Here’s an update on my NaNoWriMo experience after one week of participating. Because even though I’m behind in my daily word quotas, I somehow find time for unproductive distractions like blogging.
Overall I am pleased with my progress. Yes, I’m behind, but I’m going to look on the positive side, which is that I have contributed to my manuscript every single day so far except one, (which was Tuesday because I was watching election results.) I can’t write while I’m at work, but I have managed to get 800-900 words in during most of my lunch breaks this past week. I’m actually a little surprised at how fast 1600 or so words can fly by, and therefore a little ashamed that I’m already behind, but I just have a lot of other things to do every day! I’m not going to berate myself for failing to meet quotas yet because I have been dedicating myself to this project for some period of time each day, and I haven’t been on tumblr or started reading any new books since I started. (For a reward after I finish I’m totally going to start reading A Feast For Crows by George R. R. Martin).
My main concern for not being able to finish on time is another project I’m working on that competes with NaNo-ing for my free time. It’s on a similar deadline, too; I’m making dwarf-beards for me and 12 friends to wear to the midnight premiere of The Hobbit! Actually, the deadline for that project feels a little more imminent; I can always finish writing later, but it just wouldn’t be the same to go dressed up to a movie that’s already been out for a week or more.
Things I’ve learned so far in this NaNo process include:
- It is easier to get a lot written when I sit down knowing what scene I’m going to work on. Even if it’s really vague, like, “she finds out” or “they talk about X”. Now I try to have two or three possible scenes in mind or on a post-it note when I start typing, just so I don’t sit there staring off into space trying to think of what happens next.
- I definitely see why so many people cautioned “don’t let yourself revise, just keep writing!” It is so hard not to go back and fix things. I feel like I’m barfing bad storytelling all over the screen. I’m keeping a separate word document going in which I include notes for things I’ll definitely need to revisit or change, including names. A lot of characters don’t have real names and others have names I hate. I have a file of potential names I’ve been keeping for years but I don’t have time to comb through it right now. The story must be barfed up first! I haven’t used it yet, but I’m already thankful for the “find and replace” function.
- For some reason it is easier to write when my hair is pulled back and my nails are freshly painted. I seem to be writing a “shiny black nail polish” kind of story so far.
Word Count so far: 7654