I’m doing NaNoWriMo this year, and it’s been a very positive and educational experience so far.
On day 2 I received an email through the NaNo site, from a fan who’d read Antebellum back when it was on FP, and has been ghost-following me ever since. She said that watching my word count goal climb every day would inspire her to keep hers up.
Cue the ‘awwwww.’ And also the pressure.
That email has pretty much been a leading source of inspiration to keep me on track. Today is Day 7, and I’ve hit word goal every day except for day 1, when I wrote only 1200 words instead of 1667. Yesterday I wrote 3.7k. Here’s what I’ve learned from NaNoWriMo so far:
1) Writing is a pleasure.
I guess I frequently forget that I used to write for fun, not for duty. I can kick out 500, even 1,000 words a day over the course of several reluctant and distracted hours, but practically every sentence I take a ‘break’ and surf the net for a few minutes. Having to focus enough to write 1667 words a day meant I had to actually submerge myself in my story and pay attention. In the process, I re-discovered the joy of building up to an epic moment and then conquering it. Totally rapturous.
Writing this way meant that I’d write 200 words without even realizing it, then I got to update my wordcount and watch it grow every ten minutes. This really showed me the value of my time, and how all it takes is an hour of dedicated writing to meet my goal.
Then I thought, ‘If I can find one hour in the evening, why not two?’ I have a lot of free time today (supposedly), and I plan to spend as much of it writing as possible. After all, I need to catch up from the two weeks where I practically didn’t write anything at all.
2) I focus better with peer pressure.
My two good friends and fellow LTWF contributors katzhang and sjmaas and I started a Write Night event, where we all write for half an hour at the same time, then share what we’ve written. Mostly because we’re fascinated by each other’s stories and want to see how they’re developing!
The first time we did this, I didn’t take any internet breaks or anything, because I didn’t want to be embarrassed at the end of the half hour if I’d written 200 words and they’d written 600.
I highly recommend this ‘buddy’ system. Try to get three friends in on it if you can; two’s company but three’s a crowd after all, and somehow a number more than two makes me work harder than just two people.
Overall, I’m having a great time, and if you haven’t added me to your buddy list already, do it now! My username is savannahjfoley (lol, what did you expect?).
How is your writing going?
EDIT: ANTEBELLUM is now known as NAMELESS