NaNoWriMo: Day 8 (AM)

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NaNoWriMo day 8. Word Count: 7,223. Words left: 42,777. Mood: exhausted.

If you’ve been following my NaNoWriMo updates or just the blog in general, you might have noticed since day 3 of the challenge I went silent (at least on the blog). In truth over the past few days this challenge has really been causing me all sorts of anxiety. And if you’re looking at my word count today you’re probably wondering how I went back instead of moving forward.

Where I was on day 3 with Frost’s Bite was not something I could continue with. I wasn’t getting attached, and I was having serious doubts. Such serious doubts that I wondered about trashing the idea altogether. And in a way yesterday I did just that. It’s currently 1am here, so when I’m calling this “day 8” because of it being technically Tuesday, it still feels like day 7 to me. And while my word count was originally to reach 10 or 11k today, I wrote over 7k new words. At this point I gotta take what I can get.

The hardest part about NaNoWriMo is once you start noticing you’re behind it leads to a lot of doubting and fears. That’s where I’ve been these past few days while also analyzing the story I chose.

So I kept my favorite character names and made a dramatic change to the story. So far the title has stayed the same (mainly because I don’t have time to worry about it right now), and a few character’s names have also stayed the same. The main plot I was rolling with before has changed entirely. I’m using my journal to write down ideas for later, and I’m hoping this huge change isn’t going to hurt me later on.

I didn’t participate in NaNoWriMo last year because of my wedding, but the two years before that I wrote sequels to books I was already very familiar with. This year is my first time in a while writing something entirely new. And it’s quite honestly scary because at first everything goes so smoothly, and then before you know it you’re way behind the word count and stressing out like you never thought you could.

Today I know I made a lot of progress, even if my word count tells me I worked backwards. I’ve had a lot of support from writing friends and my husband. This challenge is important to me, and I don’t want to give up because it’s hard right now. It’s not meant to be easy, and I know plenty of people who are also behind on their word count right now. So instead of staying up all night just to hit 10k and then be pounding my head against the wall later today, I decided to stop at 7k and continue on later (once I get some sleep).

I guess the best advice I can give at this point to you (and even myself) is to know when to problem solve. If something isn’t working out address it right away. I made the mistake of trying to force the story because I had already dedicated words and time to it. But today I reached 7k (in one day) on a story that now I’m relating to more. One that I have more creativity with. I can’t explain it fully because it doesn’t make complete sense to me either.

Problem solve. Never let writer’s block take you out.

Wishing all of you luck! Here’s to hoping I can reach my goal tomorrow…

Lindsey Richardson

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NaNoWriMo: Day 2

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Day 2 of NaNoWriMo. My current word count: 5, 486. Words left: 44,514. Mood: hopeful.

You know when I write up two blog posts in one day it’s been a productive (and busy!) day. Today is the second day of NaNoWriMo, and I can’t help but feel hopeful. I reached over 5k today in my novel. It’s interesting to watch as people announce their progress because everyone’s at a different place right now. Some people write crazy fast, and I admire that. And then there’s people like me who are more on the slower side. But at the end of the day we’re all working toward the 50k goal, and the great thing with this challenge is it doesn’t matter how you get there.

If you’re feeling down on your progress –believe me we’ve all been there, and I’ll be there at some point this month too. And what I say to that: Don’t be! Be proud of how far you are, whether you’re only a few hundred words in or you’re way past where you ever expected. Progress is progress no matter how small.

Something I’ve been struggling a lot with (and this is always a problem I have when writing) is analyzing my work. My inner editor keeps begging me to go over that last sentence, that last paragraph, the last three chapters. And I have to keep resisting! NaNoWriMo is all about writing that 50k. And I think the best lesson this challenge teaches us is that it doesn’t matter if you write crap. Right now I’m not sure if I’m over the moon with my first few chapters. Honestly I might hate them later on and be wondering “who wrote this?!” But I’m not letting that stop me.

As for some NaNoWriMo necessities to success, here’s what I’ve been using (that helps a lot):

  • coffee (notice how this is always the first bullet point? It’s that important!)
  • “Wordly” –this is a writing app. I’ve talked about it many times before, and I’m going to keep talking about it because it’s amazing. It’s entirely free, and it’s how I keep track of my word count. I set it to remind me about writing at certain times in the day, and it keeps up with my goal of reaching 50k. I used it for Clara and Claire, and now I’m using it with NaNoWriMo. Seriously get this app or something close to it!!
  • Ommwriter –I wish I could suggest Scrivener, but I don’t have it. If anyone wants to gift it to me this Christmas, I’d love you forever! Ommwriter isn’t free (I think it’s $4-5), but basically it’s really cheap for what it offers. Distraction free writing is huge. It’s so important, especially if you’re like me and get distracted by everything.
  • stationary: journal/paper, pen

So it’s not a lot, but that’s what is keeping me on my toes during all of this.

Remember that you determine your own pace. You might not go as fast as someone else, but it’s easy to fall in love with a story. If you have to leave spaces for parts of the story you’re not sure about for right now and move on. Don’t stay stuck in one place. Just keep writing, and remember after this month you can go back and fix it. (Or if you want never look at it again.)

As for me, I’m working outside my comfort zone with this new novel because it’s unlike anything I’ve done before. So it’s both thrilling and terrifying at the same time. But who knows, maybe after this month I’ll share the first chapter or something on Wattpad for a limited time.

Writing is a beautiful thing, and so long as you know where you are and where you’re headed, you’re covered! At this point I’m glad I’m taking on this challenge again because it reminded me how simple writing can be sometimes. To take away the stress of “oh my gosh this is my next releasing title” and just write is a beautiful thing. I had my break from writing for long enough, and now I’m just glad to have a break from “serious” writing to explore into a genre I wouldn’t usually write.

How far are you into NaNoWriMo? Leave your book title and link to your profile below, and I’ll check out your progress!

I’m not sure if I’m done with writing for the day, but I wanted to write up this post just in case. Keep up the writing!

Lindsey Richardson