I did something crazy this year for NaNo and started with a completely blank page. I had the barest inklings of a premise to start with and that was it. Usually when I start a project I have a little more to go on. Some basic research, maybe a character sketch, even a vague outline. Not this time. I started with a word count of zero.
I did find my mind working on the premise a few days before the start of NaNo. Anytime I was driving or showering or doing some mundane chore, my brain was coming up with ideas. Yet, I didn’t write anything down.
I let everything percolate. Simmer on the back burner.
When midnight struck on November 1st at the kick-off party, I let my fingers take off and words actually filled up the blank pages, much to my relief. It really helped to be surrounded by other writers just as eager and excited to get started on their new projects. I’d never been to a kick-off party before. It was a lot of fun. I enjoyed meeting some new writer friends and hearing about their projects and how anxious they were to get started. Many of them were first-timers. The energy was contagious. After an hour, I had my first thousand words.
And I got to take home my very own box of doom. So cool.
At the second write-in on Saturday, I took part in a couple of timed word count challenges. And one dare. Oh, yeah. It was on. What surprised me most was how much I could write in those thirty minute spurts – unedited spurts at that.
This has really helped me overcome my biggest problem as a writer – too much editing during the first draft. I think a few more days of this and I’ll stop flinching when the strong impulse to edit rears its ugly head.
Here are my #writemotivation /NaNo goals for this month:
1. Survive, nay, WIN NaNoWriMo. (I will finish a first draft this year. I WILL!) I’m right on track so far. As of today, I’ve written over 6,000 words out of the 50,000 needed to win NaNo.
2. Attend at least three NaNo Write-Ins and take some dares. I should have made this goal harder. I’ve already attended two write-ins and taken one dare – which I accomplished, with bonus points, no less.
3. Before Nano starts and maybe even into the first week, prep some posts for the month. Although I did prep some posts, I didn’t flesh out as many as I’d hoped. Still time to make this goal before next week! I do have a couple finished, so how about partial credit?
4. Try to look up every once in awhile and acknowledge family’s presence. I have a family? Just kidding. My husband has made me promise that I will take the day off from writing every day that he takes off from work. A healthy compromise. That just means I have to do more writing on the other days. So far it’s working okay. Although we’ll see how well this goes near the end of the month if I’m behind on my word count.
So how is your NaNo going? Surviving the first week okay?
Not doing the NaNo? What other writing goals are you working towards?
18 thoughts on “Progress forward is progress – #writemotivation and NaNo update”
Wow. What a frightening thought to not have ANYTHING written down in the way of plot or characters or anything! Hope that mind of yours was able to keep all the info stored and accessible. My mind would have lost tons of it!
You can do it!
it’s been pretty exhilarating so far. (once i got past the first blank page – and there was a mad rush of typing at midnight so that didn’t last long.)
i fool myself into believing that anything i didn’t remember wasn’t worth remembering.
thanks for the encouragement. i think by the end of the month, i’m really going to need it.
Novelist amaze me. I struggle with a 1200 word story. But you write 1000s of words.Simply amazing!
a novel is just 100 picture books put together. if i could simplify my idea into 1200 words, i would, but i’m not that eloquent. it takes me that long to get to the point. 🙂
i love the poetry of picture books. and i can’t wait for yours.
Hi Valerie, How does one join the scbwi? Enjoying your blog… Bill
thanks, bill. i’m glad you’re enjoying it.
if you’re interested in joining scbwi, you go to the international website here:
then check out your region and see what local action you can get involved in. don’t be shy! attend a schmooze or a conference. you’ll be glad you did.
That’s awesome! I am sitting at 5,000 but I didn’t get to work on it over the weekend. (I worked hard on Friday.) It is a shame we can’t count all the words from our posts! I hope to finish as well, but I am just taking it one day at a time! Good luck this week!
great work, christy! i’m trying to keep a heavy momentum in the beginning of the month so hopefully i can build up a cushion in case something comes up and i can’t write every day near the end of the month. not panicking yet. and i’ve managed to write something every day.
Good luck to you, too!
I’m so glad you’ve gotten a chance to come to some of the write-ins! Midnight kickoffs are the best. 🙂 Congrats on your word count!
Me too! They’ve been so helpful with meeting that daily word count. LOVE the dares! I will definitely do more of those. And I always meet someone new.
That’s awesome about the write-ins! I’ve yet to get organised enough to go to a local one, but I’m sure the energy is fantastic. And over-editing an early draft – ugh, my biggest mistake! Hope to curb it this time around 🙂 Best of luck!
Want to get past the over-editing? (Which is one of my biggest flaws.) Do some of those crazy 30 minute word challenges. I barely have to type ideas let alone edit them. They are painful but so helpful.
Sounds like you’re having a lot of fun! The advice about the editor-while-drafting is my biggest problem as well. I have only been able to spend one day writing but already have almost 2000. For now, it’ll have to do! Good luck!
Oh, that’s great progress for one day. A few more like and you’ll be ahead. Keep at it!
I’m glad the word challenges have been helpful! Sometimes I find it’s hard to write without them, personally. I need to train myself to be able to work either way, though. Blah.
Keep up the great work!
yeah, i am writing more during the word challenges than when i’m not – trying not to become addicted. i think that’s why today’s words are coming out more slowly than yesterday’s
thanks for the encouragement!
I’m really excited for you. Not only are you doing damn well, you seem to be having a lot of fun while doing it. I think that’s the main point of NaNo. It shouldn’t be something we dread and stress about.
Here’s to a great November.
ah yes, well i’m working on maintaining the stress. so far the fun is still winning out. congrats on finishing already, ms lightning fingers!
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