I can write year-round, every day, indefinitely, with the writing habits I have. With the writing habits I have, I make steady, meaningful progress without burning out.
The writing habits I have will not get me to 50,000 words by November 30. I have set myself a goal that requires unsustainable behavior, daily, for weeks. I have no intention of quitting, but I begin to wonder whether I have not made a bad trade I did not need to make.
I am 3276 words behind schedule. Plenty of people are behind now, and lots of people have finished triumphantly in years past who came up from behind. This is manageable, and of course far less oppressive to the soul than grad school was.
The task at hand demands that I break, or at least set aside, my most useful asset as a writer. I don't need to resort to hypomania or hysteria to write, but I need to induce or fake those mental states for Nanowrimo. I have to develop habits that will carry me to November 30, and absolutely no further. I have to risk the possibility that, once all this foolishness is done, I may not be able to write every day anymore, not for some time.
Would this have been easier if I had no writing habits at all? Or sporadic ones? What would this be like, if I actually felt I had nothing to lose?
I'm the kind of fool who can't resist anyway. Any task hard enough that it shouldn't be attempted--or, better yet, actually can't be done--just give me a running start, and I'm all over it. If it weren't for the chronic pain, I might have made a good Marine. Well, I guess it's useful to know what kind of fool one is.
8,393 / 50,000
Those 3276 lollygagging words had better have their bags packed and their boots on when I come to pick them up.
Today's new words: 1761
Conditions: Longhand afternoon shift at Starbucks, word processor evening shift at home