NaNoWriMo - Relax, Chick... You've Got This

Jennifer Bradshaw

*This post originally appeared on one of my old blogs, on Sept. 7, 2016. I will be moving the blog posts over there to sagewolfsong.com gradually.*

So, I'm actively preparing for my first NaNoWriMo. I've got my to-do list pretty much put together (which is a far cry from having it finished), and some time scheduled with my writing buddy Allie McCormack to get together on Skype to go over those things on the checklist she sent me that I'm clueless and confused on.

Last night, I sat down and did another practice session, working on my fantasy novel that I'd really like to have drafted, or mostly drafted, before NaNo begins, and these sessions are great practice, cultivating a habit of sitting down and seriously writing for a period of time, with a specific word-count goal.

6 week plan to prep for NaNoWriMo

I set up a whole planning list of how many words I wanted to write a day, increasing my daily goals from 500 words a day to 1,750 (which puts me just over the daily average goal for NaNo) until this book draft is finished, and being the first week, I'm still shooting for about 500 words a day. Next week, my goals are somewhere in the neighborhood of 750 words, the week after, 1,000 words a day and so on.

I sat down to write with a starting word count of 2496 and set my timer for 90 minutes. Mind you, I'm still rather riding the adrenaline rush of the night before, where I wrote most of that 2496, so I'm feeling optimistic that I can easily reach 3,000 words; maybe even 3,500 in that 90 minutes. I have the benefit of having scribbled out a scene in my notebook the night before, when it hit me just as I went to bed, and had to write it down, but didn't want to drag out the laptop or jostle my hubby. I figured that scene would maybe fill one page typed (my handwriting tends to get really spread out when I'm writing fast).

Timer started, fingers moving over the keys... filled in the space between where I'd left off typing the day before and where I thought that hand-written scene might fit. I'd reached a cool 3,300 words. Transcribed my scene from the notebook and finished off that section of the book with 10 minutes left on the timer.

5,086 words. That's 1/10th of the entire word count goal, made in 2 days of serious writing (and only about 4 hours of work).

Mind you, I haven't even begun really developing my characters, or setting, or any of that fun background stuff that's supposed to happen, but I do have the story fairly well outlined, so I'm not totally flying by the seat of my pants here.

These characters have been living in my head for months now, and they really, really, really want to get out into the world. It's not the easiest thing to bring them to life here on our realm, but it is a whole lot of fun!

I still have to sit and write tonight, and I'm still looking at about 700 words being my goal for this evening, and I've got physical therapy and research time with my kiddo this afternoon, so I'd better get on with my day. I know not every writing session will go as great as these last two have done, but it's nice to know that I can in fact do this; that 1,700 words isn't a totally unrealistic goal.

Oh, and if you happen to be a writer that plays in Second Life, look up the NaNoWriMo Obsession group. We'll be meeting for write ins and sharing excerpts, supporting and cheering each other on towards our NaNo goals in November. Whoot!

*Update: Allie and I still meet every Sunday for write ins, even though it's not NaNoWriMo. In fact, we're usually hanging around, somewhere on one of her sims, pushing each other to write or work, or whatever we happen to be doing that day. Come join us!*

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