National Novel Writing Month began on Sunday, November 1. I haven’t hit my word count on any day, but I have been writing. It is, however, more words than I’ve gotten on the page in a long time, 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 12th, but I am writing in on the 11th. Therefore, the write-every-day target was hit for the first eleven 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, the house can’t fall down, I felt the family could use some dinner, and various other 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.
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. 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?
One of the things about the article in Time is how it demonstrates that EVERYTHING has a word count to fill, even Time magazine. That journalist or freelance feature writer or whoever it was had a deadline to meet and a word count to achieve, and s/he googled around for an idea and found NaNo and thought: grist for my mill! And then wrote something to meet whatever requirements had been set. Maybe s/he was short on irony that day, because I can’t be the only one who thought it was a hoot that s/he trashed NaNo results.
Congratulations on getting so much writing done! I think it’s a miracle that in these perilous times, anyone can do anything creative when they have pandemics in the world, nut jobs in the White House, work obligations from home, and families to take care of. I have only pandemics and nut jobs to worry about, but I wrote only 750 words today. They’re all in revisions, not new work, so not quite the same thing, and I might get back to it again after my walk, which I will be taking now.
Good luck on hitting all those words today!
It’s a new story for me and one that wasn’t fleshed out so it’s interesting to try to slam on something without a lot of backstory already in my head. Plus, I’ve been researching screen writing and that has netted some new creative paths.
The pandemic has definitely affected us, as I was patient zero in Maryland. But we’ve survived very well, and in fact, realized that working from home is the bomb. Office? Who needs a stinkin’ office? Of course, I’m also an introvert so I was built for this.
And Kay, you’re published. You write alot. I’m an infant with you as one of my role models (the exhaustive research you must have done for Betting on Hope – wow). Your 750 would be like 7,500 for me.
Despite occasional setbacks, it sounds like you’re doing great.
I’m currently in the mode of losing words instead of gaining them. I don’t have a draft yet, so that shouldn’t be the case but it is.
Hoping once I have my hero’s scenes rewritten so that he has a consistent personality I’ll return to adding words.