NanoWrimo Update

At the beginning of November, I wrote about my NanoWrimo project where I planned to write an entire novel (50,000 words) in one month. I knew it was ambitious, but I knew I wanted to try. I started from scratch and aimed to write 2,000 words a day.

After a whole month, I made it halfway there:


You can see that I was right on par for the first few days, my work trip to Chicago threw off my progress, but I picked it up again for a week or two, and then gave up and flat-lined for a week before giving it a decent (pretty pathetic, actually) effort at the end of my Thanksgiving holiday.

What I’m saying is I really didn’t try THAT hard, and, still, I wrote half a novel!

Part of me wishes that I had pushed through, write 5,000 words/day on weekends, gone to write in coffee shop “write-ins” with other NanoWrimo-ers in Tallahassee, and made it to 50,000 words. That certainly would have felt victorious, but I am proud of the progress I made.

In one month, I composed nearly 50 single spaced typed pages – that’s huge! I’m really impressed with what I was able to accomplish and I haven’t stopped writing just because November is over. The biggest takeaway from this project is that little changes over time can make a BIG difference. I didn’t write for the first 8 days of December because I was feeling like the “big push” was over, but if I had written only 1,000 words a day, I would be up to 35,000 by now. I’ve made myself get up at 5:30 to squeeze in some writing time the past two mornings, and now I’m already up to 27,717 words.

I could easily hit 50,000 by the end of December if I average just over 1,000 words/day. I probably will not do this because I’ll be spending some holiday time with family, but I’ve set a personal goal to hit 50,000 by the end of January. This feels like an awesome way to kick off a new year! I really like the storyline that I’m working on, and if I have a complete draft by the beginning of January, I should absolutely have time to edit extensively and finally submit my first manuscript for publication in 2015.

I’ve learned that putting goals in writing is really helpful (and, in fact, the only way that works for me) so I’m writing it down:

  • 50,000 words by the end of January,
  • First round of edits by the end of March,
  • Second round of edits by the end of June (we’re moving in there so I’m giving myself some extra time)
  • Query letter written by July 31
  • All materials/agent contacts formulated in excel sheet by August 31
  • Submit my manuscript by September 30

And that gives me a whole month of wiggle room until I start my next novel. I know it’s ambitious, but I also think it’s very doable. I’m pretty excited about it.

Here’s to making 2015 the year of the novel.

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