I’m so excited to have completed 50,000 words in twenty nine days. In the week prior to November, I had an additional 7,000 words, so I’m now about 30 to 40,000 words from my goal of 90,000 to 100,000 words. Phew. Lots of zeros.
What I take away from NaNoWriMo (every year.)
1. Deadlines and peer pressure help me get the job done. It’s true. Sometimes I need a little push to get past what distracts me. And the thought of “failing” to complete 50,000 words is what I personally needed.
2. Writing without self-editing really works. You get more DONE. It might not be the highest quality, but you’ll end up spending the same amount of time editing anyway. At least, that’s my theory. I’d love to hear if you disagree.
3. You have to leave some things blank or highlighted. Come back to it later. If I had stopped to research or double check each sentence where it needed, I would still be on chapter ten. Knowing I will follow up on that section later also gives me a sense of peace and freedom to move ahead. Filling in those little details can get boring and detract you from the overall flow of the story. So plunge ahead!
4. No one will see the draft as it is now. This is the roughest writing I’ve done. I knowingly used too many adverbs, pet phrases and the word “but.” I know that. So I’ll go back and “command + F” the heck out of the manuscript. I’ll fix the rough transitions and polish characters and dialogue. I’m comforted by the fact that no one—no one—will see the story as it is right now. In fact, I might need to password protect the file, should something happen to me before I get around to editing…
5. Blogging, working, exercising, family, church and eating are all possible while cranking out 50,000 words. It takes some delegation. Pre-posting and planning blogs. Utilizing your work breaks to write, but focusing on your work when it is your company’s time. Multi-tasking like walking on your treadmill and setting up a desk so you can write at the same time. Yes, it is hard with a holiday near the end of November – family cuts into your writing time, right?
But it is possible.
If you have a clear vision of your story, let your fingers loose on your keyboard, set aside an hour or two a day and cut out all other distractions, it is possible.
If you participated in NaNoWriMo and weren’t able to reach the goal of 50,000 words, keep going! Don’t stop because the month ended. Take what you’ve learned and plow ahead! If you complete even 500 words a day, five days a week, you’ll finish a 50,000-word novel in 20 weeks. That’s two and a half books in a year.
Tell me about your NaNoWriMo experience or a time when you set a word count goal and made it!