I did this last year and thought it was something cool to look back on. So I decided to do it again this year.
I’m going to compare and contrast this year’s NaNoWriMo to last year’s. I think it’ll be interesting to see the differences.
2014: I wrote a collection of short stories of various genres. 2015: I wrote a young adult religious novel titled Second Chances.
I was in the middle of working on George Florence last year when NaNo started and I was running out of Short Story Sundays. So I thought that if I wrote one short story a day at around 2,000 words each, it would suffice for NaNo.
This year I decided to try my hand at a different genre. The idea came to me last minute before November started. I couldn’t get the idea out of my head so I decided to go with it.
2014: I did not have an outline. 2015: I did not have an outline.
You can’t really outline multiple short stories when you’re looking up prompts through the Internet and in writing books.
Second Chances came to me so last minute that I didn’t have time to write an outline. Plus, I had so many ideas swimming in my head that I didn’t really feel as though I needed one.
As you can see, my writing in 2014 was kind of all over the place. My writing this year was consistent… Until I decided to take a week off from writing, but I managed to catch up last minute.
2014: I won on November 26 at 50,067 words. 2015: I won on November 30 at 50,746 words.
Despite what the stats look like, I have no idea how I was able to win a few days early in 2014, but win on the last day in 2015. Oh, well. A win is a win.
I read three out of the four books I planned on reading. I updated my Reading List with the books I read this month, so you can get ahead and check those out and read the reviews I wrote.
Even though I didn’t read four books this month like I planned, I reached my goal for my Goodreads 2015 Reading Challenge! I have read 52 books, one book a week. I skipped a few weeks, but I also read multiple books during other weeks. I somehow managed to hit my goal early.
I didn’t edit George Florence at all. My writer’s group meeting got cancelled because of the holidays. We won’t be regrouping until after the new year. I plan on editing that novel once again after the new year.
I did manage to write 2,000 words a day on my NaNo novel, Second Chances. I skipped an entire week, but I plan on hitting 50k later today. So I guess it was successful.
I’ve been brainstorming new ideas for 2016 and have been trying to put them in motion. There will be more information on these ideas at the beginning of January. I promise I won’t disappoint.
November was a very successful month and super busy. December is going to be just as–if not more–crazy. So I hope to hit all my goals then as well.
Some people naturally type fast, others type slow. Some people stop to think about every single scene, others just plow right through them.
The point of NaNoWriMo is this: just write, edit later.
We are actually putting Hemingway’s advice to use:
We’re all hopped up on too much caffeine and leftover Halloween candy that we might as well be drunk as we write.
There are some people who take this advice to heart and this is how they do NaNo. Other people don’t do NaNo for this same reason. Despite how the first draft of everything is crap, they don’t believe in writing until your fingers fall off.
Someone on my writing buddy has already hit 100k and it’s only day 10. In other words, she has been writing 10,000 words a day. I’ve done that before, but only when I have the entire day to myself. I can’t work six and half hours and then babysit for another two to three hours then expect myself to bang out 10k words after dinner.
Good for her, though. I applaud her.
Whether she has a day job or not, I assume she uses NaNo’s Word Sprints.
Word Sprinting is when you try to write as many words as you possibly can in a short period of time. Just keep typing, no editing.
I read the other day on Tumblr that someone wrote 2,000 words in 15 minutes. If I focus hard enough, I can write 2,000 words in 30 minutes.
As stated before, everyone writes at their own pace. However, is it really necessary to try to write at the speed of light just to hit 50k in 30 days?
I say no. I have my own methods to making NaNo work for me and it does not involve making more editing work for me later on.
I know I talk about this one a lot, but it’s key. Supposedly it takes 21 days to make a habit. If you believe that’s all it takes, you can totally get yourself into a good writing routine.
I wake up earlier than I need to before work. I write for an hour from 5:30am-6:30am and I get my 2,000 words done.
This works because I get over the word count goal putting me a little bit ahead each day. Also, my mind is trained to be creative at that same time every morning. It doesn’t matter how fast or slow I type, I still get the words down.
2. Realistic Word Goal.
The daily goal is 1,667 words. I think that’s realistic, even though some people see that as too much. I personally shoot for 2k because I like even numbers and it puts me ahead. It gives me a small extra dose of accomplishment if I write more than what’s expected each day.
But here’s my point: I don’t say, “I’m going to sprint until I get 20k today!” and then rush my writing. I say, “I’m going to get my 2k done. I’ll write more if I can.” Then I go ahead and try to write the best chapter.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying sprinting is bad. It definitely works for some people and most people love it, but it doesn’t help me.
I try to see how many words I can write in a certain amount of time, but if I see a typo I go back to fix it.
3. Use November 30 as your Deadline.
November 30 is the last day of NaNo. Therefore, you should reach for 50k for that date. If you finish early, great! But I know there are some people that say to themselves, “I’m going to try to write 50k in the first day! I’ll be the very first person to finish on the entire site!”
I have seen people upload their word counts to 50k on day one. They stay up until midnight on October 31 and begin the moment the calendar changes to November 1. Then they write straight for the next 24 hours. I don’t know how people can write that long when staring at a computer screen. I don’t know how their minds are still in tact.
But you need to pace yourself. Pace your story and your characters. If you rush, you’re not going to have any idea what you wrote. You don’t want to burn yourself out too quickly.
I’m sure there will be a few people who will disagree with me, but that’s fine. I’m not saying word sprints are a bad thing and I’m not saying people who hit 50k quickly are writing nonsense just to say they won.
Everyone writes at their own pace.
But I prefer to get into a steady routine with a reasonable daily word count with the whole month to work with my story and give it the attention it deserves.
Because if you really think about it, every month can be a NaNo month if you stick with your routine after November. You can potentially have 12 novels written by the end of the year for only a couple thousand words a day.
1. Remember Mia by Alexandra Burt
2. Never Never by Brianna R. Shrum
3. Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige
4. A Whole New World by Liz Braswell
Of course these books are subject to change throughout the month.
1. Continue editing George Florence
2. Write 2,000 words a day for Second Chances for NaNoWriMo
1. Continue to blog every day
2. Keep working on the new ideas and features for 2016
If you have any suggestions for topics or writing prompts for me to do for Short Story Sunday or Inspiration Station or any random day, feel free to let me know in the comments or Contact Me. I’m always looking for new ideas and I would love to hear about what you guys want to read about. Thanks!