Tuesday, November 9, 2010

NaNo Land VS The Looney Bin

Many of you know I've taken on the challenge of writing 50,000 words this month in the NaNoWriMo Challenge. National Novel Writing Month. A month of early mornings--or late nights, whichever the case may be. A month of wracking your brain for plot and characterization during the day so that when you get a chance to put fingers to the keyboard, your story can fly. A month of insanity.

I'm sure a challenge like this is a piece of cake for someone who...
1) has no children
2) doesn't work full time
3) doesn't belong to a church that they are involved in
4) doesn't have a puppy who needs to be on ADHD meds
5) doesn't do holidays...Thanksgiving is coming up--who planned this NaNo, anyway?
6) basically, doesn't have a life.

So how am I doing?  Let it show you what I've done so far. (check out my NaNo Stats here)

Nov. 1 : 1785
Nov. 2 : 344
Nov. 3 : 2503
Nov. 4 : 1534
Nov. 5 : 433
Nov. 6 : 2364
Nov. 7 : 1835
Nov. 8 : 530

Total: 11,328

You need to write 1667 words a day to complete (and win) NaNoWriMo. I am behind. I now need to write 1758 words a day to complete my mission. It's do-able.

What I've learned thus far from this NaNo-y experience:

  1. I do have time in my day to write. I had thought I couldn't find time, but you know what? I am very clear headed at 4:30 a.m. with a large...um, LARGE, cup of coffee in hand.(the additional sugar from the tons of hazelnut creamer is a plus)
  2. You do need a big supply of caffeine on hand. Whether it is coffee, tea, a Route 44 Diet Dr. Pepper from  Sonic, caffeine is a huge part of navigating NaNo Land.
  3. Support from the family is a plus. One day my husband cooked supper while I pounded away on the keyboard after work, trying to catch up after a lousy word count the day before. Yeah, I know, a husband who cooks...sorry for those of you who don't have that tool.
  4. I need to go to bed earlier. I need my sleep. Period. If I'm going to get up earlier, I need to go to bed earlier. This is a bit of a challenge with nocturnal teens in the house, but they understand this crazy journey I'm on, and have let me be. (FYI, my husband is on call if a parent is needed.)
  5. There are many people doing NaNo and can be a great support and encouragement. Just look on Facebook, Twitter, NaNo's forums...there's lots of people doing this same crazy challenge who can sympathize and encourage you. At work yesterday, a 5th grader came up to me and said..."You're doing NaNo, aren't you? I am too!" Woah! I didn't know there was a "Junior NaNo" going on! Way cool.
  6. If I don't make my word count, it's not the end of the world. I'm not going to be carted away by the NaNo police if I don't win NaNo and get my 50,000 words in. The deadline is enforced by me. I can be as hard or as lenient as I want. The point is writing everyday, a habit I am trying to develop.
NaNoWriMo is not for everyone. It is difficult to write that many words a day when life is full. But NaNo is a great tool for those who need a little push to get writing. It's been great tool for me in finding a writing time that works. If I'm going to be serious about writing, I need to just write, regardless of the job and other responsibilities. NaNo is helping me do that. Sure, there's a bit of insanity involved, but then again, doesn't every writer have just a touch of craziness? We wouldn't have it any other way, would we?

Has anyone ever done NaNoWriMo? If not, how do you stay motivated to write each and every day? 

13 comments:

Julia M. Reffner said...

11,000 words!!! That is awesome, Sherrinda!! And only 1 week in!! I think NaNo will have to wait until my kids are a bit older.

OK, I saw we hit 200...I'm ready to give a book or two away soon :)

Pepper Basham said...

CONGRATS, Sherrinda!!
Over 11,000 words?!? SUPER
And YES, Julia.
PARTY TIME!!!!!! Not even 6 months old and up to 201 members.
Case, did you hear that? We need a party edition this weekend! What do you say about a few books to give away?
I have a few too!

Pepper Basham said...

Oops, I meant we are only 6 months old!!
May to November.
That's still a great track record.

Kav said...

I'm doing NaNo too -- unofficially. I started out great guns and then my boss got sick so I was the only one at work and it was busy and I was run off my feet and I'd go home and collapse and then it stopped raining and my leaves needed raking and it got really busy at my part-time job at the college library and that made me even more tired and then I started a really, really good can't put it down kind of book and then...LOL. But I haven't given up!!!! Though 40,000 might be a more realistic goal right now.

JEFritz said...

It's hard! Some days, I really don't want to do it. I push myself along, usually writing crap, but as long as I'm hitting the keys, something is getting done. Even bad writing forces me to get more involved in the book and pretty soon I've passed the 1,667 words/day mark. Half are going to be cut in rewrites, but it's about quantity, not quality : )

MaidenOfEmmanuel said...

I'm writing for NaNo. I have my story pulled up on word document, now the time where I stop getting ideas on how to procrastinate and stay distracted.
Your blog post had some very funny lines. "Who planned this NaNo anyway?"
Yeah who did plan NaNo in November. I'd like to give them a piece of my mind.

Keep up the writing,
MaidenOfEmmanuel

MaidenOfEmmanuel said...

By the way, on my blog I linked my post to yours, claiming that your post was one of my favorite funny NaNo posts :).

The Writer said...

Heh heh heh...

First, may I just say that this is NaNo season, where we are encouraged to brag about all things NaNo.

Second, this is my fourth year doing NaNo, and I've decided to be insane this year...

I'm doing two NaNo novels. And so far, I'm keepin' up pretty good. ^^ However, many of the things on your list apply to me. Especially the last one.

Total word count so far: 31,252. ;)

GO WRIMOS!

Sherrinda said...

Julia, I definitely think we need a party! And you are right about waiting until the kiddos are older. There's no way I could do NaNo with little feet underfoot.

Pepper, I'm feeling pretty good about my progress. I am not on track to get my 50,000 words in, but hey, any progress on the WIP is good, eh?

Kav, don't you hate it when life gets in the way? Seriously, it's just hard to carve out writing time in busy schedules...and that doesn't take into account all the stuff that just "happens" like it did to you!

JEFritz, I know what you mean! Some days I can forget the internal editor and let the words flow. Other days, I know that what I am writing is drivel and will have to be deleted. It's hard to spend the time writing something you know is no good. Oh well...all about word count.

MaidenofEmanuel!!! Yay for NaNo-ers! And girl, thanks for the link. Very sweet of you. I try to find humor in all things, because it makes life so much easier. :) I'll look you up in NaNo. Happy writing!

Angie said...

Ugh, Sherrinda! I am in such a rut when it comes to fleshing out words! I am so impressed with your pressing on! Life is so distracting!

Mary Vee said...

I would love to do NaNo.
So hoping to next year when my daughter is off to college

Galadriel said...

I was directed here by Maiden of Emmanuel's blog. We so rock. Nenya_s Wings at 31.7k!

MaidenOfEmmanuel said...

I finally got back to this post.
My NaNo is actually under a different user name. I'm bookworm4god :).

Hope your writing is going well. I actually finished my word goal earlier than usual ^^.