I know, it's not November 15 yet. But last night I reached the magic 25K half-way point to the NaNo finish line. So I'm halfway there before I'm halfway through. This is a very good feeling, even though finishing NaNoWriMo won't in the least mean I've finished this book.
The beauty of the NaNo experience for me is that I stop worrying over every bitty word and just write. And when you just write -- anytime, anywhere (yes, the morning subway ride is still my very best production burst of the day) -- you can make huge gains toward telling any story you really want to tell.
Last year, I started out with all sorts of outlines and timelines and flow charts. This year, all I had was an odd "to do" list of things I wanted to be sure to say. Every day that I'm not picking up where I left off the day before, I choose something from that list that hasn't been checked off, and then I write everything I can think of on that topic. I have no idea how long this book is going to be. I'm only now now first starting to see a shape emerge. It was one hell of a relief, let me tell you, to finally get a sense of that after almost two weeks of writing. Turns out (whew!) I wasn't downloading random thoughts after all, but there is truly a big picture to which all the scraps belonged. This is a good baton to pick up at the halfway point. Now all I have to do is run with it to the finish line!