National Novel Writing Month began on Sunday, November 1. I hit my word count on Sunday and Monday and missed it on Tuesday. I wrote, but only got 659 words. It is, however, more words than I’ve gotten on the page on other days, so it was still sort of successful. As I’ve said before, I would love to hit the 50,000-word target, but I am more interested in hitting the write-every-day target. You’re seeing this post for the first time on the 5th, but I am writing in on the 4th. Therefore, the write-every-day target was hit for the first four days. Yeah me!
I had 40 ideas of things to write and two of them gave me 1,700 word scenes. Tuesday’s idea didn’t yield enough words and that coupled with a lack of time to tackle another idea had me missing the word-count. I can’t change the day job, needed the exercise, felt the family could use some dinner, and had some Cross Country Team Mom stuff that limited my time and that will happen again so I’m not planning to focus a whole lot of energy on changing that. But I can change the quantity and quality of ideas in my pipeline so I can get more words on the page faster. I took to the Internet for more motivation and ideas (and it’s only a couple days in – yikes).
There are a lot of websites that have NaNo advice. Suggestions like write every day, don’t edit, or write the last scenes first to change things up (8L Jeanne has already said she couldn’t do this one – creates too much stress for her). One of the tips I came across is “don’t sweat the roadblocks.” If you get stuck, just skip to the next scene. I do this all the time. If I can’t figure how to get out of the scene I’m in, I’ll stop that one and go on. That was one of the reasons I didn’t get more than 659 words written on Tuesday. I got to a point and couldn’t figure out where the scene was headed. Writing sprints is another suggestions, but I still have to have a scene idea in order to do that.
I also found some funny stuff. A Time magazine article from 2012 titled “NaNoWriMo: Is National Novel Writing Month a Literary Threat or Menace?” Literary menace? What? It asks the question “does this mean an influx of new voices or the end of literature altogether?” Seriously? The article focuses on NaNo’s push to get words on the page – the permission given to write “a lot of crap” – and completely ignores the fact that any writer worth his or her keyboard will then edit. The whole Time article ignores that part, stating that there are a lot of crappy novels that have come out of NaNo. I read that and thought, there are a lot of crappy novels out there NOT written in November, too.
I didn’t end up finding much in the way of motivation on the Internet. I did enjoy the Time article for its ridiculousness. Now I’m off to write my 1,667 words plus 1,000 to make up for Tuesday. How are you doing with your Nano? If you aren’t doing that, how many words are you getting a on your page?