Writing Quote

"Don't write merely to be understood.
Write so that you can't possibly be misunderstood."
-Robert Louis Stevenson

Monday, November 8, 2010

nanowrimo update

Week one is over now (plus one day) and I ended today with 21048 words! That's more than I wrote all last MONTH!! I went into Nano this year thinking I'll probably shoot for 2000 words a day, that way I can get a little ahead and if I have a rough day and need to slack off a bit, I can. But so far, my end-of-the-day totals are: 3219, 1906, 2300, 2594, 2683, 3018, 2373, 3000. Bam! With the exception of day two, I completely shattered 2000 words. Woo-hoo!

Some little things I think make a big difference:
1. Participating in NPI during October. It put me in the habit of writing everyday. The goal of 250 words a day was small, so it became evident that this was an easy thing to do. It's not scary or intimidating to commit to writing every single day. And though the goal was not too impressive in itself, I was able to push myself beyond my goal much of the time. The result at the end of the month was much better than when I've given myself goals like 'write 5000 words this month,' or 'write 50 pages this month.' I've always known that writing everyday is key to disciplined writing. But it has always been a huge struggle for me, to force myself to sit down and tap out those micro story tellers, words.
2. Tracking my progress. Last month, I used a little sticky note to keep track of each day's work; where I started, where I'd like to end and what I actually accomplished. I got some suggestions to use a spread sheet. But I think I love my silly little sticky note. It literally sits by my hand, always in sight. It is a constant reminder of what I'm shooting for and of the wonderful progress I've made so far. My little yellow post-it inspires my inner cheerleader. "Go, go, go! I can DO IT!"
Plus, nanowrimo has added a new feature to their stats tab this year. It tells things like how many words I've written today, how many words until 1667, average words written, total words written, how many words per day I need to reach 50K by 11/30, how many total words I need to write, what day I'll hit 50K if I stick to my average. Its fun to put in my word count every so often. My little meter gets a little fuller, my graph bar jumps up a little higher and all my stats change just a bit. I sit and study my numbers a little and dream of what it would be like if I could have a jet-pack day and work in 6000 words or more.
I don't know if I'll be able to manage a jet-pack day this year. I'm getting a lot done, but it's usually in snippets. My family remains pretty demanding. I was hoping to make Saturday a huge writing day, but then my husband got sick and I had kid duty a lot more than usual. I'd keep my fingers crossed for a heavy writing day this Saturday, but that makes it really hard to get any writing done.
(note: for the uninitiated- a jet-pack day is broken down into sections. start the day with a 2 hour writing session. then take 1 to 2 hours doing something non-writing related, preferably something you enjoy. Then another 2 hour writing session, then another nice break; 2 hour writing session, nice break, write, and that's a wrap. You get 6-8 hours of writing in without going completely nuts)
3. Change is good. I find that when I'm having trouble pushing past a certain part, it helps to change things up by skipping ahead to a part I'm more excited about. It also helps to change where/how I write. If I've been spending a lot of time on the laptop, kicked back in the Lazyboy, it can make a big difference to go into the office. The change of monitor, keyboard, setting, and even physical position stimulate my brain in new ways and make me think differently. If I'm really having a hard time I go back to my favorite way to write. Pen, paper, and cursive writing. Last year, I wrote my entire nano novel by hand. With my Adesso to take pictures of my handwriting and convert it into text, it was a lot easier than entering it by hand later. But there were so many errors to correct that I decided to get back on the computer this year. But I still have the handwriting option if I need it.

Some obstacles to look for:
1. Thanksgiving, as always. But this year, it's at MY house. I do the pies every year because pie is in my blood (don't worry, there's no blood in my pies). Last year I went completely overboard with 12 or 13 pies, a pumpkin roll and a trifle (vegetarian). The resulting sugar high caused some memory lapses. I cannot be held responsible for anything I did that weekend. Anyway, I'm not doing that again. I think I'll limit myself to four pies and one non-pie dessert. Also, since I have the double oven, I'll probably end up doing the bird as well. Though there's some talk going around about frying it this year.
2. Singing. Yeah, I write and I sing. It sounds more impressive than it really is. But I do have music to learn and rehearsals to attend. That definitely eats into my writing time. Luckily the actual performances will be in December. So no conflicts there.
3. School. I only have one class, but it's the first one in a decade. I've done everything I can to free myself up from school this month- acing 2 tests so I can skip (and drop) one this month; and writing a paper a month in advance. But try as I might, I can't get around the pesky up and coming final exam. It's not until December, but the studying must come much sooner than that. Hopefully I'll be able to work around these things to have a really successful nanowrimo.

If you're a wrimo, too, look me up. I'm radeliak over at nanowrimo.org

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