Y’all – we did it! We finished Week 1. Okay, collective breath in. Aaaaaand collective breath out.
Good. We’ve survived! We’ve made it past (in my opinion) the hardest part. First week down, just a few more to go!
Here are my current stats on Day 7:
Now, I mentioned it vaguely in my post about How To Plan for NaNo, and you may have seen me talk about it if you follow me on social media, but I never fully explained what my goal is this November or why I’m doing #2books1month.
So here’s the reason:
I’ve participated in NaNoWriMo for about 8 years. (For the curious, I’ve succeeded about 60% of the time.) This is the first year where my life is totally dedicated to writing. My job is to write. While the 50,000 words have been a challenge to achieve in the past, now I more or less write that many in a typical month.
My goal for NaNoWriMo is to have fun and challenge myself. So I decided to do #2books1month by writing two stories for a total of 100K words. That translates to 3,334 words per day. (For the doubly curious, this takes me roughly 5 hours a day. This includes random Googling, YouTube spirals, sending Tweets, scrolling through Instagram, and, of course, writing.)
I’ll be the first to say this is a luxury. I worked for three years in a Fortune 50 company, working obscene hours toward the end of my employment. I participated in NaNoWriMo each year, succeeding only once out of those three years, and that was when I was completing the 50K with stolen hours, skipped lunch breaks, and passing on Friday nights out with my girlfriends.
You will never find me saying it’s not hard. I’m infinitely in awe of people who manage to win year-in and year-out with a full-time job and/or a family.
So why the hell does my title say that I don’t think I’ll succeed at #2books1month? It’s a bit of a misnomer. My original plan was to write 50K words of two completely separate ideas. (One a Young Adult Fantasy, the other a New Adult Horror.) As it turns out, the 3,334 words per day equates to roughly one full chapter in my YA story. Some chapters are longer, some shorter, but this is how it’s averaging out so far. I’ve outlined 24 chapters in the YA novel. That means roughly 24 days of November’s 30 will be dedicated to this story, should I choose to do it that way.
Spoiler: As of Week 1, that’s what I’m choosing.
I should still hit 100K words. I’ve somehow managed to continue writing my daily requirement even while on vacation:
Was I nervous I’d say “to hell with this!” and simply drink and nap my way to being a beach bum, ignoring all motivations for writing 3,334 words per day? Yes, yes I was. I still am. I have 2 days left at the beach, then I’m heading to Wurstfest, and later in the month I’ll attend the Texas Renaissance Festival. Then there’s that pesky issue of Thanksgiving, where my word counts have always stagnated:
Don’t do this. Don’t let Thanksgiving derail your goals of winning NaNoWriMo. It’s demoralizing, and I speak from experience. In another instance of “don’t do as I do, do as I say”: Don’t wait until the last few days and have to play “catch up” after Thanksgiving either. Writing over 10,000 words in one day is not fun. Doable, but not fun.
(My biggest tip is to recalculate how many words you need daily. Divide the 50K by 28 days instead of 30, that way you have 2 days of nothing to worry about besides gorging yourself and avoiding political discussions with your extended family. Isn’t that the Thanksgiving dream?)
Of course, the pesky part of life getting in the way is what makes NaNoWriMo such a challenge.
It’s also what makes winning NaNoWriMo such a freaking accomplishment.