Question: How do you eat and elephant?
Answer: One bite at a time!
It’s Week Two of National Novel Writer’s Month and my first NaNoWriMo novel. This is a daily update on my progress.
Week Two Day One NaNoWriMo:
It’s Sunday and today I made it to over 17,000 words on the novel. Also took a photo and posted my selfie on Twitter for NaNoWriMo selfie day.
A thought on word goals. I’ve been in the habit of writing a minimum of 500 words every day for about a year now. That’s a handy habit for NaNoWriMo. I’ve increased my daily requirement to 1800 words per day for NaNoWriMo to make the 50,000 word goal.
Despite working a forty-hour full time job I’m finding the bump to 1800 words has been fairly easy.
I’ve spent time with family and friends, finished a Brad Thor novel, written for NaNoWriMo and two blogs, and still reach my daily goal.
However, I don’t think if I’d have started out trying to write 1800 words a day reaching that goal would have been this easy. In fact, I can honestly say I KNOW it wouldn’t have worked. I tried the thousand word a day habit earlier in my writing career and it didn’t take. But a small bite, one day at a time did.
So if you’re struggling to make your daily word count, take smaller bites of the elephant and slowly, but surely, make the bites a bit bigger as you go along. Pretty soon that whole pachyderm will be nothing but bones on your plate.
Day Two (Monday):
Nearing the middle of the novel and I’m starting to bog down a bit. That’s not good, because if I get bogged down and bored then so will my readers. But the goal is to get words completed so I’ll push on.
In the editing process I’ll work on pushing the scenes forward.
Day Three (Tuesday):
Started the day by reading a pep talk from Stephanie Perkins via NaNoWriMo.org (HERE). The article had some great takeaways. Here are a few:
- “It isn’t about writing a good novel. It’s about writing a novel. It’s about finishing what you’ve started…” It’s easy to ask ourselves, “What kind of novel can be written in 30 days? And 50,000 words…that’s not enough words to write a novel.” Stephanie is correct. It’s about writing a novel. Being able to say, “I wrote a novel.” It’s a confidence builder. And it becomes a writing project you started AND finished.
- “Don’t worry about writing something bad. Just write.” I lurked around on one of the forums at NaNoWriMo and read a person’s complaint after asking a friend to read her what she’d already written for NaNoWriMo. BIG MISTAKE—And here’s why: Just as Stephanie points out the goal isn’t to write the next Pulitzer Prize winning novel in thirty days. The goal is to JUST WRITE! In the words of Pulitzer Prize winning author Ernest Hemingway, “The first draft of anything is shit.” I wish I’d said that. JUST WRITE! We’ll edit later.
- “Time + Work = Novel” No matter how you slice it and no matter how cosmic your writing method, if you want to write a novel, it will take time and work. Time behind the computer, laptop, keyboard, pencil—whatever. And work, that four-letter word that means butt in the seat writing; transferring thoughts to keystrokes or paper.
Ended the day with over 21,000 words. Nearly half way to novel success!
Day 4 (Wednesday):
Veteran’s Day 2015. First a shout out and thank you to all our military veterans out there. Thank you for your service.
Managed to get my 1800 words in today despite running around town and personally taking advantage of some of the veteran’s specials. To all those businesses and everyone out there supporting veterans and their families:
THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT!
Day 5 (Thursday):
Didn’t get a chance to get all of my 1800 words today. Spent over 4 hours flying and working my full time job. After work we had a dinner for one of co-workers headed for the airlines so time was tight.
I’ll make up the words on Friday.
The point here is, although I’m shooting for 1800 words a day if I go over—great! It’s easy to get into a groove and just keep writing. On the other hand, if I go under 1800 words—great! As long as I make them up as soon as I can and have a reason, not an excuse.
Day 6 (Friday):
Made up for not hitting 1800 words yesterday. Completed 27,000 words total as of today.
Finished the fifth installment of The Story Grid podcasts today (Rocky is kind of a loser). Don’t know where to start on your novel or short story? How about starting with an obligatory scene? Listen to the podcast and you’ll get an ah ha moment—guaranteed!
Day 7 (Saturday):
Wow, two weeks in the can as they say in Hollywood! I’m at over 29,000 words after two weeks of NaNoWriMo; well over half way to the goal.
Eating the elephant 33 minutes and 33 seconds at a time is working! Thanks again Eugene Schwartz!