It’s amazing what can be accomplished with a little concerted effort and a clear goal.
Yesterday, I took myself to task for being behind on the minimum word count for my latest novel in the NaNoWriMo challenge. I set myself a nightly goal of 2,000 words, and exceeded it by 300 words last night, bringing me closer to the minimum needed to complete the challenge on time. Tonight, I improved upon last night’s effort by adding 2,687 words!
What does this mean in the general scheme of things? It means that I’ve just blown past the minimum word count needed by today in order to finish on time. But even more, it means that, at the rate I’m going, I’ll be ahead of schedule so when Thanksgiving weekend comes around, I won’t be forced to do another marathon writing session to complete the challenge!
I learned a lot from last year’s challenge. First, I came in more prepared with my plot and initial characters. I had a couple of weeks to just let the story bounce around in my brain. Although it bears little resemblance to those initial bounces, it is definitely off to an interesting start, and has headed in a direction I hadn’t even considered.
In reviewing last year’s stats, I had several times when I wouldn’t write for two or three days in a row. Granted, I was still working and putting in some long and stressful days in an effort to leave my successor with as much information as possible. This year, the only thing I have to combat is my own laziness.
I am finding that, hard as I try, the best time for me to write and just stay focused is still after 9PM. I’ve tried sitting down to write in the middle of the day, and have yet to achieve success. The way I see it, there’s no reason to mess with a system that works.
Don’t you hate it when anal accountant brain kicks in on a project that’s supposed to be creative?
Although I am firmly set in my life as a writer now, I find that taking the girl out of the accounting department does not turn off the accounting mind completely. As such, I had to calculate how many days it would take for me to finish if I continued writing 2600 or so words a day. At this rate, I could finish the 50,000 words in about 15 days. But then, the rules don’t say I have to write a maximum of 50,000 words, but that I have to write at least 50,000 words by November 30 in order to meet the challenge. I, for one, do not have a problem with writing more and actually finishing the story, in rough form of course, by November 30.
There are some opportunities to use December to fine tune the first draft of my novel, and I would love to accept one of those offers so I don’t spend another 8 months or so refining my novel’s first pass! As I said, I have learned a lot from last year’s effort, and am endeavoring to avoid at least some of the mistakes I made last time.
I hope you’ll stick with me through this challenge, offering encouragement, energetically, if nothing else. I don’t know how many people are participating this year, but we can certainly use all of the good energy you might want to offer up. Writing an actual novel is a great deal different than writing a bunch of random thoughts or the occasional well thought out and researched blog post.
It occurs to me that I live to learn.
I stagnate when I’m not learning anything. I know that about myself and it is probably why I never stayed with one company for longer than seven years. Either I rot away from boredom or I dig into things management didn’t want me to uncover. Either way, I’m screwed.
With writing, finding a place where learning stops is just not possible. It is an avocation with ever expanding horizons where there is always plenty more to learn and infinite new directions to take. This is why I’m here.
My gratitudes tonight are:
1. I am grateful that I’ve gotten into the flow of writing every night, and am back on track to complete the challenge on time.
2. I am grateful for the lessons and challenges of being a writer.
3. I am grateful for completing my fourth week of regular gym visits, and have, in fact, increased my average number of weekly visits from 2 to 4.
4. I am grateful that inspiration is flowing my freely now.
5. I am grateful that I have recognized and accepted that my optimal writing time is after 9PM.
6. I am grateful for abundance: inspiration, words, encouragement, love, friendship, health and prosperity.
And now for some shameless self-promotion:
I’d love it if you’d visit my Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/SheriLevensteinConawayAuthor?ref=aymt_homepage_panel. I’ve created this page as a means of positive affirmation and would be very grateful if you’d “like” it or leave a comment! Thank you!