It’s Day 27 of NaNoWriMo and I must admit that after hitting my 50K goal in the first couple of weeks I got a little over confident in my writing ability. I’d vowed to complete an entire novel draft in the remaining time without factoring in writer fatigue, mental burnout, and family time over the holidays. I’m certainly nowhere near completing a second draft but that doesn’t mean I’m not still pushing to get as many words in as I possibly can this month. To get my writing mojo back I ventured out to a local write in and thankfully it was the perfect atmosphere to get me back in the writing spirit. I added another thousand words to my draft and got to mingle with a few new writers in my area. I guess the moral of this story is never give in to the funk.
I’m getting a little sloppy in my writing habit. While I am still sitting down to write every day, I feel safe in saying my binge mode is on hiatus. I managed to get a couple hundred words out before my brain decided to call it quits today. I’ll probably need to go back and tweak my outline to get my mind back on track to finish these last couple thousand words. Either way, I have plenty of time to reach the 50K goal for the month. Anyone else hitting a mid-WriMo slump?
It’s Day 10 of NaNoWriMo and I spent the entire day on my behind in front of my computer. Only taking breaks for basic self-care and a thirty-minute dance party with my minions. All my hard work resulted in a massive 7k+ word gain! I’m surprising even myself with how many gains I’ve gotten over the last ten days. Then again my minions have missed me terribly as I’ve squirreled myself away to accomplish the undertaking.
Okay, so I just made that up but no matter if you are in a mad dash for that 50K goal or taking the scenic route, this Friday is the start of an exciting weekend of writing. Who isn’t excited for the weekend! I had an entire day wide open to get my creative juices flowing again. I took it slow in the morning hours not wanting to burn myself out for the scheduled Write-In later in the evening. I also didn’t give myself a set goal because I found myself overthinking trying to get there and that’s never good for my writing process.
I’ve been able to solidly pants my way through the first week of NaNoWriMo but today I took a step back to do some basic plot arc outlining to get myself back on track. I know the goal is to get 50K words with no stipulation on them being good words but I’d at least like it to make sense. Since I’m planning to publish my NaNoNovel someday it would help if I didn’t have whole chunks of garbage writing to edit away.
Bonus tips: If you have a smartwatch or fitness tracker use the hourly activity notification as your word sprint clock. I have a Samsung Gear Frontier and its hourly reminder to get moving also keeps me from being too sedentary while on my writing binges.
Day 2 of NaNoWriMo wasn’t as productive as I’d hoped. Maybe I expended too much energy the first day. I managed to get in one writing sprint for about 30 minutes and used the prompt “Write 100 words for every cup of coffee you drink today” which was simple considering I only consumed one cup of coffee this morning.
As a new writer/author, it’s super easy to get caught up in word count.
Word Count = Page Count= Price=Sales=Readers
Or something like that. If I plan on writing a Novel, the standard is 50,000 words (approximately 200 pages), so that becomes my goal. Sure I plan on writing my story my way, but that 50K is always looming in the background. It becomes a question of adding that extra description here or maybe even a whole extra chapter going into detail about something that in the grand scheme of my plot is not necessary. I don’t want to write anything that encourages the reader to skim, but at the same time I really want to reach that 50K goal. It’s a compulsion, the light at the end of the tunnel. I know I can do it but is it really worth it? What if this particular story is better left as a novella or short story?
The best advice I’ve received has been to focus on the story and not on the word count as it will change constantly as I write, edit and re-write. I’ve tried to take this to heart, but it’s been slow going as I struggle through writers block, outside distractions, and trivial self-imposed deadlines. How I measure my progress? Word count and plot progression. At present, I’m just shy of 30K words and a little over half way in my plot development so that 50K isn’t far off. I just have to remember that word count is not important; it’s the actual words that count. It’s not a big deal if my work is longer or shorter than that 50K, all that matters is telling a good story.