Woohoo! I did it. I met my goal of 50,000 words of a novel for the writing challenge called NaNoWriMo. The past couple days I was feeling good about my writing and I went above and beyond the minimum required words. I finished one whole day ahead of schedule.
On the NaNoWriMo website, there is a place to update the number of words you write daily. The stats tab shows a chart of your progress and tells you how many words you need to write each day to make the goal by the end of the month.
My back and shoulders hurt from sitting and writing for so many hours. But other than that, I’m feeling pretty good.
I’m not finished with this novel by any means. I have just begun the ending and tying loose ends. I’ll complete writing the story over the next week or two. Then I’ll set it aside until the New Year and take a deep dive into my story and begin revisions.
P.S. Yes, I’m planning on having a chicken dinner tonight as a winner winner.
What goals have you felt good about accomplishing this year?
The month will soon be over. November is National Novel Writing Month known as NaNoWriMo. The challenge is to write 50,000 words this month. I am at a little over 42,000 words and I’m counting down to the wire.
I like my story premise, I’m pleased that I’m alternating points of view each chapter between several characters. A lot of back story and details about the characters’ lives emerged. My prior draft from last year was from one character’s point of view and it was limiting.
Six days and 8,000 words to go. My goal is 1,500 words a day until it’s done. It is a challenge. I usually edit and revise as I write. But this is an exercise in getting the story out and fixing it later. It’s difficult for me to write without wanting to rewrite and edit.
Once the rough draft is done, I’ll set it aside before I take a good hard look at what I’ve done. Then the real work will begin.
Do you edit as you write? Or do you write a free flowing first draft and edit it later?
It’s almost time for National Novel Writing Month. I’m on their email list and they’ve begun a six-week NaNoWriMo prep.
Last year was my first attempt at writing a rough draft of a novel during November. I did it!
But what I didn’t do was back up my manuscript. How or why? In any case, my laptop had a hardware issue and most of my files disappeared including my 50,000 word novel!
I called Apple and they tried for days to recover my files on icloud and my hard drive. No luck.
I’ve begun rewriting my novel and changed the point of view from one character to four characters alternating their stories. I’m at about 25,000 words. It’s added depth to the characters rather than viewing them from one perspective.
The emails from NaNoWriMo have motivated me to finish the manuscript. I’ll use their prep weeks to improve what I’ve written so far.
NaNoWriMo is giving me a second chance with this idea! I’m starting today. I don’t have to begin with a new idea. It’s just the push I need to complete this rough draft — again.
I thought with my new laptop I’d be through with computer issues. But an issue came up with the latest issue of the newsletter that I volunteer to do for our homeowner’s association.
If you didn’t read about my computer issues, I was losing files and realized that the “automatic backup” wasn’t backing up. You can read about that HERE.
My new laptop doesn’t have the fonts for the newsletter. I get missing font messages and the type reverts to Helvetica or Geneva which doesn’t look great. So, I asked my son — who created the layout and template for me — to help fix it. He told me to email him the newsletter and he’d convert it to a pdf on his laptop. (He has the fonts.)
After my son made the newsletter look pretty, I sent it off to my newsletter co-editor for proof reading — plus the board of directors for their input.
In the end I received 10 small corrections and tweaks last night. Instead of sending the newsletter to my son to make the corrections, I thought I’d try turning on the old laptop — which has the missing fonts. I thought I’d be able to update the newsletter all on my own. What I discovered is those fonts on my old laptop are missing. too!
So, even with a brand new laptop that’s working great, I still have issues to fix.
With different fonts, spacing is different which changes every page’s layout.
What a mess.
On our beach vacation, our kids are joining us and my son has promised to install the fonts and we won’t have to be emailing the newsletter back and forth in the future.
Do you work on any layouts besides your blogs? Do you enjoy it or find it tedious? What computer problems or glitches have you dealt with?
My first attempt at NaNoWriMo and I finished a day early — Nov. 29th. Woohoo! It’s a good feeling to meet my goal. I almost gave up this week with all the raw emotions running through our home because we lost a close friend.
I channeled that emotion and it powered me through the final words of my 50,000-word novel. It felt good to lock myself in an empty room and write.
The secret to NaNoWriMo is to not critique or edit, but just write. I know my plot needs work and perhaps a complete overhaul. There are few good bits to my novel including the characters and the settings. I’m planning on facing the editing process in 2022 after taking a break and getting distance from my work.
How do you feel when you reach your goals? What makes you give up when you decide not to follow through?
While I’m in the heady first week of NaNoWriMo, where I attempt to write a novel in November, I looked back at my last attempt at a novel. It’s a mid-grade manuscript based on my kids’ swim team life. It explores the struggles with friendships amid jealousy and competitive spirits. Sections of it were published in the Los Angeles Times when they had the Kids’ Reading Room and published children’s fiction in their Sunday comic pages. I hired an editor for a big picture and line- by-line edit. I edited and rewrote it. I created a storyboard based on the book Save the Cat! by Blake Snyder. At some point, I gave up. I think it’s when I took a zoom class which included a critique by the editor giving the lecture. The critique landed in my email box and the editor said he couldn’t imagine reading any more of my manuscript because he couldn’t stand my protagonist — who by the way was based on my daughter when she was nine years old. I was out.
I ran across this blog post I wrote several years ago while I was actively working on that project. I wrote this before the above critique that hurt:
I got an unfortunate email yesterday. It was from an agent, who was reviewing my mid-grade novel I’ve been working on for years. Long story short, it was a no.
This is a big goal of mine, to get this book published. Finding an agent is one step along the way, and I had glimmers of hope when a couple agents were truly interested and one in particular, wanted eight weeks to take a deep dive.
When my husband consoled me I said, “I have two choices. I can quit or keep going.”
Four times since that email, I ran into messages like someone was placing a big neon sign in front of me with specific directions.
Dad shared that he spent almost three hours fishing yesterday. He was ready to give up, but decided to cast one more time in the last few minutes before he was due to return the boat. Yes, he caught a fish!
I was looking at FB and a writer friend posted how lucky she was to find several four-leaf clovers yesterday after hours of looking. She said to never give up. Never!
On Twitter, I saw from bestselling author Brad Thor a book recommendation for #Grit, a book about passion and perseverance. Yes, I’ll order it from Amazon today.
Here was part of his advice to get in touch with your feelings when you started on the journey:
“What are the reasons that I want to achieve this goal? List 2-3 reasons for why this goal is important to you. This is the simplest way to get in touch with your original set of motivations.
How will you feel when you push past the resistance you are feeling now? Think back to the last time you kicked down the wall of resistance that was in front of you. Yeah, that time. How did you feel afterwards? Proud? Like a certified O.G.?
Will you regret giving up a year from now? Imagine yourself a year from now. A year smarter, a year older, and hopefully a year further along. Is “Future You” going to be pumped about you having quit today?”
I got the message loud and clear. I’m not giving up on my goals or dreams. This is all part of the process, and yes there will be some ups and downs. It’s so cliched, but it’s also true.
In masters swimming we have a new slogan and shirts. After a hard set that I was convinced I couldn’t finish, I blurted, “Hey, it’s not that bad!”
Yes, getting a rejection letter is not great, but how much better is it than quitting on a dream? Honestly, it’s not that bad.
How do you handle disappointment? Do you believe there are more choices than giving up or to keep trying and what are they? I gave up on that manuscript, but I’m off and running on a new one.