a word count of 38,565 today.
3. I’m thankful for the energy to persevere each day.
4. I’m thankful for the support and patience of loved ones.
5. I’m thankful I’ve been able to maintain my daily word count.
6. I’m thankful my tendinitis hasn’t been a factor this year.
7. I’m thankful NaNoWriMo is only once a year.
8. I’m thankful at the end of this battle, I’ll have a good start to a very rough draft.
9. I’m thankful that I have twelve months to recuperate from this madness ~ oh, I forgot I need to edit this mess.
10. Most importantly, I’m thankful that NaNoWriMo 2012 is almost over!


“Find”ing the Finish

There’s an editing feature in Microsoft Word that I love and use frequently, the “Find” button. This button allows me to search a particular word and if I choose, replace it with something better.

As I reach the halfway point of NaNoWriMo, I wish I could use the “Find” button for some motivation. For 14 days, the motivation has been present. Albeit some days more than others. So far, I’ve been able to stay on track with my word count.

This morning when I looked at the calendar, the red numbers 1 and 5 were staring me in the face. My word count of 25,600 indicates I’m a little more than half way to my goal, but my mind is questioning, “Am I really only half way there?”

At that moment, I realized I had to utilize my “Find” button for a new mindset. If I allowed my mind to continue down this negative and self-doubting path, I would fail. If I focused on how many words I still have to write, I would fail.

Instead of traveling down that path, I chose to hit “Find” and there it was, perseverance, a tendency that every person has the ability to utilize, if they so choose. So today, I will persevere. I will stay on my steady course of action. Instead of asking, “Am I really only half way there?” I choose to say, “Look how far I’ve come, I’m almost there.”

What keeps you motivated in your writing or in life?


My First Ten Days of NaNoWriMo

Day 1: “I exceeded my daily word goal of 1667. I love November!”
Day 2: “Why am I torturing myself?”
Day 3: “Who needs an outline, I’m a born panster!”
Day 4: “It’s Sunday, isn’t this the day of rest?”
Day 5: “It’s Monday and my story stinks.”
Day 6: “I’m still on track.”
Day 7: “This is harder than I remember.”
Day 8: “I’m a writing machine! I could finish by November 23rd.”
Day 9: “Should I have my main character get hit by a bus?”
Day 10: “I’ve reached 17,279 words today. I can do this!”


NaNo and NFL Sunday

I love NFL Sunday. I especially love it when I’m able to see my team, The Washington Redskins play. Living in Charlotte, North Carolina, it’s a rare treat to watch them from the comfort of my own home. Today they play the Carolina Panthers so, game on! Life is good ~ right?

Well, not if you’re participating in NaNoWriMo where each day is a struggle to stay on top of your daily word goal. My daily goal is 1667 words, however so far I’ve managed to build a cushion each day, anywhere from 100 to 300 extra words. Of course we’re only on day four, so that’s not saying a lot, but any NaNoer knows, every word counts.

My plan has been to use the weekends as an opportunity to put bonus words in the bank, in case the week ahead is crazy at work and I’m too tired to write at the end of the day. It’s comforting to know those bonus words are there for the taking.

This morning I was determined to write 1667 words before the start of the game. If I didn’t reach my goal, I wasn’t going to allow myself to watch until the words were written. Then a miracle happened. I wrote 2000 words in a record time for me, less than two hours. The words were flowing from my head to the keyboard faster than I could type. I never imagined the idea of watching my team play would be such a great motivator.

As game time approaches, I can sit back, relax and hope the Washington Redskins are as successful as I was today. If so, maybe I’ll be motivated to write another 2000 words. If the Skins face a loss, my motivation may be gone, but those 730 bonus words are still in my bank going into day five.