NaNoWriMo is National Novel Writing Month and is held every November. It’s a challenge to write 50,000 words of a novel in thirty days (or 1,667 per day). Writers and wanna-be writers come together with a common goal to write novels, short stories, memoirs, whatever it is they’ve been putting off or need a push to get started. This year I decided I would document my daily writing practice as I strive to finish a draft of a novel I’ve been taking far too long on.
Words Written: 1,692
Total Word Count: 1,692
For day 1 we’re starting out well. It took me a minute to get into writing because it’s honestly been a while since I had last written for this novel. So I needed to read a little to remind me of where we were and what we were getting up to. But luckily I’m at a pretty exciting point so the words came out quickly and more easily than I thought they would.
That being said I did take some breaks in the writing. I stopped at about 700 words to get a snack: chocolate from my kids’ Halloween candy obviously. Then I wrote about another 500. At this point I started getting tired.
I had been awake since 5 when I went for a run. Then I did some other writing work while my kids were waking up. I showered and we all got ready for school. After taking them to school I got back home with a headache. I did yoga for headaches/ migraines, and then got into my daily word count. By the time I hit 1200 words it was about 11AM and I was lagging. It didn’t help that I was doing this writing while lounging on the couch.
So I got up and did some dishes, prepped dinner, and had some lunch. This helped me to push through the last 500 words.
But, the tired I feel was more me just not being used to writing that much in one sitting than me not knowing what to say or what was going to come next. As a writer and someone who hopes to make a career out of writing long form works like this, it’s embarassing to say I got “tired” writing 1700 words.
And I can make any excuse I want about waking up early or taking care of kids or whatever I want, but the fact is this right here is exactly why I decided to participate in NaNo this year. Because I am the type of person that will put anything and everything before writing either because I’m scared to really try (and possibly fail) or because of some guilt I feel when I am putting writing over other “necessary” things like house chores, kid stuff, or work that has a more immediate monetary value.
But, no matter what I do I come back to fiction because it’s fun and is the most fulfilling thing for me. So if I need NaNo to give me a little kick to get back to the novel I’ve been trying to finish for over a year then that’s where we are. And so far, we’re off to a good start because I’ve written more today on this project than I have in the last month so even if I quit today I’ll still be more successful than I was last month (but I sincerely hope today isn’t the last day).