NaNoWriMo Day #30

He likes to appear studious.
Every morning, I wake to a certain black cat (named Dante Alighieri) meowing at my bedroom door, acting like he's dying of hunger. When I can take the meows no longer, I climb out of bed, where two dogs are just as eager to get out as he is to get in.

So I take pity on the most pitiful of meowers and lead him downstairs where I feed him. He scarfs his food down like I've never, ever fed him before, and then shoves one of our other cats away from her bowl to steal her food because she's a slower eater and he thinks he's still hungry.

Well, this morning was no different. Except that for the first time ever, Dante ate so fast that he puked up his just-eaten breakfast back into his bowl.

But he was an adorable kitten.
With all the grace of a cat, he'd eaten it again before I could even move to clean it up. (Maybe I should have put a "disgusting" warning on this post.) He then polished off the last bites of his food and moved on to shove the other cat out of the way.

But I started thinking about this incident in light of today being the last day of NaNoWriMo 2012. And I suddenly realized--to my utter dismay--how my writing is so often like my cat's regurgitated breakfast.

I spend a week or a month thoroughly thinking through a project, hoarding all of my ideas and keeping them tight inside me, afraid to mention them even to myself. It's like I'm afraid to put things on paper and somehow commit myself to writing a novel that may be absolute swill.

Then, like my cat, when NaNo rolls around, I puke it all out in the space of 30 days and nights (it takes me a little longer to vomit, apparently).

If I were a cat, I'd be hiding under a box right now, too.
I'll just be hiding under my covers instead.
Like my cat, I immediately want to make it all disappear. But it's not because I find it appetizing, as I can only assume Dante did, but because it feels like some mistake I need to suck back inside me before I fully realize that I am, in fact, NOT a talented writer, and this novel IS rubbish.

So I got to thinking today (in the midst of trying to finish NaNo 2012 strong).

How often do I start a project with such exuberance that I puke up everything about it onto my computer and then immediately (sometimes before I've even finished) want to erase what I've written? How often do I think that 99% of what I've written is not worth the memory on my computer it takes to save it?

I've done this before. Began novels that started strong, and by halfway through the first draft, I realized that my plot was so full of holes, or I hadn't done enough research, that I abandoned it, certain I bit off more than I could chew. I rarely go back to those novels, embarrassed by their victory over me, and allowing my self-doubt to convince me that there was nothing there worth keeping anyways.

I like to call him my little panther...
Cringe-worthy writing, if written by me, I feel is never worth reading. And yet I know I should not feel that way. Because I know that when it comes down to it, there's always something in a piece of writing that could be worth keeping. Even if the grammar is unreadable, the plot full of holes and the characters cliche (case in point for at least two of those: NaNo novel 2011), there could be one sentence or one idea that is perfect. (Okay, maybe not perfect. Maybe just able to be perfected.)

So perhaps this coming year, 2013, I'll dust off one of those old manuscripts or half-manuscripts, and give it a second chance. Or at least a rejuvenated set of eyes.


NaNoWriMo Day #29

Dun dun dun!! 

No, that would not be machine-gun fire, but the sound of victory you hear.

For today, at about noon, I passed the 80K mark. 

That's right, I have completed my goal of pounding out 80,000 words, good or bad, this month. (Mostly bad.)

It's been a long, arduous war filled with at least twenty pots of coffee and probably around 66 hours of typing. The enemy came on strong with everything it could throw at me in November: Thanksgiving, migraines, house guests, sick dogs...

And it's for those reasons that I savor the joys of my victory. It's a powerful feeling to know that you've beaten the demons trying to keep you from your goals. To know that, despite the odds, you can do what you set your mind to. 

It's encouraging to know that I can meet goals which seem daunting. To know that when the tough days come along, I don't give up and surrender to my desire to just climb into bed and sleep until December first.

My NaNo novel may not be a polished draft, and it may never be worth publishing. But I do think there are paragraphs that have promise. Maybe there's just one sentence on one page that is a diamond in the rough. And I'll have to wade through three hundred pages just to find it.

I'm okay with that. Because I know that editing is where you really write a book. That's where threads get untangled, character arcs get properly aligned, gaping plot holes are filled, and sentences are polished.

So I'll be moving on soon from writing to editing. And we'll see if I still feel the same about my NaNo 2012 novel when I emerge from my editing foxhole in the spring.


NaNoWriMo Day #28: Seeking After Perfection

Today took me completely by surprise. So far, I've pumped out 8,570 words. 

Out of these 8,570 words, I'm sure that only about 5% of them will remain when I edit this NaNo novel. But that's not what NaNoWriMo is about. It's about getting the words out, getting them on the page, and not worrying about whether they are perfect, or even passable. 

Quantity, not quality. Definitely not the way I run the rest of my life.

This picture  should say "winner," but I have yet to validate my novel. I'm waiting until the last minute because I have an addiction to updating my word count and like to see it posted on the NaNo site.

The past few scenes of my NaNo novel have been what have pushed me over the "goal" edge towards "above the goal." The characters are continuing to come alive and the scenes are flowing naturally from my fingertips. This means my scenes have gone a lot longer than originally planned, and I have a dozen scenes left to write as I near the end of my 80K goal. (I've always been a long-winded writer, and this novel is no different.)

I can only thank God when my scenes are flowing like this, even if it means I have to cut out multiple scenes when I edit later. And I know that a lot of what I've written will be discarded as imperfect, unwanted material when I enter the editing process.

I've been struck today by just how much easier it is for me to write new scenes than to edit a novel I've already written. To me, the writing process is easy (at least, easier than editing). Just sit down, and type out the words--even if they aren't what you really want the pages to say, you can always fix it later.

It's the "fixing it later" part that I get hung up on. A dozen drafts later, and I still feel it's not perfect. 


That's what I want. 

And yet, that's what I know I can never, ever obtain. 

No matter how many times I revise, no matter how long I stare at the page, I will always, always want to change something. I will always doubt, I will always correct. 

And there will always be someone else who thinks that my sentence, or metaphor, or entire plot, is less than perfect.

So why do I seek perfection when I know it is unattainable?


NaNoWriMo Days #26 & 27

I'm sad that the end of November is upon us. Well, sad and a little shocked to think of how quickly 2012 has flown by. This year has been a whirlwind of writing, distractions, injuries, broken-down cars and travel for me. I'm looking forward to a calmer 2013 (and hoping that it will, indeed, be calmer).

Anyways, yesterday was one of those hectic days of 2012 that I should be accustomed to by now, but still took me by surprise. I don't know where the day went, but I ended up home at 9:30 p.m., having only written a hurried 1539 words. This was less than half of what I needed to meet my goal for the remaining days of November. 

So I woke up this morning determined to redeem myself. And I did. My new goal was just over 4000 words in order to meet my 80K goal this month. So I cemented my butt in my favorite chair at Starbucks and ignored the headache that was constantly pulsing in my temples and upper neck.

I managed to tap out 4060 words before the pain got the best of me. It wasn't just any headache, but a villian of a headache, better known as a migraine. They always get me at the most inopportune days. (I suppose there aren't any good times to get a migraine, but mine always seem to attack when I need focus the most or are most determined to get things done.)

So I ended up returning home, taking much-needed medication and collapsing into bed for two hours with my cat, Dante Alighieri. Nothing like a cuddle with a cat and lying in bed with a jackhammer splitting open your skull on one of the final days of November to cause you to worry about meeting your NaNo goals.

Luckily, I did make today's goal. If I can write 12,000 more words over the next three days, I can meet my self-imposed NaNo goal. That's only 4000 words a day.

Let's hope I have no more migraines, and my 2013 luck is starting early...

Today's word count: 4,569
Total word count: 68,348


NaNoWriMo Day #25

We're really getting down to the wire now, and I've got a lot of words that did not get written today. Somehow, between a trip to the airport and recuperating after the holidays, I wrote less than a thousand words, while my goal was over three thousand. 


Unfortunately, tomorrow is looking to be a busy day as well, so I'll be trying to squeeze in writing between activities and appointments. 

When I know I have a busy day ahead, the day before is often one of my least productive days. A wide-open day I too often waste with little things that seem more like procrastinating than even relaxing. Today, for example, I've caught up on my blog readings and finished reading a book--instead of writing towards my NaNo goal.

Tomorrow's busy day then presents me with a mini-dilemma. I can take the day off from writing, and then need to write 4,440 words each day for four days in a row. Or, I can take my busy day and squeeze in writing time wherever I am and in the middle of whatever I'm doing, in the hopes of chipping away at that goal and attaining 3,552 words for each of the next five days.

Like a lot of people (and writers), I always find that I work better under a little bit of pressure. It forces me to get the words down on the page and gives me more of a deadline to work towards (as if five days hence is not deadline enough at this point to bust out another 17,760 words). 

So I think I choose the former option. I'll be chipping away at my word count tomorrow morning, diligently trying to reach my NaNo 2012 goal of 80K words in 30 days. And on November 30th, I'll validate my novel and be a winner for two years in a row and feel like I've accomplished a marathon.

Today's word count: 785
Total word count: 62,240


NaNoWriMo Day #24

Today was a much needed catchup day for me. After the holidays, where I enjoyed too much food and just the right amount of family and friends, my word count was suffering even more than my diet.

I'm glad to announce that today, my word count is back on track. However my diet is still in dire straits.

Today's word count: 4819
Total word count: 61455


NaNoWriMo Day#22

Happy Thanksgiving! This time of year it is a blessing to sit down with family and friends and enjoy a well-cooked meal. And this year, the turkey was finally as I like it: on the dry side (much to my hubby's chagrin).

Although I did not reach my word count today, I'm not stressed. I wrote just over 1000 words, and am at about 54K total. I've still got some work to do if I want to hit that 80K mark by the end of next week, but I think I can make it happen.

As long as I don't get caught in a tryptophan slumber from all my turkey leftovers....


NaNoWriMo Day#21

I thought I wouldn't get my words written today amidst Thanksgiving prepping, but I managed to get most of them typed. All I needed was a couple of hours sitting down at my desk and focusing to pump them out.

Lesson learned today: take what time you can to focus solely in writing and you can accomplish more than you think.

Happy writing.


NaNoWriMo Day #20

Two years in a row now, my November has been controlled by NaNoWriMo. I sleep, eat and dream of NaNo. The novel I choose to write holds the reins to my life for the entire month.

Well, I've come to the point of the month where I have conquered my demons. I've won.

Today, I passed the 50K mark. 

*insert cheer here*

It's a strangely anti-climactic feeling, knowing that the novel I'm working on is far from complete. 

What really happens at the 50K mark for me is that I have the urge to go back and edit what I've written. There are things I've changed, locations and specific details, which I need to go back and edit. But I know if I begin doing that, I'll stop writing new scenes and will instead focus on making all the scenes I've written up until now as good as I possibly can. The problem with that scenario is that I know as I write new scenes, more things will need to change, and more edits will need to occur. It's a sick cycle, really. A cycle I must postpone starting until at least December first.

So this is the point where I bite my lip and continue typing new material, willfully ignoring the almost unconquerable desire to edit. Instead, I make a note of what needs to be changed, lest I forget somewhere between the caffeine-induced, novel-writing frenzy of November. 

On December first, I'm certain I won't be taking a day off. I'll either be finishing my NaNo novel (word count and deadlines ignored), or I'll be diligently beginning my editing process. 

I guess we'll see which it is in ten short days.


NaNoWriMo Day #19: Backup Your Files

I think this is a good day to remind NaNo novel writers to back up their files if they haven't already done so.

Typically, I'm very punctual about backing up my computer. I'm paranoid about losing files, and schedule a backup at least once a week, more if I've put in a lot of work that week.

But as life gets busy, my fingers are busy typing my NaNo novel, and my mind dreaming up new conflicts for my MC, my computer backups have dwindled to almost zero. 

I own an external hard drive for the sole purpose of backing up my files. Over the years, I have lost too many files to risk losing them again. And when you lose a novel...it's like you've lost a part of your body, your soul. A part that there's no getting back again. Ever. 

I've been writing this novel for 19 days now. This is a novel I couldn't replicate if I tried. When you put a lot out on the page in a short amount of time, it all blurs together, and it's hard to remember the majority of it. Even if I could remember it verbatim, I've been typing this for 19 days. I'd like to not have to use another 19 days to re-accomplish what I've already done.

So don't learn the hard way. Get an external hard drive and back up your computer. It's well worth the investment (and they're affordable). And once you get the external hard drive, use it.


NaNoWriMo Days #17 & 18

Photo Source
My fingers are sore, my brain is tired, and I constantly feel on the edge of writer's block.

We're past the halfway point now, and my word count is just over 47K. It's hard to believe that there are still twelve days left of NaNo. It seems like it's been going on forever. 

I look back at page one of my NaNo novel, and it already feels so distant. I wrote that page just over two weeks ago, and I cannot remember what's on it without rereading it.

As I get further into my novel, I remain grateful to have chosen to write it in Scrivener. There I can make notes, "outline" via my index cards, and link a selection of text to a prior scene or character card in order to keep key points straight. 

So eighteen days complete now, and I'm reminded of a certain looming Thursday arriving this week. But I'm revitalized by the fact that I'm on track, and I only have to write an average of 2325 words every day until December 1st, and then I'll have completed my 80K goal. 



Huh. It sounded like a lot less in my head.


NaNoWriMo Day #16: Tips for Accomplishing those Daily Goals

Day Sixteen of NaNoWriMo, and thousands of novelists are still going strong. Some have even finished their 50K word goal.

I've had my good days and bad days, and days in between.

There are a couple of things that help me in attaining my goals.

1. Overall word count goal
Scrivener has a nifty tool called "Project Targets" which allows you to set a word goal for your project. I do this, and set the writing deadline option for November 30th. This year, I've set my goal for 80K words. 

You can also declare some days of the week as non-writing days, which I've done for my Saturdays and Sundays (even though I've done some writing on those days, I treat them as vacation-days, so I don't have to write if I can't or just need a thinking day). 

By setting my overall goal and determining my writing days, I know exactly how many words I need to write per day, and I can watch my word count increase until it fills up the bar and I've reached my daily quota.

2. Mini outlines
I've said before that I don't outline, and I don't. But Scrivener has another great tool, which looks a lot like an index card. This is just a section where you summarize the scene you've created in Scrivener. You find the summary spot in the Inspector under the "Notes" section. You can also view all the "index cards" in order, and drag and rearrange them as you like. 

So instead of outlining, I do this, and then I have a rough idea of where I'm writing to, even if it takes me several scenes to get there. In Scrivener, it's easy to add scenes, so I just continue adding and keep the next "outline point" for a later scene.

3. Scene-by-scene word goals
I'm a goal-oriented person, which is probably why NaNo works so well for me.

In Scrivener, there's a way to set a word goal per scene. At the bottom of the screen, there's a round little target icon, and if you click it, you're given the ability to set the word count for the scene. Then there appears next to the target icon a bar which fills up as you write towards your word goal, going from red, to yellow, to green as you reach your goal. I do this for most scenes after I have an idea of what's going to happen in them, so it serves as a *very* rough estimate of wordage.

I like this because I find it nice to have a goal per scene as it helps me know if I'm being too wordy on a section or if it's too short. (If I can only come with 400 words for a scene, I know it's skimpy and I need to add conflict or another character, or consider deleting it.) I also find that when I pay attention to my scene's word count, I subconsciously acknowledge the flow of reading for the audience. This comes more into play later in subsequent drafts and as I'm editing, often trying to be more concise.

4. Sit down and write
There's really nothing else to say but sit down and write. You'll never be a novelist if you don't do this.

NaNo is great for getting my butt in the chair. It creates motivation where there otherwise might be none, and pressure to get it done in a set time period.

So while this may be the way I work, there are endless ways to write a novel out there.

NaNoWriMo Day #15

Yesterday was the halfway mark of NaNoWriMo 2012. 

And after some furious late-night, while-in-bed, typing-on-my-iPad NaNoing, I surpassed the 40K mark. 

*insert cheer here*

That means to "win" NaNo this year, I have only 10K words left to write in the next fifteen days. The highly competitive side of myself rejoices in this, as I will then have "won" both years I've participated. 

However, this 40K mark also means that I've met the halfway mark of my personal, larger goal. And, right on schedule, too. So in order to make my 80K words by November 30th, I must average 2667 words each day. I have scheduled myself a few days off though, so my writing days end up having a goal more like 3500-3600 words.

These are doable chunks for me. I'm accustomed to sitting down for at least an hour, if not two or three at a time and pumping out words or editing a block of what I've written in that time frame.

But for a lot of people, that sounds like a whole lot of words. Which is why my next post will be about the tools I use in Scrivener to get those words written.


NaNoWriMo Day #11 & 12

It's happened. 

Life has, officially, gotten in the way of my writing. 

I'm surprised it took so long, really. But, all in all, I'm still on track for my goals, and I'm above the NaNo goal word count (WC) of 20,004. In fact, I've exceeded it by 10K right now (my current WC is 31,259). 

Still, I've set a higher goal for myself, and that would be writing 80K this month. 

Last year when I competed in NaNoWriMo 2011, it was my first year, and I "won" by completing an entire novel in 30 days, which ended up being around 75K. 

So, because I'm a goal-oriented person, and I like obliterating my personal bests, I decided to best last year's WC by 5,000 words. 

Thus, my unofficial goal this year is 80K. Which means I should be at 32,000 words today.

And I'm not. I'm 750 short. 

That's not bad, considering. It's an amount I could easily make up tomorrow, or the day after. But...if I were to fail on my goal because of a measly 750 words, I'd be awfully upset. 

Not to mention that I know this month is only going to get busier. With family having arrived in town yesterday and not leaving until Sunday, then more family and friends arriving on Tuesday next week, and then Thanksgiving... The next couple of weeks will be even more hectic than these past 12 days have been.

However, one good thing that has come from my not being at a computer is that I have been thinking an awful lot about where I want to go with this novel's plot, and what events I want to set up with this character.

What I've come away with are a couple of plot twists that I think will be good for the state of my NaNo novel.

I'm really not an outliner, but I always write better when I have a vague idea of what may happen in fifty pages. I definitely don't need to know what happens on the next page, or what my next sentence needs to say until I write it, but I do write better when I have a very general idea of where my novel is going. Is she going to meet a boy? Will she find a dead body? 

Really, all I need to know is a final destination, what I'm writing to, and then I can connect the dots. And I come up with these dots by thinking on my non-writing days like yesterday and today.

I've realized those non-writing (or non-editing) days are vital to my writing (or editing) goals. But this a fact which I often lose sight of. I get tunnel vision when I get deeply into writing or editing a novel and work on the novel every single day--to the exclusion of all else. What I find happening is a lack of focus, getting too close to the plot and the characters and the twists I try to throw in, to even consider that they may not be working. 

Yet I struggle with my non-writing days because I feel guilty for not writing. I love to write, and I'm serious about it, so when there are days that I can't write or I don't get the time to write, I feel quite guilty. So I'm slowly starting to realize that non-writing days have value of their own. Those non-writing days can expedite what I accomplish on my writing days, because I get the opportunity to think about what I'll write the next day. 

So I'm going to try not to feel guilty on the days I cannot write--not to excuse myself--but to place greater value on my thoughts.


NaNoWriMo Day #10

Ten days in already. Time definitely flies when there's an agenda.

In fact, life has a way of getting in the way when there's an agenda.

Really, my laziness is my own worst enemy. I'd much rather veg out and not think when I feel overwhelmed by things, and this novel has had a way of overwhelming me. 

Thankfully, there's a Starbucks nearby, and when I go to Starbucks, I get things done.

I'm sure others have similar problems: while at home, no work can be done, but if you go out to a coffee shop or park, you can accomplish great things.

Starbucks is my main work place. I've spent many hours there editing and writing, and observing people. 

Oh, and drinking coffee. We can't forget the coffee during NaNoWriMo.

Day 10 Word count: 29,002
Day 10 Goal: 16,670


NaNoWriMo Day #9

If I weren't doing NaNo right now, I probably would never have written this novel.

It's not that I wouldn't be writing right now, it's just that I would be editing my previous works, preventing myself from committing to anything new.

Instead, I have passed the official half-way mark of 25K words. *insert cheer here*

What I've learned so far: 
It's amazing what you can do when you set your mind to it. 

It's refreshing to not worry about grammar or content or if this scene works or if this character is well-developed enough to write yet, but just to get the words out.

It'll be a rough first draft because of not worrying about the above, but it will have promise. Even if I hate 99% of it, there might be one sentence that stands out, one moment in time where my muse visited me and gave me the right words at the right time. 

It's all of this which I write for. Those moments, those words.


NaNoWriMo Day #8

Oh what a painful day.

This was one of those days where every word seemed difficult to get on the page. On such days, I find myself all too often "telling" instead of "showing." For instance, instead of showing a scene that builds character or introduces a character, or is otherwise plot-advancing and informative, I'll recap the scene and move quickly on to the next.

It's almost like the "recapping" is my daily writing warm-up, and then I get in to telling the actual story, even though the "recapped" scene is necessary or beneficial to the plot.

The problem is, that on these days, I find myself repeatedly lapsing into those telling habits, and when I look back at my day's work, I realize that such telling sections appear most frequently at a scene beginning.

I suppose there's a silver lining in this: when I go back to revise after my NaNoWriMo novel is complete, I have several areas that I can expound on. Also, if I get stuck on one of these next 22 days (which is highly likely considering the state of my plot), I won't have wasted days, as I can return to these scenes and expand them.

In the meantime, I'll continue to cement my bum to my chair and glue my fingers to the keyboard as I plug away towards 50K. 


NaNoWriMo Week #1 Lessons

What have I learned from a week of writing dangerously?

1. My novel's not all bad.

Yesterday I reread a few scenes I'd written since NaNo began, and actually found myself amused by them. I was encouraged by this feeling, and it buoyed my spirits for continuing on my NaNo journey.

Regardless of those warm fuzzies, I've stalled today--but not quit running. Still, I've only made half my word goal. I am a few days ahead in word count, so I'm not too worried about words. 

2. However interesting those opening scenes were, the state of my plot does concern me. 

18K words in, and my plot is struggling for breath. I know I need to dream up some complications, but part of my problem in doing so comes from not really knowing where I want to take these characters, and from still developing my characters and plot in my mind. 

It comes down to this: I'm not sure where this novel is going. I have a few loose ideas, but nothing I'm fully committed to yet, and I'm a little afraid to commit to any one direction at this point.

I say I'm a pantser writer, but I at least like to know who my characters are before I begin. This year I failed to write character bios and histories for any of them. I'm really starting to wince as I get further into my novel and feel the time crunch. I don't have the chance to stop and write those bios now. (Note for next year: write character bios and backstory--no matter what!)

3. There's absolutely no time for writer's block.

That's the great thing about NaNoWriMo. I just have to power through the writer's block and find out what lies ahead on the path, what's inside the pretty little package I've begun unwrapping.

So I keep sitting down before my laptop and typing away, pretending like I know where I'm going with this novel, when in reality, the little I know about it is starting to scare me. 

What if it's not a genre I want to write? What if I aim for one audience and it's actually aimed at another? What if I do it all wrong? What if there's absolutely nothing special and unique about this novel? What do I do when I get to the end of my 50K and think it's all worthless?

Those are the questions that try to keep me up at night. But the answers are why there's a delete key.

No time for questions. Just write.

Unwrapping A Novel's Promise

I love the beginning of a novel.

It holds such promise, such unexpected blessings. It's like a Christmas present, all wrapped and sitting under the tree. Carefully, I give the box a shake, trying to figure out what might be inside. This is what I do to my novel the week before NaNo (or for the entire month of October, if I'm organized and have my present wrapped ahead of time).

When November arrives, I get to unwrap my present in many, painstaking stages. 

November first, I get to remove the bow. I set it aside, the present's adornment quickly forgotten as I focus on what might be inside.

Then, I peel off the ribbons--deliberately, tentatively--unsure of whether it might fray or dissipate under my eager, grasping fingers.

But when the ribbons come off in one piece, I toss them with the bow, where they'll wait. I can see them hoping they might come in handy, as if thinking I might want to rewrap the present after I open it, to once again adorn the present inside.

Then I turn my attention to the tape. I'm a notorious taper, and cement my presents in its sticky residue. So I take my time with this, peeling off tape carefully and trying not to rip the paper. I also like to reuse my paper--especially if it's pretty or distinctive.

When I get the paper off, I fold it along the creases--I don't want to get it too raggedy for the next use. I might have a box sometime which this piece of paper will just fit, so I want it to be in good shape for the next time.

Now, I have a brown box in front of me. Another piece of tape, carefully slit so that it doesn't tear. The tension in my heart is building. Pounding, my mouth goes slightly dry with anticipation. Here it is--all I have to do is open the box.


NaNoWriMo Day #5

I feel as though I've already hit my NaNo wall, and I'm not sure why.

Yesterday I was feeling oddly thrilled with where this novel was going, how the voice of my main character had come out, and the conflicts that had already occurred. Things were smooth sailing.

Then today. 

I had a busy morning so I didn't have any time to write, but even when I did have moments, I didn't have the words.

Instead, I found myself thinking about what I might write, about where I might want to take this story, how I might want to get to the end. Indeed, if I even knew what the end was. But for all the thinking I've done today, I still don't have many answers.

I must confess: I'm disappointed with what I've accomplished today. Although I've written my goal word count, I don't feel like it advances the plot (if I even know what it is yet), and if these scenes stay in this novel in any way, they'll probably require being moved to a much later point in the story.

But they're written. I haven't let writer's block prevent me from putting words on the page, and that's the most important thing.

That's what NaNoWriMo is all about: getting the words out. 

So they're coming out. Some days are just slower than others, in both plot and word count.

Word count to date: 12,016
Word goal to date: 8335

NaNoWriMo Day #4

Argh! I missed a day of my NaNo blog update.

Well, yesterday I had planned on taking the day off to chill out and relax. I had other things going on, decided to enjoy the overcast but dry weather in the Pacific Northwest, and took my dogs on a walk.

It was a nice day to relax.

But then, like always, I started feeling guilty that I hadn't written anything. Especially given the month of November and NaNo.

So, no sooner than 7:30 p.m., I sat down to write. And pumped out about 3200 words.

Days like that make thrill me.

Word count: 10026
To-Date goal: 6668 words


NaNoWriMo Day #3

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Well, I have to confess that I haven't gotten much on my NaNo novel accomplished today. 

I had a book club to co-lead this morning, which meant I was reading that book late into last night, as I'd not started reading it as of Thursday, and was only a chapter in by Friday morning. So I read almost an entire book yesterday--and caught up on my NaNo word count. 

Yesterday was super productive. It's only right that today should be super unproductive, right? We can't produce every single day of our lives...we need rest! Well, that's how I'm validating today's slacking off, at least.

So after book club, I took a bit of time to edit a different WIP, and although that was valuable time spent, I am well aware that it is NaNo Month, and I failed to write anything on it today.

Yet. There's always time--and today, since tomorrow is Daylight Savings Day, I get an extra hour to write.

Sounds like a plan to me.


NaNoWriMo Day #2

Day two of National Novel Writing Month, and I've decided to commit.

It was a bit impulsive, in continuing with my impulsive month of October, where I overcommitted in more than one aspect of my life. This included running a half marathon on a "whim" and injuring a tendon in my foot bad enough where I had to walk around in a boot for two weeks (and am still not healed). So, while I heal from said injury, I'm going to commit to NaNoWriMo again this month.

Like I said, it's a bit impulsive, and I have no real plot in mind. Just a character and an opening scene which has made me laugh more than once at the ridiculousness. Inspiration: the last year of my life. Where everything goes wrong.

Sounds like a good plot, eh?


NaNoWriMo Day #1

And I still haven't decided if I'm going to attempt NaNo this year.

50,000 words? Should be no problem, right? Only I have no plot, and no main character. It's the lack of a character that truly frustrates me. I need a strong, alive character before I can begin a novel with them. And I'm empty.

So tonight, instead of writing my first chapter, I will be dreaming up a protagonist. What will you be doing tonight?