Inspiration: The Tortoise and the Hare

Week One is drawing to a close and, I’ll admit to you, I’m already behind. I haven’t once gotten my allotted daily words this week. I look at some of the word counts in our region growing fast and furiously, and watch mine inch along.

My problem this year is that I really like my story. I want it to succeed beyond the 50k. My inner editor is a lot harder to smother this time around. You know what I’m talking about. That little editor watching over your shoulder, throat-clearing and head-shaking every time you write an awkward sentence or meandering conversation or overly wordy description of ship-building techniques in 15th century Portugal.

I’ve been considering each paragraph as I write it. I’ve been weighing words. I’ve been checking and double-checking my notes and outlines. I’ve pretty much been doing everything I’m not supposed to during NaNo.

But am I worried?


For all my faults this year, I haven’t been procrastinating. Well, not too much, anyhow. I really have been pondering my story, talking about my story, dreaming about my story. I’ve put in a lot of keyboard time. I’ll get there.

This isn’t my first rodeo. Even though some years I’ve had that fast and furious word count, in others my pace has varied. I have every confidence though that, even though I’m slow-going at the moment, there will come a point where story comes pouring out of my fingertips and I won’t be able to hear my inner editor over the clacking of the keyboard.

And I’m still having fun. I love my story this year, my characters frequently make me giggle, and I’ve been nodding my head with satisfaction as I put words on page.

Whether your words are flying or whether they’re shuffling along at a more sedate pace, keep at it! And just have fun!

– Jessica (Past_Midnight), co-ML for Indiana::South Bend region


About mckenzielynntozan

McKenzie Lynn Tozan lives and writes in South Bend, Indiana, where she works as the Departmental Secretary of English and World Language Studies at Indiana University South Bend, and remains closely affiliated with 42 Miles Press, New Issues Poetry and Prose, and Wolfson Press. She previously received her MFA in Poetry from Western Michigan University, where she worked as the Layout and Design Editor for New Issues Poetry and Prose and as an Assistant Editor of Poetry for Third Coast. Her poems have appeared in Encore Magazine, Sleet Magazine, Rogue Agent, Thank You for Swallowing, Whale Road Review, The James Franco Review, The Birds We Piled Loosely, and Analecta; and her book reviews have appeared on her website and on The Rumpus. She lives with her husband, their daughter, and three cats. For more, visit View all posts by mckenzielynntozan

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