It’s November which means it’s time for NaNoWriMo. Usually I post about it before the month, and then I do a post in December about how it went. In October I should have posted about what my goals for the month were. I will do that now with a look at the first ten days.
This year I decided that NaNo was going to be the start of a brand new year. 2014 sucked for a lot of real life reasons, it was a complete write-off in so many respects. I love NaNo, I’ve likened it to a holiday and it is without doubt my favourite time of year. Starting off a new year, or launching my new intentions in November rather than January just made sense.
NaNo’s official goal is to write 50k within November. I wanted to go beyond that this year, to use the magic of NaNo to get a jump start on my future plans. With that in mind I set myself some additional goals:
– 12.5k on Day One
– 25k by end of Day Three
– 50k by end of Day Seven
– 100k by the end of the month
– Two finished first drafts
– Write something, however little, every day to get into the habit of consistency.
This is how it went:
– Day One Goal (12.5k) was met. It took 8.5 hours but it wasn’t as difficult as I expected. True I wanted to stop long before I did but I had the material on the outline prepared, it was just about focusing on writing which I managed. This felt good.
– Day Two Goal (7.5k) was met, taking my NaNo total to 20k. It took 7 hours and 10 minutes and this was harder. I found concentrating difficult and by the end I realised I’d run into an issue. I was much further into my outline than I should have been, there was not enough left to get anywhere close to 50k. I was pleased with meeting my goal two days running but the impending sense of doom, outweighed the feeling of achievement.
– Day Three Goal (7.5k) wasn’t met, nowhere close. This meant I didn’t make my day three goal of 25k. I finished with just over 21k so I didn’t even make the 1667 daily requirement, it was more like 1.3k. I stared at the screen all day but I’d hit that hole in my outline I’d seen coming the day before and I didn’t know what to do.
– Day Four. I had no goal for today as I knew I would be out all afternoon. I hoped I would write something either in the morning, or something when I got home so I could keep to my goal of writing every day. That didn’t happen, no words were written on day four.
– Day Five Goal (get to 25k) and this was met. I finished the day on 26k and tried to be cautiously optimistic as from here I would have written more, than I had left to write on this draft. I decided to adjust my exceptions and set 35k as my minimum goal for end of day seven. I was still 10k ahead of pace for my 100k monthly goal at this point.
– Day Six Goal (get to 30k) and this was met. I still had that hole in the outline that I wasn’t sure what to do with. I started the day writing down some revision notes, of things that I’d noticed already weren’t right. I was hoping that a new subplot would jump out but nothing did. Just like the day before I managed to write more which made sense but I did feel a bit like I was just killing time.
– Day Seven (get to 35k) and this was met and exceeded slightly, I got 37k. I had wanted 50k but I’d realised on day five that was going to happen and adjusted my goals accordingly. This day started badly as I couldn’t think of anymore ways to stretch it so I had to move onto the last part of my outline. I just hope that it lasts until 50k.
– Day Eight (get to 44k) and this wasn’t met. I had adjusted my 50k target to be reached by the end of the 9th day rather than the 7th. So I had two days to write 15k, as it was the last 15k and downhill is easier I was hopeful but it just didn’t happen. I got to 40k and called it a day.
– Day Nine (get to 50k) and I did it. I had to write 10k as I hadn’t written what I should have the day before but it was the downhill 10k. I wanted my green bar, I wanted 50k and I wrote for hours, not sure how many but quite a lot and boom – it happened. It wasn’t easy but I now have a first draft, one completed novella ready for revision in January.
That’s how it went.
I didn’t make my 25k by day three goal, I didn’t make my 50k by day seven goal. I did however get 50k on day nine and I’m still on track for 100k and two completed first drafts by the end of the month. I haven’t managed to write something everyday, as I took Tuesday off. However, one day out of nine is a much better statistic than previous years. The working week is usually fives days out of seven, so taking one day off in a week isn’t something to sweat, in fact it’s probably a good idea.
I’m still on track for my goals. I set the stretch goals to get the feeling of achievement back and in that I succeeded. I hit 50k yesterday and it was like hitting 50k for the first time. For the first ever time I got a green bar, as I finished before validation. For the first ever time I didn’t dip below the 50k pace line, I was above it for all nine days, no crazy catch up required. This was an awesome year, and it’ll be tough to beat next year.
After November is finished I’m planning on spending December writing something else, so the month isn’t wasted. Then in January, once I’ve got distance from what I wrote this month I’ll start the revision process. That’s as far ahead as I have got specific in my plan but so far, so good.
The best part about this year’s NaNo? It’s only day ten, there’s still 2/3 of the month left. I should get back to writing.