NaNoWriMo: Week 1 Update

Well, technically it’s a week and one day update, but I haven’t caught up with my word count today, on day eight, so it doesn’t count. (That’s actually what I’m about to do.)

So where am I at right now? Even though I’m looking at my current word count on the NaNo website, I can hardly believe it: 16,352 words in seven days!

I’ll admit. I have written more in one sitting before, but this isn’t about cranking out words one day and then slacking off the next six. NaNo’s about establishing writing habits. It’s about training yourself to write a little every day, and I’m actually doing it. And you know, it’s been really fun and rewarding–and of course, challenging!

The goal I’ve set for myself is to write 2,000 words a day. That way I stay ahead of NaNo’s recommended word count to finish on time (1,667), giving me room to breathe once I start to reach burn-out stage. (I know the later in November it gets, the less useful and productive I’ll be. Plus, the holidays always take a huge chunk of time away from us all.)

With the exception of one day, I’ve met that 2,000 word goal, sometimes even went beyond it. Last night, I wasn’t so lucky, but I did achieve a little over the 1,667 goal, so I stayed on par.

It may seem like I’m bragging, but I don’t mean to be. I simply can’t believe I’m staying on target like I have been doing (last year, I didn’t do so hot). And it’s all been for one project! I haven’t once ran out of ideas and had to jump to writing for something else; in fact, I’ve sat down quite a few times without a clear clue of what I’m writing next, only for the words and ideas to come as I wade into the proverbial writing waters.

So how have I managed to be productive so far? Well, I owe it to a few things:

  • I gave up social media for the entire month. No Tumblr, Twitter, or any of those sites that are just huge, unproductive time sucks.
  • I replaced those social media sites with reading. Seriously, when I’m not writing or at work, I’m usually reading some books in my to-read pile, and I’m learning what writing to immolate and what problems to avoid. Doing so has helped immensely in keeping the creativity sparking.
  • I’ve co-hosted and attended virtual write-ins. These have been invaluable to me because they cut out time specifically for writing, and the word sprints themselves have inspired ideas that I couldn’t think of on my own–because they came from other people. It’s a truly collaborative and supportive effort. Plus, that internal editor has to shut the hell up, and that’s always a plus when it’s rough draft time.
  • I’ve got people I’m writing with, both in person and on the internet. Sure, we’ve all got our own stories and pitfalls we’re working through, but we all help each other when we’re struggling. It could be a simple text that encourages you to keep going or diving into an in-depth discussion about character creation. Every little bit has helped.
  • I’ve gotten out of my house and written in different locations. The library and local coffee shops (yeah, it’s Starbucks, I admit it) have been my go-tos. I pull up my document, plug in my headphones, and ignore everything else for a few hours. (Alternative music has been great background noise.)

Starbucks is actually where I’m at now, and I’m writing this to prep myself for my next writing bout. Speaking of which, I should probably wrap this up if I want to reach that 2,000 word goal, but I’ve set a time limit on myself. I’ve got until they close in an hour and forty-five minutes. Hhhh, okay. Let’s do this. Wish me luck!

How have you guys been doing? Thriving, I hope, but if not, I hope something in my words here can encourage you to keep at it. No one can write your story like you can, after all, and every word gets you one step closer.

Till next week!

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