Tag Archives: determination

The Final Days of NaNo

NaNoWriMo Diary – The Day After

Total number of words written: ???

Coke consumed on last day: 1 can

Chocolate consumed on last day: 3 Tim tams, ice-cream drizzled with chocolate topping

Yesterday was the last day of NaNoWriMo for 2011. Did I make it?

A couple of days ago I was in a panic. With only a few days left to go I could see the finish line ahead of me, I had passed 40k words, but at the same time I wasn’t sure how I was going to get to 50k by the end of the month. With five days to go I still had 10k to write–2000 words a day. I thought I could make a big dent over the weekend to give me some leeway when my busy week started and I had less time. It didn’t work out that way. I ended up babysitting over the weekend and had four kids aged 6 and under from Saturday before lunch until Sunday after lunch. Saturday fizzled at 1000 words, but I managed to get over 2000 on Sunday. At this point I had pretty much resigned myself to the fact I probably wouldn’t hit 50k by November 30, but that was okay, I would still write as much as I could.

Monday: With three days to go, I still needed another 6000 – 7000 words. Monday is my busiest day of the week and I didn’t quite make 2000, although I did write the most I have written on a Monday for the whole of November, which was an accomplishment nonetheless.

Tuesday: I was looking 5000 words in two days. I thought I would have all day Tuesday free, but ended up having lunch at the in-laws. I got to 2,200 words.

The final day: I needed 2,800 words to finish. I debated skipping taking my daughter to playgroup so I could stay home and write, but didn’t think that would be fair to my daughter, so I took her. It turned out to work in my favour. She was so tired after playgroup she was quite subdued and quiet after we got home, allowing me a good block of writing time. My muse was exceptionally kind yesterday. I was at a part of the story that just seemed to flow out easily. I knew what I wanted to happen and didn’t need to sit and think too much about it. Plus there were some good opportunities for description–that helped.

At around 10.30 last night I crossed the 50k line! I did it. I wrote 50k in a month. My final word count was: 50224. I wrote over 3000 words yesterday, almost matching my highest word count day for the month.

Is it a novel? Not yet. Since it’s a fantasy it will need to hit at least 90000 words before it could be considered complete and I’m nowhere near the resolution yet, so I still have some writing to do. Then, of course, there’s the editing and revisions. I’ll take a bit of a break over December, though. And today I get to celebrate by putting up my Christmas decorations!

Some stats…

Highest word count day: Day 1–3075 words

Lowest word count day: Day 17–0 words

Average word count: 1674 words per day

Highest average day: Tuesdays (average 2582 words)

Lowest average day: Mondays (average 1005 words)

P.S. I haven’t done a Helpful Sites and Blog Posts post for November as I just didn’t get time in the last few days of November, so I will be combing it with December’s post.

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The Final Sprint

NaNoWriMo Diary – Day 25

Total number of words written: 39740

Words Written Today: 2255

Coke consumed: 1 can

Chocolate consumed: 2 fun size Snickers, ice-cream drizzled with chocolate topping

Technically it’s the morning of day 26 for me, but I was so busy trying to get a decent word count yesterday I didn’t get a chance to write my blog post, so I’m writing it first thing this morning and pretending it’s still yesterday.

At the moment I’m still trying to push uphill. I should have hit 40000 words on day 24. As it stands now I’m still about 260 words from hitting that mark. Although I’m getting good writing days in here and there (like yesterday when I got over 2000 words for the day), on the other days my word count is low, making it hard to catch back up. I’m finding the time factor to be playing a big role this year. My calendar continues to fill up, my days are packed full of busyness (shopping takes longer at the moment because I’m starting to get organised for Christmas and my son’s birthday), and pregnancy means I’m more tired (and sore) than usual after a day of activities and housework.

Working title will most likely change. I haven't done graphics in months and have never used photoshop before, so it's a rough cover.

Enter procrastination. I’ll admit I spent yesterday morning playing with photoshop to make a mock book cover for my NaNo novel (I had gone on photoshop originally to make invitations for my son’s birthday party, then ended up making the mock cover too). The time spent on photoshop making the mock cover, would have been better spent actually writing the novel itself, though I convinced myself I was doing it for inspiration. After chastising myself for procrastinating, I did end up with a good word count for the day, so maybe it was good motivation after all.

Write or Die has been my saviour. I can largely thank it for my good word count days this half of NaNo. If I’m sitting there procrastinating I just get Write or Die up and I can guarantee myself just over 400 words in fifteen minutes. A couple of bursts like that through the day really helps get the words on the page.

I’m still determined to reach 50000 in the next five days, though it will be a hard uphill battle. Somehow I will fit those words in around babysitting this afternoon, shopping and play rehearsal on Monday and playgroup on Wednesday. 10000 words in five days. Can I do it? I sure hope so. But if I don’t, I’ll have made a good go at it.

Photo Credits: Angelina Jolie, Tomb Raider (Paramount); Alexander Skarsgard, True Blood (HBO); texture by C4D

Not Giving Up

NaNoWriMo Diary – Day 20

Total number of words written: 31533

Words Written Today: 1512 (so far)

Coke consumed: 1 can

Chocolate consumed: none 😦 We have completely run out of chocolate in the house. There’s not even any Milo left. Oh wait, I ate one of the kids’ tubs of chocolate custard (it was opened and left uneaten by one of the kids, so I did what any good mother would do. Couldn’t let it go to waste after all).

I know quite a few fellow NaNo-ers who have pulled out of NaNoWriMo this year after finding it just wasn’t working for them, whether because the story wasn’t inspiring them or life was just not allowing them the time to write. It can be a brave move having the guts to realise it’s not working and pulling out. I, on the other hand, have a stubborn personality and a competitive nature that won’t let me give up.

Things have not been looking good on the word count front the past week. I had my first zero word count day on Thursday. I’d had a dismal word count the day before and was already behind, but I’d had a stressful morning dealing with business paperwork and screaming kids while also suffering from dizziness and a mega headache (possibly the headache was related to the screaming kids)–not exactly conducive to getting any writing done. By the afternoon the kids had calmed down (okay, so I resorted to putting on a DVD and turned them into zombies for an hour), the paperwork was out of the way and my headache had subsided. But by this point all I wanted to do was relax, so I decided I would have a complete break from my novel that day, even though I knew it would mean a lot of catching up. I think I needed that break, so I didn’t regret doing it

Friday was a scorcher here. We hit 35 degrees celsius. Anyone who knows me knows I don’t cope well in heat, especially when I’m pregnant. But still, I managed to get 600 words written, which wasn’t too bad considering.

Yesterday I was looking at a mountain of words in front of me to catch up. It was daunting. I was sitting about 4000 words behind where I needed to be. I knew it was time to break out Write or Die. I got a few good writing bursts out of it, including 450 words in 15 minutes in one session. Even with a visit to my sister’s in the afternoon I had managed to push past 30000 by the end of the day, and even though I was still behind, it felt good to get past that mark.

I had planned another big writing day today to get me back on par, but waking up with nearly no voice, a sore throat and feeling like death warmed up, my plans were dashed. I’ve managed 1500 despite feeling horrible, but my head really isn’t in it today. Thank goodness hubby suggested ordering a roast chicken meal to be home delivered so I don’t have to cook tonight.

I’ll be starting this week a day behind, but maybe I’ll get a couple of good days in. I’m still determined to hit that 50000 mark by November 30.

P.S. I got a surprise in my inbox the other day: an email telling me my blog had been listed on the ’50 Best Blogs for NaNoWriMo Support’. If you’re doing NaNoWriMo check out the list, there are some really great sites listed.