29% of Goal
My first attempt at National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) didn't produce the results needed to 'win', but overall, the experience worked in my favour because I wrote every day.
For the month of November, I averaged 484 words a day, writing for thirty days straight. I finished with a total count of 14,548 words, which came out to 29% of the goal. It took nearly 61 hours to accomplish. Updating my progress every day and seeing the stats change motivated me. It's much easier to think about a daily writing goal than it is to think about 84,000 words.
The stats proved so useful to my success, I decided to continue updating them, even entering my writing sessions in a log book. I downloaded the app WordKeeper to manage my project.
Writing every day isn't just good for the word count; the story builds momentum, characters come alive and you feel like they are real. The story never leaves your mind.
I used my original outline as a guide, but the manuscript has evolved. New chapters have been added and I'm excited with the direction it's taking. The story's ending has long been known so knowing where I would end up was never an issue.
Discipline is required to get the story out. You can't fix it as you write. You have to keep writing. When I write, I continuously want to rework the development, the grammar, the sentence structure, even the character reactions. It's nuts! But, all the backstory and outline work you do at the beginning pays off because it's your skeleton and acts as a focal point.
Now, rather than going back to edit something when I write, I forge ahead, highlighting the areas I know need work or use TK to denote an unknown name for something like a town or name of a building. You see, once you've written the draft, it can be edited later. You can toil over it for months if you like. When you think about it, it makes sense. Why polish a sentence that might not even be included in the novel?
All published authors know the secret about discipline and what it takes to achieve deadlines. I'm just learning it. Bottom line: my advice is to keep writing, then write some more the next day. Don't erase anything, just keep going.
Set a self-imposed deadline and work toward it. If you work every day you'll get there.
Next November I'll see if I can achieve fifty thousand words in one month. In the meantime, I will be working to finish this manuscript by April 14th, 2021.
Maybe I should set a deadline for next November to have the manuscript finished in time for NaNoWriMo? 🙂