NaNoWriMo – Day 13-15

At the end of Day 12, I was halfway at 25,000. My goal for days 13-15 was to make 1,667 each day. I wanted to keep my lead. Sounds simple enough right?

Day 13 – Goal 1,667 (Cumulative 26,667)
I didn’t have a lot going on this day. I didn’t write at lunch, which I have been trying to do. But I got a few hundred words on the way to work, so at least I wasn’t looking at starting from scratch in the evening. Things at home were busy and difficult, but I struggled through getting to my goal just before midnight. Actual – 26,667

Day 14 – Goal 1,667 (28,333)
Wednesdays are my gymnastics day. Once again I didn’t do enough writing at work to have much of a lead going into the evening. I’m out of lunch writing practice and I need to do better. It was a slow start, but once I got going I wrote the last 400ish words very quickly. I finished up a bit late again, but not as late as Tuesday. In the end, I even had about a hundred extra words. Actual – 28,450

Day 15 – Goal 1,667 (30,000)
My pattern this year has been to get ahead, stay ahead for a few days and then have a really bad day with only a few hundred words that eats up my lead. I was determined to break the pattern. I didn’t succeed. I wrote a few hundred words on my way to work, and thought I would write more at lunch … but I forgot we had a retirement lunch for my old boss. Then when I got home I had to make food for the writing retreat and pack my bags. I just had too much to get done, and I wasn’t able to hit the keyboard again. I have had too many tiny word could days this year. Actual – 28,800

I really wanted to have 30,000 words before heading off on the writing retreat. I might still get it before leaving the city, but with the poor weather who knows how many words I’ll get tonight. I guess we’ll see in my next update how things went.

Do you have any big writing events planned this month? Is your family still feeling supportive of your writing efforts halfway through the month?

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NaNoWriMo – Day 10-12

At the end of Day 9, I had lost my lead but was still sitting at par. My goal for these three days was to get three days ahead. That means a double word day each day of the long weekend.

Day 10 – Goal 3,333 (Cumulative ~18,500)
This was the first day of a three day weekend. My goal for all three days was simple; get 3,333 each day. My husband took on a lot of the ‘extra’ stuff for me, and I was able to get a lot of writing time in. I got my first 2,000 words fairly quickly and easily, but then I hit a rough patch. It was a slog to get the next 1,000, but then I raced through the last 400 words. I finished the day with a little over my goal, putting me (once again) at one day ahead. Hopefully this time I will build on my lead instead of burning it up. Actual – 18,600

Day 11 – Goal 3,333 (~22,000)
A second double day felt like a tall order. Most years I have at least a few big word days (over 5,000). This year I seem to be getting a decent day of words followed shortly by a horrible day of words. I was determined to break the pattern. I had plans to go climbing in the afternoon, and I needed to get some laundry done, but the rest of the day was mine to write with. It was a slog, and I didn’t quite make it, but I wasn’t too far off. Actual – 21,100

Day 12 – Goal 3,900 (25,000)
I really wanted to be three days ahead by the end of the long weekend. Monday was a bit busier than I anticipated. My husband was at work and it was just my son and me at home. I broke the day into smaller goals. 500 words over breakfast, 1,000 before lunch, another 1,000 before dinner, and the rest after the kid was in bed. I came close on most of the goals and when I went to bed I had hit my goal for the end of the weekend. Actual – 25,000 halfway!

Are you starting to lag? or have you just hit your stride?

 

NaNoWriMo – Day 7-9

At the end of day 6, I was one day ahead of schedule.

Day 7 – Goal 1,667 (cumulative 13,333)
Wednesdays I have gymnastics, so I kept my goal to just a regular days worth of words. I made it with exactly 1,667. It was a decent day, and I continued to be one day ahead of the game. Actual – 13,333

Day 8 – Goal 2,000 (15,300)
Thursday nights I lift weights, but I don’t find that as disruptive as gymnastics. I figured I should be able to get a few more than a single days worth. As an added bonus, I had the house to myself so it would be nice and quiet. I came close with more than a usual day but didn’t make the full 2,000 I was shooting for. I just couldn’t get that final push to meet my goal for the day. Actual – 15,100

Day 9 – Goal 2,000 (16,100)
I wanted to keep working toward getting two days ahead. I knew I didn’t have a double day in me, but I figured I should be able to get par plus a few extra. Ya, I didn’t even come close. I was tired and lazy and only wrote 150 words. My lowest count so far. It has been a month of great word count days interspersed with miserable ones. This was a miserable one. Actual – 15,250

I’m at par overall, but I’ve lost the one day lead I had at the start of these three days. I guess for the next three days I’ll work first on getting one day ahead, then start pushing for two. It has been a bit of a roller coaster of a NaNo.

How are you doing so far? Have you had any miserable word count days?

NaNoWriMo – Day 4-6

When last we left off I was about 1,000 words behind at the end of day 3. In short, things were not going well. I’m not worried yet though. Here is how days 4-6 played out.

Day 4 – Goal 5,000 words (cumulative 9,050)
Five thousand words might sound like a lot, but I always have at least a few 5,000 word days during Nano. I figured if I could get one in early, then I could get a good buffer of words going. I did have a good writing day, but I also had a lot of distractions. I managed to get 3,500 words and I was ahead at the end of the day by about 1,300. I went to bed feeling better about this whole NaNoWriMo thing. Actual – 7,600

Day 5 – Goal ~2,400 words (10,000)
If I hit 2,400 words, I would be one full day ahead. That would give me a lot more leeway going forward when bad days happen. On my way to work, I wrote a little over 250 words, and I was feeling good about the rest of the day. Unfortunately, I had another frustrating personal day on Monday and only wrote a total of 800 words. I was still at par with 8,400, but I certainly wasn’t ahead by as much as I would have liked. Actual – 8,400

Day 6 – Goal ~3,250 words (11,667)
My goal for the day was 3,250. I still haven’t given up on getting at least one day ahead. At a minimum, I vowed not to fall behind. I wrote a little bit at lunch getting around 400 words. After work, I had friends over for weight lifting (it was my night off, but I helped keep track of sets). Once they headed out I really got down to business. I finished the day with almost exactly 3,250 words. Finally, I made my word count for a day! Actual – 11,666

How is your NaNoWriMo going? Are you ahead or behind?

NaNoWriMo – Day 1-3

The first three days of NaNo are finished and … well, they didn’t go as smoothly as I would have liked. My plan for the year was to do something like a reverse NaNo with higher than 1,667 word counts at the start of the month allowing for lower than 1,667 word counts later in the month. I figured I would aim for something like 2.5k the first few days. No big deal, I thought, I’ve done that plenty of times in the past.

Day 1 – Goal 2,500 (cumulative 2,500)
The first day went well. I had a clear picture of the hook in my mind. I could almost see it playing out like an old black and white movie when I closed my eyes. My fingers flew across the keyboard with hardly a pause. I quickly made my 2,500 words for the day. See, I thought, I can do this. Actual – 2,500

Day 2 – Goal 2,500 (5,000)
Day 2 is when the trouble started. It was a hard day personally and I just couldn’t get into writing. Then I forgot my keyboard upstairs for a while when I wasn’t in a position to go and grab it. All in all, it was a miserable writing day. I only wrote 238 words. I was behind for the first time in years. I was too tired at the end of the day to be worried, and even if I hadn’t been, I didn’t have the mental space to worry about a few words. Actual – 2,700

Day 3 – Goal Get Caught up! (5,000)
I woke up on Day 3, still behind. It was a Saturday so I figured I’d have lots of time to write and get caught up. No big deal. The day just disappeared on me. Errands and other issues made the day speed by. I wrote just over 1,300 words. I didn’t even make par for the day, let alone make progress on how behind I was. Actual – 4,050

Things this year aren’t looking great at this point. I’m not worried yet, but I really can’t remember the last time I was behind for more than one day!

How is your NaNoWriMo going? Are you where you wanted to be, or are you also struggling to catch up?

NaNoWriMo: It Begins

This is not my first NaNo. In fact, I’ve won regular NaNo all 11 times I’ve attempted it. As the years have worn on, I’ve tried to change things up from time to time to make it a little more interesting. Some of the challenges I’ve given myself have included:

Year 2 – I wanted to finish and validate on the first day (the 25th at the time). I made it.
Year 5 – I wanted to get 75k. I wrote 80k and it remains one of my favourite NaNo novels.
Year 6 – I found myself pantsing for the first time.
Year 9 – I wrote from the perspective of the side kick. This was tough.
Year 11 – I set myself a Daily NaNo Challenge

This year, I have a lot going on that is outside of my control. This year, I just want to get 50,000 words in 30 days. I hope I won’t have any trouble finishing, but I don’t have the mental or physical space to make the challenge more interesting than a straight up NaNoWriMo.

I have an idea, a character, and 75% of a plot, and today I will find myself writing the first of (hopefully) 50,000 words. If you are writing for NaNo this year, I hope it goes well. If you are on the fence, jump in, take that risk!

Best of luck and I’ll see you at the finish line.

Reverse NaNoWriMo

Two years ago I wrote a post with several options for how many words to write per day. One thing I didn’t include because I only heard about it last year, was the Reverse NaNoWriMo.

The idea of a reverse NaNoWriMo is to write a LOT of words the first day, then write a few less each day after, until on the final day you are only writing 1 word to finish things up. The exact number of words recommended per day can be found here. I started with a reverse NaNo last year, and it worked very well. I kept up the higher words counts though and finished on Day 18.

I think a reverse NaNo would be great for someone who either has a lot of time at the beginning of the month or is just really excited. Why not take advantage of that excitement and time?

How many words do you try and write per day? Would you rather start slow, fast, or keep an even pace all month?

2017 in Review

Top five posts by views:
  1. NaNoWriMo – How many Words per Day? (2016 post)
  2. is a tie between NaNoWriMo – How to catch up if you’re behind (2015 post) and
  3. Finished Quilt – The Grace in our Stars
  4. Spring is Here (finally)
  5. Fauxdori – Bullet Journal Update

The top two posts weren’t posted this year. Both are about NaNoWriMo, and I can often tell how far through NaNo we are by which one is getting more views.

A Countdown of my Five Favourite Posts:

5.) My First Handbound Journal – I went to a local library program and learned how to make a journal.

4.) Raising a Reader – Why I think we should talk about making our kids “lovers of books and stories” instead.

3.) Handstands scare me, but I keep doing them – A lot of things scare me, among them are handstands.

2.) The Plot and the Rough Draft – I’ve been working on my MG Sci Fi and really enjoying the process.

1.) NaNo Daily Challenge – I set myself a daily challenge during NaNo, and I learned a lot. I plan to do something similar with many of my writing days this year.

Number of blog posts: 46

Visitors from around the world. I had visitors from 37 countries last year. The top five were: United States, Canada (my home country, so not a big surprise), the United Kingdom, India, and Australia.

Highest Activity Month
For the first time, November was the most active month on my blog, but that is probably because I posted almost daily updates during NaNo until I had finished. It had almost double the views of any other month.

What was your favourite post this year, on your own blog or someone else’s blog? Do you track the views on your blog?

Moving on from NaNoWriMo

NaNoWriMo is over, and it was a success. I enjoyed the novel I was working on, but in December I’m going back to my MG Sci Fi project. I want to use this project as a learning experience for a deep, full, edit. I’ve finished many manuscripts (~8). But I’ve never managed to completely edit a piece to my satisfaction. Getting something polished is definitely the next challenge I need to face as a writer.

Hence my new writing goal of ‘Finishing a Novel’. Not just a finished draft, but an edited polished novel. I’m excited and nervous, the usual emotions I feel when starting a new writing challenge. I’ve laid out the steps to get a complete first draft. I’m looking for something a little cleaner than a rough draft (I write fast, so I write what I call a rough draft *ahem* sometimes very rough). If my novel were a house, I’m looking for a house with good bones, not the renovated house of my dreams. Once the first draft is done I’ll move onto deeper edits to get to a second draft, then hopefully get a final draft after a good polish.

My plan to get to a first draft:

  1. Work out the seven point plot for this novel. This concept was pointed out to me by my friend @catereads. It’s a great way to get a plot outline.
  2. Write up a final detailed plot.
  3. Move the scenes I have to fit the final detailed plot.
  4. Finish writing the rough draft.
  5. Do one read through, and edit to the point where it makes sense (and I’m not missing any scenes). Considering how many scenes I know I’m moving, this might take a while.

So far I’ve finished number one, and I’m working my way through number two. I’m feeling excited about the task though.

What are you working on these days? How many finished, but unedited, manuscripts do you have?

The Winning Update – Day 17 & 18

This year is our third annual NaNoWriMo writing retreat. I wrote about our first retreat in 2015. Our location changed this year, and I’ll write more about it later, but all of my words on the 17th and 18th were written at the retreat.

Day 17:
I’d planned to write 2,500 as usual on Friday leading up the retreat. Of course I always forget how much time it takes to pack for a weekend away. It seems like it should take much less time than say packing for a week, but in my experience it takes almost as long. Longer in this case since I also had to worry about food. Plus I really wanted to get a workout in before we left. By the time I was ready to go, I hadn’t written a word. I didn’t start writing until 9p. I figured, “Ok, I’ll just aim for 1,667 or 2,000. I can catch up Saturday easily.” Well I hit 2,000 and then zoomed on to 2,500. Retreat day one was a win.

Day 18:
My goal, since we booked the retreat was to win NaNo while at the retreat. I thought I would win on the Sunday. If I wrote 2,500 words each day leading up, and each day at the retreat that is when I would win. Well Friday night I revised that goal, I wanted to win on Saturday. On the main retreat day a 5,000 word day isn’t outrageous.

I did it! I won in the afternoon. So yesterday evening I wrote another 2,000 words for a total of over 7,000. Yesterday is now my wordiest recorded day on NaNo. (I think I’ve had wordier NaNo days, but they were before records were kept).

NaNo Daily Challenge Update:
On Friday night I started writing so late, I didn’t really pay attention to my challenge. I wish I had, it was use more than sight for description, but honestly I just needed to get my words in. Yesterday was “Yes, but” and “No, and” again, and I did try and focus on it. I like how it helps propel the story forward, and sometimes it even helps me know where to go next. Definitely something I will be using even once I’m done NaNoWriMo this year.

Are you ahead or behind for NaNo? Have you ever been on a writers retreat?