NaNoWriMo Check-In: After the Fact

NaNo has officially come to an end (duh, Audra, it’s been like a week, where have you been?). I’ve been here, in my chair, trying to keep up the writing habit on another project.

Here’s the thing. I WON NANO! Again. It’s such a good feeling. Although my story isn’t close to being done and I’m now seeing that the main thrust of the story  might not be working at all…I still did it. I wrote fifty thousand words in one month. FIFTY THOUSAND. 

I feel really good about that. I mean, I take a lot of pride in that fact. No, you can’t read it. No, I can’t even really pin down what it’s about. Doesn’t mean I’m not over the moon about finishing what I set out to do. 

Because more than just writing a novel, NaNo, for me, is a chance to prove to myself that I can make a hard goal and stick to it for one month. It means when I look at other goals or habits I want to create, I know I can do anything for one month. 

My brain is currently fried on writing – I lost momentum with the new project and have taken a few days off, but I wanted to drop an update and brag a bit. 

I won NaNo. 

NaNoWriMo Check-In: Week 3

Required word count: 35,000

Actual word count: 35,076

Week three is generally supposed to be easier, when you’ve passed the valley of death (ahem, week 2), and can see the finish line. Some people have already hit their 50k, those lucky dogs. For me, though, this third week was kind of terrible. I skipped a couple of days and had to fight to get back up to make my word-count, which I did, but it was tough going. I had to exercise some real self-discipline. 

The story itself is getting weird, in that I’m now skipping around in scenes instead of writing it all chronologically, as I was doing for the most part. I have a lot of ** COMMENTS *** like that one about what needs to happen between scenes, or where to add descriptions. I think my main feeling now is curiosity – I’m curious whether this story will reach 50k before the end, or whether it will surprise me with extra content. 

Energy level: Adequate, still. So my habit of writing is taking hold, and I can make my butt go in chair when it needs to. Butt in chair, fingers on keyboard = happy writing life. 

Enthusiasm for my story: Also still adequate, with some curiosity and a lot of “can’t I just be done with it now.” 

Outlook on next week: I’m about 99% sure I will finish on time, barring a major life catastrophe. But my story will be even messier and disjointed than I’d intended, so…

Anything memorable? The day I made up my lost word count by writing 3400 words in one sitting. Ouch. But also, I CAN DO THAT? I may need to do that all the time and start writing for real.

NaNoWriMo Check-In: Week 2

Required word count: 25,000

Actual word count: 27,077

Well, week 2 is usually where people start to find their enthusiasm waning, and I am no exception. I had two days where I had to really, really force myself into the chair to write. I did a few five-minute sprints because anyone can do five minutes of anything, right, and somehow managed to keep my momentum and my word count up. It helped that I had a buffer from the first few days, so hitting my 1667 word count each day kept my count higher than it needed to be. It’s easier to be ahead.

I pushed through those two days though, and now I have my momentum back where it needs to be. Story-wise, I have no idea what’s going on. I know where I need to get to, but getting there…my characters are literally in the woods wandering around, and I’m trying not to just pick them up and drop them in the next location. I may have to do that though, just to get ahead, and go back and fix the tangle in the middle later. Ah, the middle. Always a mess.

Energy level: Adequate. Meaning I can keep doing it without banging my head on the keyboard too many times.

Enthusiasm for my story: Also adequate, but tinged with a little frustration.  Not a lot, just a little, but enough to make me growl under my breath.

Outlook on next week: I’m still confident I’ll hit my 50k words. Now, whether that coincides with the completion of the story is another question. Will I end the story before? After? Who knows?

Anything memorable? The hat still helps. As does fighting colorful bird monsters in the 4thwords app. I also started using programming language to encode my comments with asterisks. Makes them much more noticeable. Also I downloaded a bunch of new productivity apps to procrastinate writing. Awesome.

NaNoWriMo Check-In: Week 1

Required word count: 11,666

Actual word count: 12,465

The first week of NaNo is hit or miss for me. I either get a lot of steam going and forge ahead to get a lot out of the way, or find myself uninterested after a month of planning and kind of sadly chug along, doing a bit here and there.

Fortunately, this time around, Week 1 was a blazing success!

Energy level: High. I feel good coming out of the first week ahead of the word count, and eager to keep writing.

Enthusiasm for my story: High. I’m still in love with it, and though the thing has happened where I’m getting all these cool ideas for other stories barraging me, I’m still excited about this one.

Outlook on next week: I’m confident I can make it through the usually rough week. I’ve been able to schedule time reliably, and that’s historically been the hardest part for me.

Anything memorable? I have a writing hat. It really, really helps.