NaNoWriMo: A Completely Unprepared Journey

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This is the second year that I have attempted NaNoWriMo. Last year I failed in a spectacular fashion. I think I ended up with maybe–maybe–10,000 words. This year, eight days into the month of November, I am at one-tenth of where I ended up last year. There are probably a series of reasons that I haven’t been up to par on the needed word count (only 1000 of the needed 13,000 plus). Lack of preparation, lack of motivation, lack of self-confidence? It could be one over prevailing fact, or it could be all three combining into a perfect maelstrom of not-getting-anything-done.

I’ve read, and been told, that any amount of words is good. That any amount of words means that you have a start on something, something to build on once you are ready. Right now, though, I’m feeling pretty unaccomplished. Obviously, even if I make the word count for NaNoWriMo, my book won’t be done. There will be editing, rewrites, editors reviews. After November there will be a long road ahead until I am actually finished.

But right now, on the eighth of November, 2014, I feel like I am far behind where I need to be. I feel like I am not going to ever get to that 50,000 word count.

But that’s right now. Tomorrow it may be different. I may get a burst of words done over the weekend. I could catch up within a few days. Who knows?

Perhaps it’s better to look at NaNoWriMo as a motivational tool. A tool to help me get out there and write. Write as much as I can. 50,000 words is a goal, but there’s no punishment if I don’t make it. And any motivational tool is good, whether or not you are able to completely achieve the end goal.

I’m going to keep at it. Maybe i’ll make the goal, maybe I won’t. I’ll keep you all apprised on the way.

How are the rest of you doing with NaNoWriMo? Is your word count exponential? Or lacking (like me)? Let me know in the comments below!

One thought on “NaNoWriMo: A Completely Unprepared Journey

  1. For what it’s worth, this is my second attempt at NaNo, too, although I didn’t actually sign up for it officially last year because I honestly didn’t know that was a thing that was done. Last year, though, I actually got away from my novel because I was also working on one short story for a fantasy antho that then became two stories, and didn’t feel like I had time for all of it. This year, I’m going all-out, putting everything else aside (except for the job, which, unfortunately, I can’t put on hold for an entire month). As of yesterday, I was ahead by a couple hundred words overall and haven’t gotten to it yet today (although that’s the next thing I’m going to do after a quick blog update). I have yet to complete a novel, although I’m realizing I haven’t really tried all that hard. So I’m approaching NaNo this year both as an intense writing exercise to force me to push through the really hard parts that come with creative writing and also as a means to test myself, see if I can actually put out 50,000 words in a month. I figure if I can do that, then I can do anything. I doubt the story itself will be finished, even aside from any editing, etc., as I’m actually shooting for about 75,000 words total. The trick for me has been to make that time every single day, no matter what, even if it means I’m writing after a long day of work and running around doing errands, even if it means I’m writing until well past midnight when I have to work the next morning. I don’t let myself off the hook and I don’t stop until I’ve reached at least my goal for the day. And if it’s going well, then I keep going. Maybe for you, I would suggest to focus less on the number of words and more on setting a schedule and making it a habit. Even if it takes you twice as long to bang out your novel, you’ll still have written a novel. And that’s pretty freaking awesome! Best of luck to you!

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