Thoughts · Writing

NaNoWriMo 2014: Week One

Week one has been full of stress, interruptions or distractions and feeling discouraged from low counts. Also major computer complications. Brace yourself, my total count so far is pretty rough, and low. Here are my stats so far.

My week one stats are as follows:
Day One: 49 total word count
Day Two: 648 total word count
Day Three: 0 total word count
Day Four: 63 total word count
Day Five: 0 total word count
Day Six: 0 total word count
Day Seven: 0 total word count

Week One: 760 total word count

Needless to say, my NaNo this year has been really rough. All of those things mentioned at the top of the post have really taxing on me. Several days I didn’t get any writing only because I was having major computer issues. I’m still sorting that out, it comes and goes.
Anyway though, I really wish I could say I had a much higher word count at the end of week one than I do, but it’s just been a long, tiring week full of distractions or interruptions. If there wasn’t some distraction around and I was actually able to get a moment to begin writing with some kind of focus, here came an interruption. Quite annoying when you’re as far behind as I am. But I think I’ve decided to have two or three days (probably three by now) writathons with 5k goals. That should get me caught up…if I can sit and write with focus for long enough.
But that’s another thing I’ve learned this year-well two things. I’ve always been a Planner through all NaNo experiences, and it’s worked for me. I like having my plot planned out, having a guide from chapter to chapter. But this year, I decided to just try throwing the rule book out the window and being a Pantser just once, to see if I could do it (plus I just really want to get a first draft done already). What I learned: It does not work for me. At all. This year has been the most difficult to write even when I do get time to write because I only have a rough plan like the one I’ve had since I started this novel years ago. The plot hasn’t changed much, but the beginning is feeling a lot harder because I’m trying to just make it to the main part of the plot without boring anyone-myself included. I’m glad this is only a draft and I can do a lot of editing to the beginning once I get it done. I know it could be so much better.
The second thing is how much it helps to learn how to turn off the inner editor. Granted, I’m still learning, but I have a start on it anyway. A lot of what’s helping is using the website ilys.com. Once you set a word count goal, it forces you to write until you get to your goal and you cannot edit until you meet that goal. A little frustrating depending on how many typos you make. Oh, and you can only see one letter while you’re typing. There is a preview button so you can see everything you’ve written-if you can handle not being able to edit your mistakes, that is. I know what you’re thinking, “that’s maddening, and you’re crazy.” And maybe I am. Wait, yes. I most definitely am. Hey, I’m a writer, it comes with the territory. But trust me on this, it takes a little getting used to, but once you get the hang of it, it could really help if you’re behind (like I am) on word counts because it forces you to not edit. And if you’re like me and write using that during a sprint or a word war, then copy and paste it over to Word (or whatever program you’re using) and only tweak the writing so it makes sense, you’d be amazed at what a difference it makes in your total word counts per day. I found out this summer when I was introduced to the program that I apparently have the potential to write 500 words in 30 minutes. I never knew that before. I’m still working on my WPM speed to get it up so I can type faster, but I’m happy with my current speed too. 🙂
Hopefully next week I can report higher word counts and say that I’m caught up. A friend of mine told me just a couple of days ago that you share your talent with others. You can use it to entertain others, and make it about them and their enjoyment. Thinking about my writing in that way, I hope it will help my word count go up. I tend to think more about all the little details that goes into my writing-which is good, up to a point. But allowing the writing to take control in a bad way and quite possibly hinder the actual writing is something I’m realizing and need to learn how to kind of block that out. Whenever I get to the point of the novel where it takes over and begins to write itself (as I’ve heard so many others experience), I feel like it will be both thrilling because I’ll feel more like a real writer, and the tiniest bit terrifying, but only a little bit. I’ll just be so excited whenever I can finally say I have a finished draft. So here’s hoping that will still be able to happen this month.

     Desperately wanting to catch up…
          -Liz

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