A blogger wrote about NaNoWriMo in a way I just can’t relate to. And it makes even less sense if you’re writing with the intention of getting a novel out of your head and onto that screen. The near-end of the first week made her think about how you put down the words every day and have to worry whether you’ll meet the quota days after day, and beyond NaNo, because even if you do meet that quota every day you have to start over again the next day. If you’re just counting words, I suppose that’s true. But not if you’re writing a novel.
If you’re really writing a novel, then it continues from day to day, growing into the vision you had for it, or becoming a vision even though you weren’t sure at the start what a vision could look like. You don’t start over every day; you continue. If you’re writing a novel, when you reach 50,000 words, you don’t stop and pick up something new; you continue writing until the novel is a whole thing, not a collection of words that have met a daily and monthly quota.
The vision precedes the words. If there’s no vision, the words don’t matter. If you keep the vision in front of you, you’ll find the words.