Sunday, November 30, 2014

Day 30: Congrats! and my thoughts on Nanowrimo

It's over.

And if you reached your goals this month, congrats!

And if you didn't, whether because of illness, unplanned misfortune, struggling to find time, just plain procrastination, etc., you got practice in for the next challenge.

As to my thoughts on Nano, overall I had a blast. I felt so productive all month long, and got a lot more written than I would have if I hadn't had this deadline. But there definitely were some pros and cons for me.


Pros:

1. Like I said, having the set deadline really helped in my productivity. It helped me learn new time management skills to fit in the writing, and by blogging and telling you all how I did, it kept me accountable to get it done.

2. The short time period of thirty days helped me. Since I knew it was only a month, it kept me motivated to get the work done and to just keep writing even when I didn't particularly feel inspired.

3. Even though the people at Nanowrimo recommend you start with a brand new idea to keep the creative juices flowing, using the time instead to finish my manuscript helped me break past the feelings of stuck-ness and not wanting to work on it I had been experiencing prior to the challenge. And the time crunch really helped in coming up with important elements in the story.


Cons:

1. Since there was so much to write in such a short period of time, I really didn't have a lot of time to get other projects done (like the manuscript I want to put on Kindle).

2. It's also really hard to catch up on the challenge if you get sick and are too ill to write (fortunately, I only got a cold and had minor stomach trouble, I can't imagine what it must have been like for those who had the flu during Nano).

3.  It can be really tempting when you're pressed for time to just write random words to fill up the quota, since the emphasis here is word count and not actual story (I didn't do this, but I did overhear a girl mentioning this to someone else).

Overall, though, I would do this challenge again. It really helped with my manuscript, and the challenge does help in developing other important skills such as organization and time management. If nothing else, it's writing practice, which is always a plus.

Anyway, thank you for taking the time to read all these updates, and for keeping me accountable. Part of the reason I was able to complete Nanowrimo was because I knew I had people watching out for me, who I would have to tell each day how I did. Thank you, and while I won't be posting as frequently as I have been during this challenge, I do hope to post something once a week, whether it's about writing, reading, books, or something else I'm interested in and think you might be as well.

Until then, keep on reading, writing, and dreaming.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Day 29: One day away

If you read yesterday's post, you know that I already completed my Nanowrimo goal of 50,000 words.

But for those of you still working on it, or on any other goal you set for November, I just want to encourage you to keep working.

The month might be almost over, but you still have one day left.

Don't give up on Nano, even if you're 45,000 words behind. Just write as many as you can. It's still more than you would have had otherwise.

It's still an improvement on writing nothing. It's a little closer to 50,000 words.

Give yourself this one last push to get to the finish line. Come join the winners' circle.

We're waiting for you.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Day 28: Finished!

I hit 50,000 words today.

I won Nanowrimo.

And I am beyond excited and happy.

If I'm honest, I'm also rather proud of myself. I started Nano with the idea that it would be fun, and if I won, that would be great. But part of me wasn't sure if I'd make it, especially when my beginning was so weak and few of words.

It just goes to show you can accomplish great things when you put your mind to it.

I don't have some sort of advantage when it comes to a challenge like this.

Whatever goal you're working on right now, whether it's finishing Nano, writing the next chapter of your latest manuscript, or even "just" cutting down your sugar intake (I say "just" because we all know how "easy" that actually is), keep working at it. Because chances are, you can accomplish it, if you put your mind to it.

Today's Total: 3,764
Total So Far: 50,037 (though for some reason it says 50,040 on Nanowrimo's website)
Left to Write: 0 :)

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Day 27: Thankful

It's Thanksgiving here in the U.S.A., and not to make this post holiday themed, but I really am thankful you all take the time to read my little updates and support me as I work on hitting my writing goal. You all have busy schedules most likely, so I'm just glad you find me interesting enough to keep reading.

I'm also thankful that I've had the time to write this month, and that I've been able to keep up with the word count even though I've been sick twice. By the way, I'm also very thankful for vitamin C, because I imagine without it I'd have been a lot sicker both times, instead of just a few days the first time and a 24 hour thing the second.  

And, I confess, as much as I've enjoyed it, I'm also thankful that Nanowrimo's almost over. I don't know if I could keep this pace up month after month (well, maybe I could if I converted to total reclusiveness).

Today's Total: 2,063
Total So Far: 46,273
Left to Write: 3,727

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Day 26: Cracking down

It's time to crack down.

Time to finish up Nanowrimo.

I have tomorrow and Friday off from work, so I'm hoping to buckle down and finish up in the next two days, or by Saturday at the latest.

If you're writing for Nano, get ready for the final writing sprint. We're almost there.

And if you're not, get ready for the last few posts I'll be writing about Nano for a while (although I hope to write other posts about books and other random things I like). You're almost there.

Let's go.

Today's Total: 2,119
Total So Far: 44,210
Left to Write: 5,790

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Day 25: Short on time

Today was another short day for writing.

It's hard to write a lot when your time is limited.

But even a little bit helps.

I got less than 1,000 words written today, but the little bit I got done is less I have to write later.

So I'm happy about that.

Today's Total: 770
Total So Far: 42,091
Left to Write: 7,909

Monday, November 24, 2014

Day 24: Setbacks

Today was a setback day.

I woke up, went to work, and came back feeling constantly ill. Even an afternoon nap didn't completely knock it out of me.

And of course today my computer decided would be an awesome day not to work well.

There's a reason I call it MJ (Migraine Jr., after my first laptop).

So I barely wrote anything today.

It's frustrating, as I'm sure you all know, whether you like to write or not. Anytime your plans get thrown a curve ball, it's upsetting. It doesn't matter whether it was to write 2,500 words, or whether it was to watch a three hour movie. It can be difficult to deal with setbacks or cancellations of our plans.

Well, since we all know they're going to happen, and we're all older than four, the best thing we can do is just accept it.

One of my favorite sayings is: c'est la vie. It's the French for: that's life. And while I guess you could take it as pessimistic, that you can't change anything, I always took it to mean why worry about what you can't change?

I could be stressed out an annoyed that I'm ill and barely wrote 200 words.

Or I could accept that my body needs a rest.

I could be livid that my laptop doesn't work well.

Or I could accept it (and make plans to get a new one).

It just makes me really grateful that I had several days of banking words.

Today's Total: 216
Total So Far: 41,321
Left to Write: 8,679

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Day 23: Below 10,000

I can't believe I have less than 10,000 words to write.

Nanowrimo will be over in a week. I'm excited, but I think I'll be a little sad when it's over as well. After all, it's been a great time practicing my skills. And of course the practice doesn't end with Nano, but I think the structure really helped me to get so much writing done. After all, I had a hard deadline.

It also has helped me to stay focused on one project, instead of dancing around to several different ones at once. I like the freedom of working on multiple projects, but I feel that if you have a project you really don't want to work on (as was the case with me on this manuscript), challenging yourself to focus only on that project for a set amount of time really helps.

Because now I'm excited to be working on this project. So many good ideas came because of the rush to get 50,000 word down, and I believe the story's better for it. Of course, the truth will be shown when I start editing it, but for now I'm really happy with how it's progressing.

Good luck this last week. Let's all finish strong!


Today's Total: 2,508
Total So Far: 41,105
Left to Write: 8,895

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Day 22: Push yourself

Some days you're just going to have to push yourself.

I don't know what it was, but I really didn't feel like writing today. Maybe it's because my sister got in late last night, and I was tired. Maybe it's because I was gone for quite a bit in the afternoon.

Whatever it was, I had to push myself past it.

Sometimes we don't feel like writing.

But the end result is always worth it.

Because even if those 5,000 words are horrible, it's helped you to be a better writer. You never master a skill you don't practice.

Part of the beauty of Nano is that it forces you to write sometimes even when you don't feel like it, because deadlines don't wait for when we feel like it.

Inspiration can come even when you don't feel like it.

Because I forced myself to sit down and write, my story just got a new subplot. Score!

Today's Total: 2,208
Total So Far: 38,597
Left to Write: 11,403

Library haul!

I thought it might be fun to post something this month other than my Nanowrimo updates, since posts like this one are going to be more like my normal posts on this blog (although honestly I'll probably be posting about a lot of different things, I have a lot of interests). I thought you might be interested in my recent library haul.

A couple of days ago I checked a couple books out of the library. I love using the library to check out books by authors I've never read before.

I also love it because it allows me to determine whether I really like a book enough to want to read it over and over before I get my own copy. I am a big believer in conserving the earth's precious resources, and by borrowing books from the library instead of just going out and buying books, we can help make the most of them. Especially if you have never read the genre or author before. It's a great way to try out new books, and the best thing is that, if you don't like it, you just return it instead of having books you'll never read again littering your shelves (or the trash), without the hassle of trying to sell them on Amazon. It's also a great way to read some new books if you don't have a lot of money to spend.

So here are the books I checked out. 






THE CLOCKWORK SCARAB by Colleen Gleason

I forget which one it was now, but I learned about this book through a Booktuber. And I confess, I already started it before posting this haul (I always want to read my books as soon as I get them). I thought it sounded really interesting. I love the Sherlock Holmes books, and this series based on his niece sounded very interesting. The other main character is supposed to be related to Bram Stoker, but I'm not sure who he is (is he the author of DRACULA? That would explain it, I'm not into horror novels).




 
THE SPIRITGLASS CHARADE by Colleen Gleason

I checked this book out because it was the next book after THE CLOCKWORK SCARAB. Since the first book sounded like something I'd enjoy, I decided to take a gamble and check out the second one as well.












WHY CAN'T I GET BETTER? by Dr. Richard Horowitz

I had Lyme Disease a few years ago, and although I'm better now, it took me a while to recover from it (I still suffer some residual symptopms at times, but considering that it has caused some people to be bedridden, I'm very blessed I didn't have Lyme any worse). But I heard about this book and thought it sounded interesting. It's good to read something educational every once in a while, right?





MISS PEREGRINE'S HOME FOR PECULIAR CHILDREN by Ransom Riggs

Another book I heard about through a Booktuber (I think it was Jesse the Reader in a tag he did). The title sounded interesting to me, so I checked it out without even knowing what the book was about. When I picked it up, the cover kind of creeped me out, so I wasn't sure if I was going to enjoy it or not. I finished reading this one, and actually thought it was really good. (Is there a sequel? Please tell me there's a sequel!)




That's all I checked out this time. So far I think I made very good choices. I've enjoyed both of the ones I've read/started reading.  I've never read anything by these authors before, but I really like their style and the stories themselves. They just found themselves another fan. :)

Any suggestions on other books I should try?

Friday, November 21, 2014

Day 21: Tired

I didn't write as much today. I had a hard time focusing on my story. Not to mention I had a lot of other things that had to get done.

Thanks to my couple days of banking words, though, I'm still a fair bit ahead. Not a lot, but enough to feel okay that I didn't reach the Nano quota today.

I guess today will just be a lighter writing day for me. Hopefully the word count will go up again tomorrow, as it's the weekend and I should have more time to write.

Today's Total: 1,364
Total So Far: 36,389
Left to Write: 13,611

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Day 20: Two-thirds done and less than 15,000

I love when I am productive.

It was another good day for me. Even though I had a couple of things to do when I got back from work, I was ready to go when I sat down to write. I wrote some before dinner and some afterwards, and each time it came easily. I think Nano has really helped me to let go and let the story flow. My inner editor has been less vocal during these last few days.

It's hard to believe though that Nano's almost over.

Ten more days, and we'll be done.

Keep pushing on till the end. Even if you're far behind on the word count, keep going. You have time to catch up.

Ten days is a lot of time, if we use it wisely.

Even if you work full-time, or are a full-time student, you can still bank quite a few words between now and the end.

Even if you don't make it this round, you'll have more written than you probably would have otherwise.



Today's Total: 2,244
Total So Far: 35,025
Left to Write: 14,975

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Day 19: Snowballing

Sometimes I feel like my writing snowballs.

I mean, sometimes I get so motivated and so into my story that writing comes easily, and the word count feels like I've barely done anything. And each day gets easier, and I write more.

Of course, there's also days where it's hard to get out words, and I might sit and stare at my screen for thirty minutes and only write a couple hundred words.

So I'm grateful when snowball days happen. Because when the not-so-good days hit, I rememebr how my writing was before, and know that the lull is only temporary.

I won't always be stuck in a rut.

Soon I'll be ready to write again.

And until then I'll just do what I can, write anything to get the creative juices flowing, to get a few words down on paper.

In order to be back to snowballing as quickly as possible.

Today's Total: 2,300
Total So Far: 32,781
Left to Write: 17,219

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Day 18: Less than 20,000

Today started off with a bad headache. I wasn't sure how much writing I would get done.

But I now have less than 20,000 to go.

It feels weird, and yet it's very exciting.

When you first start Nanowrimo, it looks like a huge task, writing 50,000 words in one month.

But it's not so hard when you remember you're not writing all those words in one day.

You're only writing 1,667 each day.

And you're only writing one word at a time.

Maria Edgeworth once said, "If we take care of the moments, the years will take care of themselves."

This is true to writing as well.

Don't worry about writing a novel. Focus on getting that first hundred words down.

And then the next hundred. And the next hundred.

If you take care of writing each hundred words as it comes along, the novel will write itself.


Today's Total: 2,064
Total So Far: 30,481
Left to Write: 19,519

Monday, November 17, 2014

Day 17: Doubts

Today I found myself struggling.

I kept thinking, what if no one likes what I write? What if no one will ever read it?

For one thing, this is writing for Nanowrimo, which while it's great for getting the creative juices going, it's not really known as a time to produce great quality work.

It's not like anyone is going to see my rough draft any way.

But sometimes I find myself doubting, and wanting to shove my writing away, as if that will actually do any good.

Why should I be miserable just because some people aren't going to like my writing?

You can't please everyone. I'm sure there's people who hate J. K. Rowling's books (I know someone who hates Wuthering Heights). Every book has its haters. And there's nothing wrong with people disliking certain books. We all have different styles and preferences.

Constructive criticism is one thing. Those people are genuinely trying to help you make your writing better. But some people are just not going to like it, no matter what. And other people are going to try to make your life miserable because they don't like it.

Listen to the good criticism. Ignore the haters. Write for those who like your writing. Go with your gut on what criticism to implement. People can give great suggestions, but the truth is, no one knows your story like you do. You have to write it true to your own heart.

All in all, it was still a great day for me to get writing done. Keep going. Don't let a little dislike or a really mean comment deter you from something you love.

Today's Total: 2,641
Total So Far: 28,417
Left to Write: 21,583

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Day 16: Second half!

Today started the second half of Nanowrimo.

It's hard to grasp that it's already been sixteen days since we started.

After writing so much for just over two weeks, I've started to get a little tired. Today I still felt a little drained (of course it didn't help that I was gone all day yesterday). I wrote less than most days, but I was happy to get a little bit done.

I'm excited for the next two weeks.

When I started, I wasn't sure if I was going to finish Nano. But now that the end's in sight, I think I'll make it. I dropped a little behind again in my word count today. But considering how much I've written, I'm pretty happy with myself.

I think I'm especially happy that, on days that I didn't feel like writing, I still pushed through and got some done. And usually by the time I had written a little, I wanted to write more.

I'm sure I've mentioned this, but that's something I really like about setting a timer for a few minutes and just writing. By the end, you usually want to keep going. But it doesn't feel like a chore (because I admit, sometimes writing does feel like one). It's not as hard to get started when I really don't feel like doing it.

Anyway, here's to finishing strong! Good luck on the second half!

Today's Total: 747
Total So Far: 25,776
Left to Write: 24,224

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Day 15: A rest day

Today I didn't write anything.

Not a single word.

As I mentioned yesterday, I had a baby shower to attend today. By the time I got back from it, there was no time to write (and I had no time to write before I left). I thought about trying to squeeze in a hundred words, but decided to forget it.

Sometimes it's good just to take a rest day.

Now if I had been 2,000 words behind, I don't know that I would've done it, but I banked enough yesterday that I felt totally comfortable not writing today (who am I kidding? I still wanted to write, but told myself to take a break).

But if you find yourself during this challenge feeling exhausted, wiped, and just sick at the thought of writing another word, you might need a break. Taking one day off isn't going to ruin Nano. You'll probably find yourself raring to go the next day.

So go ahead. Take a break if you need it. And get right back to work the next day.

Today's Total: 0
Total So Far: 25,029
Left to Write: 24,971

Friday, November 14, 2014

Day 14: Banking words

I officially reached 25,000 words today (a day ahead of schedule, woo hoo!).

Now it's time for the last 25,000.

I purposely wrote so much today because I'm going to a baby shower tomorrow, and I didn't know what time I'd have for writing.

I think it's really important to bank words.

Think of it like a little rainy day savings in words. For a challenge like this, a deadline, or just your own personal writing goals, it's important to write ahead.

You never know if you'll get sick and not be able to write.

Or have something else come up, like a party or something you want to attend.

Or just have too many other things to do to fit some writing time in.

I feel silly for talking about this, since until today I was behind on the Nano challenge, but I urge you to start banking some extra words each day, even if it's just a hundred words.

They don't take long to write, but if you're on track with your Nano quota, and write just an extra hundred words a day, you'll finish a day early. You could take Thanksgiving off, or submit your final word count sooner than the 30th.

I hope to write some extra words each day from here on out, but honestly I don't know how it'll go.

Hopefully I can get in at least an extra hundred words though.

Today's Total: 4,200
Total So Far: 25,029
Left to Write: 24,971

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Day 13: Below 30,000!

I hit over 20,000 words today. Now I have less than 30,000 left to write. It's a good feeling.

When I first set out to do this back in October (I signed up on Halloween), I wasn't sure how it'd go. I'd never kept track of my writing to see how much I wrote, but I'm pretty sure I'd never written 50,000 words in a month before.

But now, even though I am a little behind on the word count, it looks very doable.

It makes me excited for the end. My manuscript's first draft should be done by then (of course, I only estimated that it needs about 50,000 words; it really could need more).

Even now, it really feels as if it's coming together. I don't know if it's Nano, or if the idea has just finally had enough time to float around in my brain, but I'm so excited to be working on this story.

I hope, whether you are working on Nano or you're just writing at your own pace, that your story grabs you with a thrill every time you write another sentence. It's one of the greatest feelings in the world.

And whether you're looking at the last 30,000 or still working on the first 100, keep writing.

Today's Total: 1,164
Total So Far: 20,829
Left to Write: 29,171

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Day 12: It's coming together

This almost ended up being a very different post.

Just the other day, I was stuck in my story.

Nano suggests that you start with a brand new story, instead of working on an old manuscript, so that your mind is free to work, without the burden a manuscript can cause. And I totally get that. That's almost how I ended up.

I was writing aimlessly, wondering where on earth my story was going, thinking that maybe I should scratch the idea totally. And considering the manuscript I'm working on is actually the sequel to one which I'm getting ready for Kindle and eventually CreateSpace, I felt an especial burden.

But that's changed now.

Now the story's coming together, and it's better than I imagined it would be.

I already have an idea for the ending, and it's much better than I'd originally planned.

I thought that at the end of November I'd have a pile of crud to scrap, but now I think it'll be a good story, after a major edit or two, of course.

If you think your story is garbage, don't scrap it. See if you can work out the kinks. At the least, put it aside after Nano for a while, and see if there's anything salvageable.


Today's Total: 2,058
Total So Far: 19,665
Left to Write: 30,335

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Day 11: Pitfalls

Today, my laptop dug a hole for me.

Let me explain.

I have an HP from 2009 (yeah, I know, it's old). And for the past year or so, I've been certain it's going to die.

But it keeps working. Well, sort of.

It runs really slowly, especially with the internet, and the programs will freeze. I've scanned it several times and have a firewall and malware protection, so I think it's just age.

Today, it had more trouble than usual. It shut down on me in the middle of Nano writing. And then it took a long time for it to boot up and reload the programs.

Expect pitfalls.

Expect for things to go horribly wrong at least once during your time as a writer, whether it's you completely miss the word count for Nano, your computer dies, or your manuscript is rejected by 57 agents (honestly, now my PC problems seem minor).

But push through it anyway.

Take it as it is: a learning experience.

Today's Total: 2,500
Total So Far: 17,607
Left to Write: 32,393

Monday, November 10, 2014

Day 10: Third way point

Today was another of those rough days.

I woke up with an upset stomach which progressed to nausea and a splitting headache.

As the day progrssed though, I was able to hang in there, and I actually surprised myself with how much I got written today.

I made up some of my missing word count, and am now once again less than a day's worth behind.

Just goes to show you what you can do if you set your mind to it.

It's also the third way point.

Yay, we made it a third of the way through.

Today, the Nano total should be 16,670.

If you're completing Nano, and you're there, great. You've worked hard.

If you're not yet (like me), keep on going.  Don't give up. Keep working hard to catch up.

And no matter where you are, keep hanging in there. Only 20 days left.


Today: Total: 2,030
Total So Far: 15,107
Left to Write: 34,893

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Day 9: Writers' lives

I feel like a hypocrite.

I wrote yesterday about banking words, catching up if you're behind like me. And then today happened. Where I fell about 500 words short of the Nano quota, making me almost 2000 words behind.

So much for banking words today. So much for catching up.

Life happens. Some days as a writer will be almost magical. The words will come with a rush of awe that you could actually come up with something like that. You'll be tapping away at your keyboard for hours, your fingers flitting over the keys like hummingbirds to flowers, drinking in the wonder that writing fills you with.

And then other days will be torment. You'll stare at that cursor, mocking you with its cheeky little winking, wondering what on earth happened to your mind to paralyze it into a coma-like state. You'll wonder how you could've written such awful rubbish without casuing your computer to overload from the very despicable essence of it. You'll wonder how you could've fooled yourself into thinking you could ever been a writer...

Keep typing on those days.

Keep writing.

No matter how little you write each day, with each word your skills improve, and you realize that you can do it.

You can be a writer. No matter whether you feel you can or not. No matter what anyone, including your diabolical little mind goblins, says.

It's up to you.

Today's Total: 1,201
Total So Far: 13,077
Left to Write: 36,923

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Day 8: A leap

Today I got a lot written, even though I was gone for a good part of the day.

I'm less than a day's worth behind on the word count now, which I hope to remedy in the next couple of days. Like I said before, I really wanted to bank a good chunk of the remaining word count before Thanksgiving, because with my sister coming home from college, and the rest of the family getting together, I don't know what time I'll have then.

Fortunately, though, it's still a few weeks away.

And even though I'm still a little behind on the word count, I feel as if I got a lot accomplished today. If I wrote the same number of words tomorrow and Monday as I did today, I'd be ahead of the game. I guess I'll just have to see how it goes. Hopefully I'll be banking those extra words against the holidays soon.

Today's Total: 2,721
Total So Far: 11,876
Left to Write: 38,124

Friday, November 7, 2014

Day 7: Word count going up

The word count's going up, and the number of words left to write is growing smaller.

Persistence, I've decided, is definitely key when it comes to something like this. Persistence and endurance.

Nano's like training for an actual writing career. After all, unless you're really famous and your books are selling by the millions, you can't really afford to take long hiatuses from writing (and even then I don't think your readers will be very happy with you).

If I ever achieve the honor of being a full-time writer, there will be days, as much as I love writing, that I'll want to quit. And I'm sure all writers have felt like that at some point or other. Writing's hard. It's hard pouring yourself out on paper, deleting your precious scenes and characters for the sake of the story, losing a phrase here and there that sounds amazing but does nothing for the story.

Nano's great in that it gives you the first taste of it: the pouring out on paper even when you don't feel inspired, even when you rather chew ice in Antarctica than spend another five minutes watching your cursor wink at you. Because honestly, if we don't learn to endure during the writing stage, to just get it down and get it done, what hope do we have of surviving when we have to start chucking pieces of our work?

Today's Total: 1370
Total So Far: 9155
Left to Write: 40845 

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Day 6: Little improvements

Today was a good day.

The cold's been conquered, and even though the weather was rainy, it was a good day just to get some stuff done and write. I actually like writing in the rain. Is that weird? For some reason, the rain helps me stay more focused on what I'm working on. It helps the parts of the story fit better in my head. Maybe I need to download some mp3s of rain storms.

I was really happy that I exceeded the Nano quota of 1,667 today. I have a little catching up to do on the word count, and I still want to try to get ahead with the holidays coming up. I have to admit, this was the time for me to get sick this month if it was going to happen. Now that I'm better (and not too far behind) I can easily catch up, whereas if I'd gotten sick in two weeks, it may have been a bit harder to get it finished.

So here's hoping for a healthy rest of November for all of us.

Today's Total: 1,704
Total So Far: 7,785
Left to Write: 42,215

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Day 5: 15 minutes

15 minutes is really more time than you think.

Today was a blur of outdoor work, party planning, and a plethora of other things which didn't leave a lot of time for writing (not to mention the lingering effects of my cold, I had more energy today though, so that's a good sign).

Days like that, when it's tempting to just give up for the day, just write for 15 minutes.

In 15 minutes of just pure writing without editing, usually helps me put down almost 750 words (not a bad chunk, considering 100 days of that would give you a 75,000 word rough draft).

And although that 750 words is less than half of what you need to write in a day to meet the Nano goal, it's still better than nothing. And the beauty of it is that once you get into it, you'll likely write for longer.

And two 15 minute sessions would equal about 1,500 words (depending on how fast a typer you are / how well your story's flowing). You could do one in the morning and one at night and get most of the daily quota filled. That's pretty doable. And you could always add a third session on weekends to cover the rest of the quota.

I know I'm harping on this, that I already mentioned it in at least two posts, but just try 15 minute sessions. If nothing else, it breaks your writing time into easily doable chunks.

Today's Total: 1,055
Total So Far: 6,081
Left to Write: 43,919

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Day 4: Accountability

Today would've been a very easy day for me to skip writing completely.

I came home from work drained and exhausted. Even a snuggle on the couch with my cats and a nice warm blanket didn't bring my energy back (that's how I know I'm sick, I'm usually very high energy most if not all of the day). So honestly, the last thing I wanted to do was sit down and type (actually, I think the last thing I wanted to do really was run around the block, but I already knew that wasn't happening).

But I decided I couldn't just come here and write "Oh, I got nothing done today." So I set a timer for 15 minutes. And while my word count for the day isn't great, it's better than nothing.

That's one of the things I really like about Nano, one of the reasons I decided to give you all updates on my progress.

I wanted the accountability.

I knew this wasn't going to be easy. Especially when I woke up with a full-blown cold. But by having you all to tell about it, by having that 50,000 word count to finish by the 30th, it helps keep me on track. 15 minutes is better than no minutes. And I much rather tell you that I gave it a try, that I got a little bit done, than that I just gave it up for the day.

If you find yourself struggling to keep up, or to get in even a little bit of writing time each day, tell someone what you're doing. And keep them posted. It might be just the motivation you need on those hard days.

And by the way, thank you for reading and keeping me accountable. 

Today's Total: 719
Total So Far: 5026
Left to Write: 44,974

Monday, November 3, 2014

Day 3: A little better

Today was a much better day for me as far as writing went.

I'm starting to get more motivated about the manuscript I'm working on. It's one which I've been toying with for a while, but never finished because I kept working on other things I got more interested in.

I know the people at Nanowrimo say it's best to start brand new, but I felt I needed to get this one done. It'll be a great story when it's all done and edited (at least I think it will be), and I felt the motivation of needing to churn out 50,000 words by the end of the month would encourage me to just sit down and work on it, even if I didn't feel like it.

Today that reasoning worked well (or I got interested again). Since I'm not certain how much I'll be able to write on Sundays, and with the holidays coming up (our Thanksgiving is at the end of the month, if you're not from the States), I wanted to aim for about 2,000 words a day at least six days a week. Today I exceeded those 2,000 (yay!). Not by a whole lot, but hey, when you're looking at any word count, every little bit helps get you closer, right?

Oh, and I also finally figured out the Nano word count update thing (I forgot Saturday, and it wasn't working for me yesterday). 

Today's Total: 2291
Total So Far: 4307
Left to Write: 45,693

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Day 2: Persevere

Today my cold symptoms finally had the decency to turn into a cold.

Colds are probably the worst kind of sickness (at least in my thinking). They leave me so tired that I don't have the energy to do anything, and yet I have too much to just sleep it off. So in times like this, I usually end up getting a fair amount of reading done, if I can focus well-enough. I also was able to get more written today than yesterday.

Some stuff you just got to work through. I feel silly writing about persevering when it's only the second day in, but the truth is that, just like not everything has glittery beginnings, not everything is going to be easy, even if you love it.

I love writing, and the few times I've toyed with the idea of quitting, just to kind of see what it'd be like, I've gotten an awful, dead feeling inside of my stomach, like all the spark and adventure of life was snuffed out with my writing.

But like any of you who like to write probably realize, writing isn't always easy. some days we have tons of energy and can't wait to sit in front of our keyboards and pound away. But other days we're ill, or tired, or just don't know what to write about.

Sit down on those days and take fifteen minutes. Write about whatever you want, even if it's silly. Or if you're working on a story, explore a new path in it. You can always scrap it later. But I can guarantee you it won't get done if you don't persevere in writing it.

Today's Total: 1475
Total So Far:  2016
Left to Write: 47,984

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Day 1: A "wonderful" start

I think it's Murphy's Law that says if something can go wrong it will.

That was today.

I woke up with nagging cold symptoms that didn't have the decency to develop into a full-blown cold just so I could get it over with. And it was raining and cold. And a package that was supposed to have been delivered yesterday but was delivered today, contained not only the wrong item, but a defective one at that. So off I go to email the company about their error.

And of course, my computer chooses today to act up, so I spent several minutes trying to get it to load what I needed in Microsoft Word (of course, when it is five years old already, pushing six, I'm not quite sure I can really blame it).

Needless to say, today was not the glorious start to Nano that I would've liked. But then, life isn't full of glorious starts. Often, the starts to any great and worthwhile thing are kind of messy and horrifying. Glamorous starts, I think, are a myth. It's pushing through the messiness that's important.

So let's celebrate pushing through the problems, however minor or major they may be. After all, isn't it just important that we started? There's always room for improvement down the line.

Today's Total: 541
Total So Far: 541
Left to Write: 49,459