Friday, November 18, 2016

Halfway Point: NaNo Update

If you're participating in NaNoWriMo, how's it going?

If you're asking me? I'll be honest - not great. I let myself take a few days off, which defeats my personal object (writing every day for 30 days) and puts me in a position to not quite hit 50k. One nice thing about the NaNo site is there's a little sidebar that shows you your daily average, the word count goal per day, how much you've actually written per day - and this is the big one - how much you have to write per day to still hit 50k by November 31st.

Right now, I need about 2k a day to hit the goal. It's not an impossible feat, and it's pretty cool to see how a few hundred words a day add up. The original daily goal is just over 1600 words, and after fucking off for almost four days, an extra 400 a day can catch me up? Now, that's not to say I'll actually write 2k a day, or even hit the 50k goal. But that small stat shows something really important - if you sit down and do the work, it adds up. 400 words per day will make up for over 5k I'm behind. 400 words a day isn't nothing, but it's not a lot, either. I'd venture to say that almost anyone with a regular habit can crank out 400 words in a sitting.

When I talked about how NaNoWriMo is fully customizable, and how it can teach us things about our writing we don't always think about, I didn't talk about how it proves steady writing leads to accomplishing big goals, because I'm aware that not everyone can make 1600+ words happen every day for a month, and plenty writers who can, simply don't want to. It's a lot of stress and it requires sacrifice. 50k words in 30 days is an accomplishment because it's a highly unusual pace. But when I look at that addition of 400 words per day it really sends home how habitual writing can make big goals happen with steady, concentrated effort.

It's a great object lesson for people who aren't sure about their pace, their goals, or their ability to carve out writing time.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I've gotta try to write 2k words...


Holly West said...

I started the month doing NaNoWriMo. I'm no longer doing it, though. I probably should've never tried in the first place because polishing my current WIP is far more important to me than starting a whole new piece, which is what I did. I was trying to fool myself into thinking doing something different for a month would rejuvenate me. And it did to some extent, but after a heart-to-heart w/ a writer friend who knows me and my goals well, I decided I needed to concentrate on the WIP.

But to get back to your point about NaNo's writing tools, I agree, seeing the numbers is really helpful and motivating. It's one of the reasons I use Scrivener, as it has similar tools.

Anyway, good luck with your goal, Renee. And have a great Thanksgiving.

Renee Asher Pickup said...

Thanks, Holly! I've done it several times, but skipped several times, too. Either because I don't feel like it, or I have something else I'm working on, etc. I was about 10-12k into this one before NaNo so just using it to get that first draft out. Of course you get to the sloggy bit faster if you continue a piece rather than starting from scratch, haha. Good luck polishing - that's always the hard part for me.

seana graham said...

I was managing to keep up pretty well until the last few days when other parts of my life have taken over. Hoping to cover a lot of ground this weekend.

But I'm really just commenting to make sure you know that, unfortunately, there is no such thing as November 31.

Best of luck getting to the finish line!

Renee Asher Pickup said...

Hahaha Seana! Whoops!