Incoming Power Ballads

Well, this is it, guys. The end of (NaNo) days. The final countdown. The last few morsels of that whole enchilada that is November.

Our voyages have all been unique. None of us have had the same journey. Some of us stayed right on the line, diligently writing just short of two thousands words a day, but that is infinitely more challenging than simply writing fifty thousand words in a month. Some of us wrote big once or twice a week and used the days in between to prepare ourselves for the next big push. Some of us fell way behind in the beginning and rallied later in the month. Some of us have already written over two hundred thousand words.

Thanks for padding NaNoLanta’s count. It makes us all look a little better.

And some of us aren’t going to make it.

By now, you know that. You see the monstrous words per day necessary to win, and you know in your heart of hearts that you are simply not one of those people who can pull off a 10k day. Maybe you’ve tried some ‘creative’ word counting by adding in term papers, diary entries, grocery lists, anything you could think of, and it’s still not enough. Maybe you’re a purist and tried to get a big could of days on Thanksgiving, but Aunt Linda would not. Stop. Talking. You did your best and it wasn’t enough, or you slacked off and clearly it wasn’t enough.

Or maybe you’ve never hit fifty thousand words before and knew on November first you weren’t going to do it this year either. A lot of you do that, and I commend you for it. It’s admirable to participate in a marathon knowing you’re not going to win.

These are the WriMos I look to in these final days. Sure, NaNo is about writing fifty thousand words in a month, but it’s also about reaching personal goals and cheering each other on and sticking with it even when you know you’ll never cross that line. It’s about immersing yourself in a group that will support you no matter what you write or how you write as long as YOU ARE WRITING. Just because you’ve only written twenty thousand words, you shouldn’t give up now. That’s twenty thousand words you didn’t have in October, and that could be twenty-five thousand words by the time December hits.

And think of all the amazing things that could happen in five thousand words. After all, a great number of Edgar Allan Poe’s stories are about five thousand, Heck, The Lottery is under four thousand words.

Remember The Lottery? The one where the chick gets stoned to death at the end so the town will have a good harvest? Even South Park spoofed it in their portrayal of Britney Spears versus the paparazzi. It’s good stuff.

So if you’ve gotten this far, if you’re devoted enough to NaNoWriMo that you’re still checking the forums and the NaNoLanta website on Day 28, don’t stop now. If you need extra motivation, 1980’s power ballads are great for that. Here’s a list to get you through:

Danger Zone – Kenny Loggins
Don’t Dream It’s Over – Crowded House
Don’t Stop Believing – Journey
Eye Of The Tiger – Survivor
Final Countdown – Europe
Flashdance (Oh What a Feeling) – Irene Cara
Holding Out For a Hero – Bonnie Tyler
Jukebox Hero – Foreigner
Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us – Starship
St. Elmo’s Fire – John Parr
You’re The Best – Joe Esposito
O Fortuna – Carl Orff, which is well older but is absolutely the greatest motivator in the history of all music.

Let this soundtrack power you through these last couple days because YOUR WORDS NEED TO BE WRITTEN. And trust me, you won’t want to do them in December. It’s like sitting down after a long day on your feet. You know you want to keep going, but getting back up is hard. Especially when there’s all that holiday muckety muck to deal with.

If you need any more motivation, think of future you. The NaNoWriMo site saves your data for future years. Next year, and the year after that, and the year after that, when you’re in the middle of November and thinking about how you’re doing in comparison to previous years, do you want to pull up this year’s chart and think, “Oh, I just quit that year,” or do you want to think, “You know, I didn’t finish that year, but look at how committed I was to doing the best I could!”

I don’t know about you, but I don’t want this year to be the one I quit on.

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