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: 1,691
Total Word Count: 15,120
What’s there to say? I hit the word count goal for the day before 6AM and that feels really good. I had a lot of other work to get done so even though I would have liked to have written a little bit more, just to get ahead for any issues that come up in the future, I decided to just be happy with hitting the goal.
I was able to get a lot of other work done, do some personal stuff, and not feel overwhelmed so it was a really positive day. I’ve said this already but beyond just hitting a large word count goal daily and then for the whole month, the best thing about NaNoWriMo is jumpstarting a daily writing practice that I’ve been putting off for too long.
Daily writing is about so much more than just the physical number of words you’re able to produce every day or every month. It’s about the momentum created from meeting with your characters every day, walking with them on their journey, and the inspiration that comes from that.
I find myself having ideas for both large and small things in my novel way more often than I do when I take my time writing and go extended periods without even looking at the novel. Not only do I have more ideas, but I have better ones. The last few days I’ve been finding that the threads I’m following are ones that 1. I like to write and 2. seem true to my character.
The first couple days of the month I was writing scenes from an outline I had created in preparation for the daily writing. And while I thought the scenes were okay, when I stepped back I realized my main character was making decisions and acting in a way that didn’t fit with what I’d written so far, and where I wanted her to go as a character.
But what I’ve written, especially the last 2-3 days, are scenes that are exactly my character. They are more thought out, the other characters are more well-rounded, and it actually feels like I’m moving in the right direction.
Hopefully, this pattern and this level of excitement continues as the month goes on.