Saturday, November 16, 2013

NaNo NoNo's

So NaNoWriMo is half over.

At just over 20,000 words, I'm slipping behind. I can blame the extremely long hours that I work, all of the traveling I have done these past few weeks and the fact my job is one of those 24-7 ones where I dip into email at virtually any hour of the day.

But, ultimately, I have NOBODY to blame but myself.

My stats as of 8 AM this morning - I wrote for about 1 hour and produced 1000 words. I need to write at least a few more hours today and a few more hours on Sunday to get back on track

Here are a few things that I have done wrong.

I fully intended to outline the entire novella I'm working on in advance. At least get the beats down. And I had started on it - I had made some notes regarding the generic story arc, but I never completed more than the first third of the novella's detailed story beats. So far, it has been good, and I have (as always happens) discovered characters and situations and scenes that never occurred to me while planning the story -- but that has also slowed me down, meaning I might produce 1000 words on a particular day rather than the 1667 required.

I have dipped into email first thing in the morning, where I had originally budgeted a half hour to one hour slot for writin, and ended up falling down the rabbit hole that my 24-7 job can often become. The work will never go away, there'll always be well more than I can tackle. Thus, if I don't put writing first before digging in to email, I'll never get back to the writin.


To get 1667 words per day, I need to plant my butt in a chair and produce words. Simple enough. I must remember my favourite writing quote, which comes from Hugh Prather: " />If the desire to write is not accompanied by actual writing, then the desire is not to write."

Here are a few things I have done right:

1) I have taken advantage of unique fresh time-slots and locations to get extra writing done - at the airport, on the airplane; writing instead of watching TV at night, etc. I have also used an audio dictation while in the car to record notes and story beat ideas

2) I have done my best to shoot for 2000 words rather than 1667 words, so I can buffer myself for those days I don't write, or don't write as much. The reality is, those no writing days, or less writing days will happen, so that buffer has helped.

3) I have kept at it and not let myself get discouraged. When I look at the monthly chart above, I see more green than red, so far. Sure, I'm behind, but I'm still fighting the good fight.
I look at it this way -- even if I don't hit 50,000 words, the fact that I have dedicated time to getting writing done is a GREAT thing. In my mind, EVERYONE who writes at least SOMETHING during NaNoWriMo ends up ahead.

I plan on getting back on track this weekend by investing a bit more time and ensuring that I can hit this forthcoming week AHEAD of the curve, rather than continuing to fall behind.

We'll see how that turns out.

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