Tag Archives: 50k

NaNoWriMo 2014 Weeks 3 and 4 Update: Struggles and Cruises

This month has been an enormous rollercoaster for me and I don’t like really any of it.

Thursday, I soared ahead, nabbing 5.2k words and going from 39k to 44k, and I could have done more that night, but instead I calmed my frenzy down and I did some yoga. The next day was alright, but not as good. The day after I didn’t even turn in a word count, and the following day I was just 100 words shy from 2k. Yesterday was 800 words and today I barely have written 50 so far.

This is how it goes every week. I struggle, and then I somehow break through and manage to get back to my normal self of soaring through the wordcount and just plowing into the story. The other week, I was restless all day up until about 9 at night, and then I forced myself to get with it and hit 2.5k by the end of it all.

I am frustrated. I have no idea why it’s this difficult for me, and looking back at last year, it’s a little upsetting. The minute that the validation for winning came up last year I was on top of it, and I won with minutes into midnight (of the 20th). This time last year, I was hedging 84-86k, and now I’m somewhere around 48k and trying to find some way to kick my ass into gear and win it already.

I’m trying not to let it rule me, but it’s hard. Comparing my progress is a bad habit I’ve done for years now, for better or worse, and this time it’s coming out as worse. I know this month is about daily writing more than it is about winning, but I have five more days and 2k left to win.

In a way, I’m just glad it’s going to be over so I can stop struggling. So I can stop doing incredibly one day and then sink to the bottom the next. I know there are excuses, but I’m not accepting them. I should be doing better. Just because I want to play games doesn’t mean I can’t do that and write at the same time. I’ve done it before.

Bah. I will finish this month, I will get through it, however I make that possible. I hope, if you’re also having trouble, that you know you can make it through, too.

-The Novice Wordsmith

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NaNoWriMo 2014 Week 2 Update: Smooth Sailing

So after struggling all of last week, and even harder toward the end of it, somehow I kicked into high gear and managed to find the motivation and drive to push forward hard. Sunday night, I think it was, I was writing like I hadn’t in a while, and it felt so good to just lose myself in the story again.

So after dropping down to about a 1700 wordcount average, after about Wednesday, I’m working my way back up to the 3-4k average that I usually tout. Hit 20k last night, might try for 25k today, but that’s a long shot, even if I can just pull myself down into the dregs of the novel and not come up for air for a while. I, unfortunately, still have stuff to do every day or I’d be glued to my desk, writing all day.

I went to a write-in on Wednesday, and one of the people there had told me that she wrote 13k in the first day and was teetering off and I was like, what!? In ONE DAY?

It’s not too hard to believe, but seeing someone pull that off is still pretty remarkable. I was able to write 10k in two days once, just committing to the project, but I’m still trying to find how you can pump out so much in just 24 hours. She did say that she was basically just sleeping and writing and taking small breaks, so I guess that would have something to do with it, just writing all day…

As much as I’d love to be one of those people to get out a premium amount of wordcount, 150-200k, it’s a very intimidating prospect. Being someone who just blows away the requirements and does their own thing, soaring above the average, that would feel great to me, but I don’t know if I’d ever really have the time to give it. Maybe it’s not the time so much as it’s the constant writing, writing, writing.

Friend, like I said back in July, managed about 15k in one day to hit 50k, though our goals were 25k. His fingers hurt like crazy at the end of it and he had managed to burn himself out, but he caught the goal he wanted.

Though on the other hand, I’ve found that there are still a lot of other people struggling to keep up as well, through engagements and work and school and whatever else they have going on, so being able to be a few thousand above the curve feels good.

You’re going to have people on all three sides of the spectrum, I realize. Those lagging behind, those who straddle the line and stay on task, and those who reach far and away what they want, early, and then keep reaching. None of them are bad for the month, because every single one of them is trying, some better than others, but I’m not going to lie: it feels great to be able to say you wrote every single day, and hit the target wordcount or went above it. In my fear-of-failure eyes, not seeing the target hit ¬†sucks, but I’m working on accepting that the goal for the month, most basically, is to write, every day.

An undeniable part of us says that winning feels good, and it does, it’s why we strive for it so hard, in everything we do. We can pep talk ourselves to accept what we did if we didn’t win, but I think we’re still going to be even a fraction let down by ourselves if we don’t reach the goal we intended to get.

Just because I tell you how great it is that you wrote daily, doesn’t mean you’re going to feel any less bad about not getting that 50k at the end of the month.

But daily writing is crucial, which I think I’ve mentioned before in another blog post; when you get a routine down, and you write every single day, you’re creating positive habits that help you and your creativity. So really, that is the key to this month, writing every single day, and making the time for it. If you can keep it up outside of NaNoWriMo, the better. It’s a great feeling.

Even if 50k still feels good, so does being able to say that you write daily anyway.

We’ve passed week 1. We’re reaching mid November already and it’s coming up fast, but don’t let it intimidate you. Good luck, and keep going! I’m on the sidelines for you with pompoms made of old book page strips!

-The Novice Wordsmith