#18 - Bad Days

Some days are better than others.

I've found that there's no part of my life that I get right on a daily basis. Some days, I sit down with my kids when they get home from school, go through their backpacks, get them started on their homework, read with them, and get my daughter to practice piano. Some days, I only get through some of it. Other days, I forget to do it at all.

It's that way with housecleaning, with my moods, with my scripture reading, etc.

I guess I shouldn't be surprised that it's that way with my writing as well. Some days I far exceed my daily goals and other days I fall way short or don't get to it at all. As the month has progressed, I've had to raise my daily goal twice because I've fallen short more often than I've come out ahead - first I went from 2000 words a day to 2500 words a day, and for the last week, I've set a new goal of 2680 words per day.

The good news is, I'm on the homestretch and the finish line is in sight. I only have 3 days left, but I also have only 7430 words left to write to make it to my goal.

On the one hand, it would be easy to say it doesn't really matter if I hit that goal. Writing 48000 or 45000 or 49000 words in a month would be a great accomplishment anyway. But on the other hand, I set a goal and I can't quit striving to reach it when it's within striking distance.

So all the housework is going to have to suffer and I might slip on homework a time or two this week, but I WILL write 7430 words in the next 3 days.

#17 - Thanksgiving Update

I want to give a Thanksgiving Update on my NaNoWriMo progress.

As of yesterday, I've written 32,304 words. I'm really excited with how well my story is coming along, but I'm a little nervous about the fact that I only have 8 more writing days, including today if I make it to writing today, and I still have to write 17,696 words. That's an average of 2212 words a day.

Right now, my story is really flowing and things are happening that I didn't even know were going to happen. The book is practically writing itself. I threw in something that I didn't even know where it was going to go, and then later on, it fit in perfectly with the way the story turned out.

I'm going to have to leave you in suspence for the details, so you'll have to buy my book and read it when it's published. :D

Wish me luck writing those 2212 words over the next 8 days!

Amendment to #16 - Ahead of My Goal

I just have to make a slight amendment to my last post. I said that I was 2576 words in the negative as of today.

The good news is, I have changed that number. I'm now 26 words in the positive! Yay me! :)

I like the idea that I can start out on Monday with no need to catch up from this week.

I'm really excited about the twists and turns my story is taking. It's starting to take on a life of its own and I can't wait to see what happens next.

#16 - The Week 2 Blues

I've got the Week 2 Blues.

I'm really stuck right now. I have written some good stuff the past couple of days, but the words aren't flowing off the ends of my fingertips like they did the first week. I've had to skip around to scenes way down the road that need a lot of setting up in order to get any kind of a word count.

I'm keeping a Microsoft Excel Spreadsheet to track my progress throughout the month. There's a column that tells me how many words I've written that day, a column that tells me how many words I've written overall, a column that tells me how many words I should have written by that point in the month, and a column that tells me how far ahead or behind I am. I'm going to copy that last column below to show my progress so far.


See how much progress I was making the first four days. Then on day 5, I didn't hit my goal, but I was still ahead of my overall goal. It was day 6 that killed me. Missing just one day of writing cost me 2000 words. I've been struggling to get back out of that hole ever since. The -2576 is only because I'm still struggling to get my word count for today.

I'm going to need to write 1200 more words today just to get my daily word count, and then I have to try to squeeze out more if I want to whittle away at the deficit I created by missing a day.

I seriously need to think about exceeding my goals every day leading up to the Thanksgiving holiday in case I totally slack off. It's so close to the end of the month, I don't know if I could recover from it by the 30th.

#15 - Slacking Off

Although I started off with a bang (averaging an extra 450 words per day above my goal) I slacked yesterday with 0 words written and the day before, with only 589.

I give myself leeway, though, because my daughter was in a play and I was one of the stage moms on Wednesday and we watched the show last night.

But the part I have to hold myself accountable for is the fact that I spent a ton of time the last few days trying to make these maps of the mythical place where my story is held. I spent so much time, trying to make them look professional enough that they could be used in the book, when really the publishing company that will surely publish my book will probably hire an artist to make the maps if they in fact even want maps in the book.

So, I have some making-up to do, but I'm hopeful that I'll be able to pull it off. The story itself is really flowing when I do sit down to write and I'm having a lot of fun with it. Although, maybe part of why I'm stalling with the maps and all that is that I'm not sure what should happen next. :) I'll just have to MAKE something happen.

#14 - Kicking Myself into Gear

My writing has been seriously lacking these past few months, so I decided to do something rash to kick myself back into gear.

I signed up for NaNoWriMo. For those of you who don't know what that is, it stands for National Novel Writing Month. I believe this is the ninth year they've held the event, and it always happens in November, although the exercise would work just as well in any other month.

The biggest reason to sign up officially and write a novel in November is that it gives you some accountability to actually get it done. Since you're working alongside the other tens of thousands of people who signed up officially on the NaNoWriMo website, there is extra pressure to succeed.

I did a quick calculation of all the days I have available to write in November and figured I need to write 2000 words a day, Monday-Saturday, for the entire month of November in order to complete my novel and "win" the contest.

I did exceed my 2000-word goal yesterday by a few words, and I just finished hitting my goal for today this evening. When I came to the point where I'd written enough words, I found that I didn't want to stop. I had to finish my thought, which added an extra 150 words or so to my daily total. I'm not going to use that as an excuse to slack on Monday, of course. Every day, I plan to write 2000 words. I want to be sure I not only hit the 50,000-word requirement, but I want to blow it away.

Okay, we'll see how long that enthusiasm keeps up. I've heard it gets especially hard in week 2. I'll be checking in regularly with my status on the novel, so watch for exciting updates as the month proceeds. :)