November 01, 2012

NaNoWriMo Progress Report

So, BAM! I did it. 
My first time ever attempting NaNoWriMo, and I 'won'...!!

I learned a lot this month, and I've already started planning a whole blog post about this (because, omg, time to get blogging again!), but I can't not say right now, what is the most important thing that I learned. It's so simple, and so powerful.


Yup, that's right, I can write. It's the empowerment of achievable goals. Small tasks and challenges along the path leading to large goals. 1,667 words a day, leads to 50,000 words in a month, which leads to a nearly complete first draft of my novel (which leads to a sequel). Because nothing will encourage you to keep going, like that feeling of achievement at having met a self-appointed challenge. No one was on my case to do it. I wasn't a member of any NaNo support group. It was me and my cold, cold office every night with the rain pelting at my windows, after BoyChild went to bed.  At the risk of sounding maudlin, let me say that, for the first time in too long, I feel proud of myself.

It's just one step.  But it's a big one.

My WIP: A Bird's Eye View, isn't complete. 50,000 words makes up a good chunk of the draft though. I wrote the entire middle 50% of the story in NaNo, to add to the 26,584 words I'd already written. Now, it's just rounding third and rushing the plate to "THE END".

Thanks for hanging in there with me. Thanks for checking up on my progress and not unfollowing me for taking this break from my blog. Thanks for understanding why I couldn't go see Breaking Dawn with you. Thanks for letting me postpone that it's-been-too-long dinner. Thanks for playing quietly with your Lego, while I spent so much time at the computer doing research. Thanks for leaving me alone - most of the time. ;)

So, today marks the halfway point. I am currently (1:47pm PST) sitting on just over 20k words, which means to reach my goal, I have write 4k+ by midnight tonight. I'm cautiously optimistic. 


Because since starting NaNo, I've written more words than in last year combined. Obviously, public accountability works for me.  Also, I'm happy to notice that my writing has become more efficient. I used to spend the first hour and more sort of rambling around in my MS, getting into the story world. Now, I can pop in without all that warming up. It's making my writing sharper, and better paced. And this, my friends, is much more FUN. 

I've also discovered that I'm SO NOT A PANTSER. The less detail in my outline, the more time I spend staring glassy eyed at the glare of my monitor.  I thought having a chapter-by-chapter outline would help, but outline doesn't cut it. I need a roadmap, people, and not just for the book overall, but for each chapter, each scene. If I spend some time during the day to really work out exactly what I need to accomplish in the next scene, then when I sit down in the evening to write comes! 

"If you build it, they will come"
, indeed.*
"It" being the roadmap and "they" being the words.

So, going back to October, when I first decided to join NaNoWriMo to 'silence the censor', I can say already that, while he may not be silenced, he most certainly is muffled. Woot!

* The man that wrote
Shoeless Joe, the inspiration for Field of Dreams, lived in my town, fun fact.


  1. Nov. 3
    Oiy, NaNo word count low today; but wrote lots of detailed notes for tomorrow's session. I'm learning the hard way that I'M A PLANNER.

  2. Nov.4
    Progress isn't quite what I'd hoped, but hey, I'm writing EVERY DAY! For those of you who've read any of my blog, you know that this is an improvement! ;)

  3. You're doing great! Planning is important too. Have FUN!! :)

  4. Congratulations AJ! Great work!!

  5. Congrats on having won your first NaNo! I'm participating in Camp for April.

    1. Thanks Kate! I'll be away for April, but they're having one again in July I intent to join. It was an awesome experience. Best of luck!


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