Date: Sometime in the middle of November–I’ve lost track of the days at this point.
Location: The lounge on the second floor of my dorm building. My roommate went to bed several hours ago.
Time: 2 AM
I’m pushing through the last few pages that I was supposed to finish yesterday. These words can still count toward yesterday’s quota, right? I’ll have to manually update the word count on Nanowrimo.org when I wake up. I don’t have time to count all these words tonight. I need about 400 more words to hit my goal–not par for today. I fell short of that a long time ago. I check Tumblr again. Read a fanfiction. How come two handwritten pages feel so impossible right now? I had so much motivation for the week on Sunday, at the regional write-in. I sigh, and slap my laptop shut. I’ll finish in the morning. I don’t think I can stay awake through another page.
Six hours of sleep is enough, right? I have chapel in an hour, so it had better be. I pray hard that maybe this will be the day that I catch up and make it back to par (though if my calculations from last night are correct, that will take about thirteen pages in one day). Over breakfast, I tap my eraser against a page that already has a grand total of three words, as though the motion will get my ideas flowing again.
It’s that tiny, ten-minute window between chapel and my first class. I’ve tucked myself into that little nook in the back corner of the library with the record player and the window that looks out on the trees. I know I can write one side of one page in ten minutes. I’ve done it before. At this rate, it doesn’t look like that’s going to happen. I transcribe the few sentences I jotted down in the margins of my chapel notes–alright, at this point, it’s more like chapel notes in the margins of my story. Maybe I can finish up this half-of-a-page before–Oh, never mind. Looks like I’ve only got two minutes to make it to class.
Now that classes are over for the day, I have a nice block of time to dedicate to my novel. It’s open in front of me on my bed. And so is my laptop, which I manage to pry myself away from long enough to get one sentence down. Man, my protagonist really hasn’t been as talkative since his virtual reality experiment glitched with him inside of it. Is he mad at me? Come on, Lance. It had to happen for the sake of the story. No hard feelings, right? He’s still not saying anything. Definitely mad at me.
I go for a walk with a friend to a local tea shop that’s having $1 Tea Tuesday. It’s our weekly tradition. Besides, a walk and caffeine will get my creativity flowing again.
I still have nine pages left to write. But I’ve got plenty of time left. It’s not even late. The night is young! So, I check Facebook and get caught up taking personality quizzes about Star Trek characters and ’60s rock groups for an hour.
My roommate’s asleep again, and I’m back in the second floor lounge. Still have eight-and-a-half pages left to write, but this is always when my late night inspiration kicks in. Right, Lance? Right?
I need four more pages to make it to par for the day, but I’ve run out of steam. The major point-of-view shift of the novel has taken place, and I foolishly reward myself with a short fanfiction. Turns out I already read that one, so I let myself read another one. I definitely went over my goal for the day, even if I didn’t make thirteen pages. Nine pages is a lot for one day. I’ll finish in the morning. I don’t think I can stay awake through another page.
Elora Powell is a Bible college student from Portland, Oregon who spends her time analyzing, writing, and loving science fiction, and occasionally talking about herself in the third person.
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