Thursday, November 08, 2012

NaNoWriMo Week One Report

Has it been a week already since NaNoWriMo began? That was my first thought when I noticed the reminder to write this post on my calendar. That's a good sign, too, because whenever the passage of time completely drops off my radar I know my head is where it should be -- in the work. This is also why I set multiple alarms around the house, write daily notes to myself and become enslaved to my planner. If I didn't you guys might not see me until December 1st.

My stats for the novel are healthy and on track; I've been writing to or past my wordcount goals each day. I've been getting up an hour earlier every morning to have some quiet time to work and that was a good decision; I get my words done in a couple of hours and then I have the rest of the day to do other things until it's time for my evening editing session. As far as the writing goes I'm enjoying the story and I've kept it pretty faithful to the outline and chapter summaries I planned out back in October. One extra bonus of officially registering this year is the novel stats widget that the NaNoWriMo folks offer on their site; it gives me an excellent snapshot of how I'm performing. Here's what it looks like this morning:

I had planned to get out to one of the local NaNoWriMo events and meet some of my fellow writers in the area. I'd like to blame my busy schedule for failing to do that, but truth is I've not had a lot of success mingling in person with other writers, and I don't know if as a pro I'd be especially welcome. When people find out you do this for a living they see you more as an affront to their genius or a commodity to be used, and I don't care to be either. Anyway, I put that on the back burner for now.

I had one really bad day this week, which was unexpected. Fortunately, I got my words done a few hours before the trainwreck happened. I was going to use it for a blog post, and wrote up a beautiful, absolutely scalding rant about it. I waited twenty-four hours, got over it, and deleted the whole thing. I overreacted to a silly, juvenile situation that was really not worth ten seconds of my time, and as we all know, the best revenge for being derailed by someone is to get right back on track, right in their face. From my POV, by refusing to let it spoil the rest of my week I won that round.

My big reward for myself this past week was to go on a fun school field trip to the RenFaire, which got me out of the house, gave me a chance to walk for a couple hours (which my legs definitely needed) and spend quality time with the kid. I also watched and photographed an excellent joust hosted by Shane Adams (who aside from being my favorite modern-day knight was also the inspiration for Aedan mac Byrne from Evermore, who will be returning to the shelves in Nightbound next May) and found a very cool handmade leather journal at one of the artisans tents that went home with me. It was a great day, and exactly what I needed to recharge my batteries.

I'm a bit behind on my chores, and the to-do list for the holidays gets a little longer every day, so for the next week of NaNo I'm going to try to build on what I've been doing, organize my time a little better, and work a little harder at keeping everything in balance. By writing past quota I've earned an extra day off, but I don't need it right now so I'm going to save it for later on in the month when I probably will.

How was your first week of NaNoWriMo? Let us know in comments.


  1. NaNo's going pretty well for me so far. I'm trying a new approach this year and have done a lot more planning than usual. I've found it easier to write when I have a pretty good idea of what's going to happen in the scene before I start, rather than making it all up as I go along.
    Unfortunately my planning isn't as meticulous as yours, Lynn -- I'm amazed at the level of detail in your chapter summaries. Today I hit a plot card that just says "a memory involving characters A and B". I was hoping by the time I'd got this far inspiration would strike but so far I've got nothing! Since it's now late afternoon I'm going to skip this scene and write the next one instead as I don't want to lost my momentum. I should make it to 20,000 words tonight.

  2. I was derailed by a series of bugs, not unexpected at this season but have determined to keep working the story unconnected to NaNoWriMo. The characters have their hooks into me now :-}

  3. This being my first time doing NaNoWriMo and my first time writing anything remotely creative since elementary school, I'm happy to report that it's going quite well and I have a bit (tiny bit) of a cushion with my word count - just shy of the 14000 mark. I am loving this experience so far. I did make it out to an unofficial write in last night with a few other participants in my area and it was a good experience but I didn't actually get a lot of writing done. I was the only one who was doing NaNo for the first time. Personally I think it would be lovely to see someone out like yourself. Maybe I'm not entrenched enough in the NaNo ways but I think it's great that you are participating and would still think this would be a challenge for the seasoned writer.

  4. Anne V.10:19 AM

    I'm behind. My hip went out of joint this past weekend and I spent several days trying to find a comfortable way to exist until I could get to the chiropractor. I'm now back to making my daily goals plus a few extra words,but I'm still a bit under 2 days behind schedule. I need to find some extra time to catch up!

  5. I'm doing okay, though had a zero word count Tuesday which messed with my goal of reaching 15K in the first week. I'm just a tad over 13K today.

    My story is going fine, though I had a "paint myself into a corner" situation--the reason I stalled out and struggled on Tuesday--that nearly derailed things, including melting my brain.

    One thing I try to keep in mind when I start to falter: This is supposed to be fun!!

  6. I'm behind, too. I had this whole plan for when I was going to write, and I knew that I wouldn't be able to hit the daily goal on some weekdays since the only time I have to write on those days is my lunch hour. I also knew that I wouldn't get as many words on the first weekend, because a friend I never see was coming in from out of town. "But that's okay," I told myself, "you have election day off of work, and you can catch up then." Of course, I failed to calculate exactly how many words I would be behind by, so suddenly realizing Tuesday morning that I needed 6000 to catch up was a little daunting. And my plot has come to a screeching halt.

    BUT, I'm taking next week off work also, so I should be able to catch up, and hopefully get ahead then. Also, I'm loving how this is forcing me to carve out time for my writing each day. I hope I will be able to keep the habit when November is over. So in that regard, my NaNo is so far an unqualified success.

  7. I'm not doing NaNo but I'm tickled to learn your writing is going well. I'm looking forward to the finished book. No pressure.

  8. My NaNo started really well but now I've started to hate my novel so I'm a little worried about actually finishing at all this year. I plan on starting another idea that I've been thinking about for a while though, just so that I don't get out of the habit of writing everyday. I've got tomorrow off work though so hopefully, whichever novel I focus on, I'll be able to get a nice high wordcount out of it.


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