NaNoWriMo Week 1

stats from NaNoWriMo week 1 10000hoursleft migratory patterns magical realism
Source: Screen grab from 10,000hoursleft’s NaNoWriMo account

NaNoWriMo is going well! I am surprising myself even! A dip in performance yesterday due to shifting focus onto finishing up my writing course work (which is related to the novel I am working on). Words were placed on the page, but not counted- like when you do a good deed that nobody witnesses, but still leaves you with a warm fuzzy feeling. So far, I am just above the line in the bar graph above, meaning I am ahead of the daily average over 30 days to meet the 50,000 word target by November 30.

Being limited in time I can allow for comments, I have preempted some of your questions and thoughts on studying the stats above.

Did performance enhancing drugs come into play on day 8?

No nothing dodgy, not even caffeine. The flurry of writing today (last bar you see in the graph above) was made possible by a break from work. The stats support my hypothesis (in booking leave for a few days this week) that not having an 8 hour commitment during the day is conducive to a higher word output.

So is the story any good?

Ehm…no (at least not yet). The only way I have managed to plough on is by not looking back…no editing, just forward momentum. I have found my detailed structure for my novel really useful in focusing my ideas around character arcs and a dramatic question at every turn, but I’ve also enjoyed meandering into details that break free of the structure and make the process fun. At the rate I’m going, I am projected to reach the 50,000 word target by Nov 29 but life happens and I am sure I’ll have days above and below that rigid straight line above which does not reflect the real world where competing priorities battle out for precious time and energy.

Are you still bathing, eating, taking loo breaks, looking after your child?

Yes, yes, yes and yes. I have not rearranged my life for NaNoWriMo. Aside from taking 3 days out from work starting today, my writing has been during the usual splices in my day that I already set aside for writing/reading/course work type activities- train commute 4 days a week and on the other 3 days, during my son’s nap time or after his evening sleep. A goal that is not sustainable quickly flounders- no sense in making the rest of my life suffer is my thinking.

Yeah, but I still don’t think I could do it

If the discipline of 1,666 words per day for 30 days put you off in participating this year, believe me when I say- it is doable– it just depends on how much the end goal on Nov 30 means to you compared to the myriad of other things you spend 1 – 2 hours a day doing. It also means no editing, because perfect = time consuming = low word count, putting the No in NaNoWriMo.

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