NaNoWriMo is Over – How Does it Feel?

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We’ve come to the end of NaNoWriMo 2018 and I just want to start this week’s post by saying congratulations to everyone that participated, it was a long road and you did it!!

Statistics time – what did the numbers look like?

The goal for NaNoWriMo winner’s is 50,000 words and I ended the month with 19,322 words so it was not an official win. What the last week’s daily stats looked like:

  • Monday, November 26th – 98 words
  • Tuesday, November 27th- 691 words
  • Wednesday, November 28th – 1493 words
  • Thursday, November 29th – 100 words
  • Friday, November 30th – 222 words

While I did not win the official challenge I feel like I accomplished a different challenge. I created better writing habits. Even on days where I only managed to eke out a paragraph I managed to maintain my writing time. I got to realize that working full time and raising kids doesn’t mean I don’t have time for my writing and that was a huge success for me all else aside.

I’ll be using my newfound appreciation for my writing time to actually finish the 50k words for my novel over the month of December and possibly even pushing into January if I find that my story keeps going. The new goal? Finish my novel and see what comes next.

What are some of the lessons I learned through the whole experience?

I have to say that I thought outlining would be my saving grace and in a way I definitely feel like that gave me a focus when writing was hard, but otherwise it seemed to be a piece of the process that got in my way. Do I think this will be a problem for everyone? Absolutely not. Some people work very well with outlines – and this was the first time I tried to use one, if I do another outline I will definitely make it a point to go more in depth with it, see if that makes a difference.

Some things I have heard people talk about during the month – sacrificing everything so they could win. This was a curious thought to me, because I certainly can appreciate having to give up things during the month to make my writing happen where I could. Things like binge watching TV, or playing cell phone games as a way to wind down. But sacrificing everything? This is something that seems not healthy, or even feasible in some ways.

The author’s I heard foregoing a good night’s rest to make their word counts? They now lose the entire month of December as they try to “catch up” on lost sleep. Other things that are difficult to give up for a month? Work, kids, school, relationships with those that are important (spouses, significant others, etc. …) – unless you were lucky enough to have time off for the month, or maybe have started your NaNo career before or after children, in which case this is a little easier.

When you get down to making the list of things to give up, make sure you sacrifice the things that really are just extra. Take care of yourself, get good rest, eat right, make it a point to do healthy activities. Unless you trained for the marathon you should consider that the steps you took are going to take you farther than the ones you didn’t take.

Do I think I’ll do NaNo next year? Undecided. It may not be for me, but I am glad I did it. If nothing else it opened my eyes to different ways of thinking and new processes that I can use to protect my writing time.

Did you win NaNoWriMo? How did it feel to participate this year? If you’re willing, I’d love to hear about how your NaNoWriMo went. Let me know, either in the comments or feel free to contact me directly through the contact page or via email: hsellers@heather-sellers.com

NaNoWriMo Week Two – Recap

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Welcome to NaNoWriMo week 3!

I am definitely feeling frustrated with my progress this week. Every time I have sat down to write I have felt like I’ve done far more staring at a blank computer screen than actual writing. So much so that my protagonist who is also a writer has also been staring at a blank screen, frustrated with her own writing struggles.

I’ve continued entering my word count daily, and so far my week’s stats looked like this:

  • Monday, November 5th – 125 words (Studiously working on Chapter 5)
  • Tuesday, November 6th- 230 words (Studiously working on Chapter 5)
  • Wednesday, November 7th- 444 words (Studiously working on Chapter 5)
  • Thursday, November 8th- 70 words (Studiously working on Chapter 5)
  • Friday, November 9th- 131 words (Finished Chapter 5)
  • Saturday, November 10th- 351 words (Working on Chapter 6)
  • Sunday, November 11th- 123 words (Initial Count – Working on Chapter 6 – skipped ahead to work some on Chapter 9)

I have shared some of my frustrations with friends that are also participating this year, and while I have not found a magical way to get my focus in place I did get some great perspective. One person pointed out that even if she doesn’t complete the 50,000 words in November she is going to continue to write every day through December. She is determined to build a good habit with her writing and this has inspired me. It’s not when we finish, but knowing that we will finish!

I may not be super happy with the last week’s progress but I’m already gearing myself up for next week. If you’re participating how are things going for you? I’d love to hear about your experience with NaNoWriMo. Let me know, either in the comments or feel free to contact me directly through the contact page or via email: hsellers@heather-sellers.com

NaNoWriMo Week One – Recap

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I survived NaNoWriMo week one, and while I didn’t hit the daily goal, I did come close. Of course today isn’t over yet and I might just get back to it, but if not that’s okay too.

I feel like I can be proud of the work I did this week, between working long hours and taking care of sick kiddos ending the week with 6,040 words is a pretty good start. I’ve been entering my updated word count daily, and so far my week’s stats looked like this:

  • Thursday, November 1st – 1,521 words (Completed Chapter One).
  • Friday, November 2nd – 847 words (Completed half of Chapter Two).
  • Saturday, November 3rd – 1,191 words (Completed Chapter Two, Completed half of Chapter Three).
  • Sunday, November 4th – 2,479 words (Completed Chapters Three and Four, and almost Completed Chapter Five).

Friday was my lowest word count day, but I feel like Saturday was my weakest writing. I am looking forward to finishing and editing already! Sunday has been my best day so far, both in word count and work level – I have been pretty proud of the work I’ve done today.

Tracking word counts is helpful for seeing my progress throughout November, but I think it will also be helpful for identifying when and where I do my best work. For example, Sunday I participated in a write in away from the house and with the motivation of other writers with me. I will be intrigued to see if that pattern keeps up or if I find any other patterns in my writing times.

I’m pretty happy with my beginning of the month, if you’re participating how are things going for you? I’d love to hear about your experience with NaNoWriMo. Let me know, either in the comments or feel free to contact me directly through the contact page or via email: hsellers@heather-sellers.com