So here we are on the final day of November. I did not reach 50,000 words. I didn’t really even get close. But I did write every day except one, I took Thanksgiving Day off. That is way more of an important win than how many words I wrote. Because honestly, I’m not sure how many of those words are actually useful. I started the month without a real story in mind. I had hoped in expanding on the drafts I already had, one might start emerging. That did not happen, and I think I’m more confused now than when I started. Now I’ve got even more fragments, random scenes, and character background and less idea of the story I want for these characters. But I’d rather not dwell on the downsides.
There is a much bigger bright side. I managed the longest daily writing streak I’ve had in I don’t even know how long. The other major outcome of this month, has been a better sense of how to structure my days and schedule my writing time. Since I left my job earlier this year, I haven’t been very good at sticking with a routine or daily schedule. I’ve been switching it up often trying to figure out what works best. I finally realized that if I want to write every day, I think I do, it’s best to stick with the same time every day. I also concluded that it’s best to get my writing done in the morning. The days I had afternoon write-ins scheduled, it was easy to lose track of time in the morning and end up wasting time instead of working on something else. So yeah, a month well spent. I’ll just share a few stats to finish things off.
- Total word count 30, 883
- Highest daily wordcount 2,052
- Daily writing streak 24 days
- Average daily word count 1,028
Week three went about as good as I expected, which wasn’t great. I honestly have no idea what I’m doing. I mean like literally, I still don’t really have a story. I’m working with a vague idea and couple of characters. I thought working with workshop drafts would have inspired some new ideas, but not so much. I expanded on a few of them, but they weren’t as productive as I thought they’d be. This week I had to start from scratch and it was an uphill battle all week.
I had the added bonus of feeling kind of sick all week. Nothing major just a little congestion but also feeling really run down. Didn’t get much of anything done all week. I still managed to write everyday, which at this point is a bigger goal for me than my wordcount. I’ve completely given up on catching up and reaching the 50,000 word mark by the end of the month. I’m going to keep it up though. I lost of a bit of momentum, but I feel like writing everyday has had an effect on my productivity. I hope to keep it up after this month.
This year’s project revolves around Dante, a character I’ve been writing about for quite a few years. (Check out her fictional blog) I haven’t posted to the blog in some time, but she’s still very much in my head. For a while every workshop prompt would end up being about her or somebody in her world. So I have all these bits and pieces that I decided I would type up, finish, expand, whatever. Honestly, I’m not sure what I’m doing. I don’t really have a story in mind yet, just barely the tiniest spark of an idea. But I decided to go with it any.
Week 2 Writing
So far it’s been pretty easy, mostly I’m just typing up handwritten drafts. As I go along I’m adding extra little bits and expanding or finished incomplete scenes. I’ve still been running behind on my daily wordcount. Hosting the write-ins have been extremely helpful, days I really didn’t feel like writing, I pretty much had no choice. While I didn’t want to overwhelm myself, it might have been a good idea not to skip days. It pretty obvious the days without write-ins I’m a whole lot less productive. Wednesdays seem to be the worst day, two weeks in a row, I only managed a few hundred words. I’m trying not to stress too much on it. Instead I’m focusing on the achievement of writing everyday. That a big win to celebrate no matter what my actual output is. I knew this would be a big challenge, especially since I’m not solely dedicated to the NaNo project.
This week I finished all of the drafts I had. Now I am working completely from scratch. So, we’ll see how I progress going forward. Today is officially the halfway point and I’m at 19086 words, my average words per day is 1272 and I’m on track to finish by December 9th.
I attempted NaNoWriMo for the first time in 2015. I finished my story but was still short about 5,000 words. For me that was accomplishment enough. It was the closest I got to the 50,000 word goal for the next several years. Then last year, I finally won working on memoir writing instead of a novel. I’m still working on editing, rewriting and organizing a workable draft. But memoir writing can be pretty heavy. So I decided to lighten things up by working on some fiction for NaNoWriMo. My goal is to work on both at the same time, but we’ll see how it goes.
To help keep me on track I’ve decided to host some virtual write-ins. Something I started doing this past July for Camp NaNoWriMo. It helps to have company and to be obligated to show up to write. I have four of those scheduled throughout the week in addition to group writing sessions I already attend. It should be more than enough writing time to hit the goal, but my main issue is losing momentum on the project I’ve already been working on.
Usually the first couple of days or week I try to go beyond the daily word count. It helps to get ahead early, because I will likely loose steam at some point. I wasn’t able to manage it this week. In fact, I’ve been behind all week. Starting off the week with an average of 15000 words a day. Wednesday I barely managed 200 words. I don’t know if it’s the schedule, the change in weather, or just my body being weird, but I’ve been exhausted. I mean tired enough that by two in the afternoon I need a nap. I managed to pick up the pace later in the week and almost catch up. Saturday I even thought I might be back on track, but fell behind again on Sunday. I have a usual routine that includes being a lazy bum and binge watching a TV series. (This week it was Lock & Key.) I managed to get in about a thousand words first though.
In all I guess my first week wasn’t so bad. I’m happy with my progress, I wrote every day. I also managed to keep up with work on other projects I have going on. Maybe not as much as I would have liked but I’m not trying to overwhelm myself. Spent way too many years overworking myself just to burn out and give up on everything. Not doing it again. Well, I better be off to do some actual writing.
For more info and to register for upcoming write-ins, check out the Eventbrite page.
I had originally planned on participating in NaNoWriMo this year, but decided to sit it out. Instead I’m going to continue with the two other projects I’m already working on. I have enough unfinished projects. As an alternative I decided to read a couple of published novels that started as Nano-books.
Something Strange and Deadly by Susan Dennard
Finally a YA book that does not take place in a dystopian futuristic world. Instead it’s set in a magical alternate past, during Philadelphia’s Worlds Fair. Just as Eleanor’s brother goes missing, the city’s dead begin to rise. When Eleanor receives a message from a corpse about her brother she goes to the Spirit-Hunters for help, but ends up in the middle of the investigation for the necromancer responsible.
Necromancers, spirit-hunters, and walking dead, make for a great story, but what really pulled you in was Eleanor. She seems very conflicted about her role in society. Eleanor is expected to dress and behave according to her role as a young woman of high society. It’s interesting to see how she navigates around (or simply breaks) these conventions to achieve her goals.
Art In Blood: A Sherlock Holmes Adventure by Bonnie MacBird
I’m not a big mystery reader and all I know about Sherlock Holmes is from TV and the movies. I have no idea how this compares to other Sherlock Holmes novels but I enjoyed reading it. The novel begins with a newly married Watson finding Holmes in an cocaine fueled spiral. He’s pulled out of the spiral by a intriguing message from French performer worried about her son and believes he may be in danger. The son lives with his father, an English lord, and their yearly visit has been canceled. Holmes in a frenzy sets off to Paris right way. His hurry isn’t simply concern for the boy. This particular English Lord has been suspected of art theft in the past and may be connected to a recent art theft of notoriety.
The story moves at a quick pace, new details introducing connections between the cases and darker mysteries. Not much I can say about the book, it was a quick, easy read and was pretty entertaining.