NaNoWriMo 2018 Review

This years NaNoWriMo was a big success for me. I wrote 53,080 words all in all on my NaNoWriMo project. That’s an average of 1769 words per day.

I was above target every day of the month, especially early on when I had some time off from my day job that allowed me to get some good words down and get ahead of target. My best day was the 7th and that was a 4159 words that day. (I also wrote 580 words on PE3 that day as well, so in all 4739 words that day). The 17th was my lowest word day at 350 words for the day, but by that point I was a couple of days ahead and was able to afford a low word count that day and a few others.

This was my eighth NaNo and I do consider myself a veteran. This was my fourth win, but the first time I didn’t try to write a novel. Instead I wrote what I planned to be a collection of short stories. I started off with fourteen or fifteen ideas and ended with nineteen in all and worked on ten of those nineteen, and have ten stories I need to work on in the future. A couple are completed while others are not close to being wrapped up. Although I planned on short stories I think a majority of them will end up being at least novelettes and maybe a couple will stretch to novella length pieces. So I’ve got lots to work with going forward.

That’s one of the reasons why I’m viewing NaNo 2018 as a success for me. Another reason is I wrote everyday despite some days it being a torturous act, those were the low word count days. That was one of my goals for the month. Even if I did get ahead I still wanted to write everyday and try to make it a habit. I knew there was a good chance I would hit the 50k. Last year I didn’t because of real life weighing in but I was taking that into account for this year and something happening to derail my writing time was something that I was acutely aware of. Thankfully that didn’t happen and I was able to write on without anything seriously sidetracking me.

A big reason I decided on a short story collection was because in previous years I’ve got to a certain point in the story and hit a brick wall, hard. That would derail my NaNo and I’d have to figure out how to get past the wall while still trying to hit word count for the day. I’ve learnt over the last year that I write well when I’ve got a couple of projects on the go and can jump between them. So using that logic worked out really well for me. When I got stuck on one, I could jump straight into another one. Some were very hard on me as they had a lot of darkness and in some cases depravity. While another story had a scene where a popular character died and it was really hard to write the discovery of the body and then how this characters friends were dealing with the loss. While A couple of the stories were just fun!

Winning NaNo is defined by hitting 50,000 words, but to me thats not the only way to win NaNo. You win NaNo but just writing. Some people are not able to knock out that many words in 30 days, while others can smash it out in a day or two. For me it’s about getting words down and not going over them. It’s about getting the story told. It doesn’t matter if you write 50k or 5k. Just write.

Another goal I had was to be more proactive in my local NaNo region. I wanted to host write-ins, I wanted to be positive and supportive of the Kent NaNoWriMo community. They’ve been so good to me in the eight years I’ve been a member of the group, especially the previous five years where I’ve been active in the group. This year I really wanted to step up. I think I hosted nine write-ins, actually I think it was ten in the end. I tried to be helpful and encouraging in the Facebook group. I needed to do more on the actual NaNo website itself, but that I’ll do next year.

I didn’t just add words to my NaNoWriMo project though. I wrote, in total, 55,035 words during November. So I added 1955 on PE3 during the month. Granted, those words were a snippet here and there and that was about it. Nothing really solid was done on PE3, but I got some good foundation laid down and then have began to build on it this month.

All in all, NaNoWriMo 2018 was a big success for me. I wrote some good words, I spent time at Write-Ins with great people. I interacted on social media with more great people and was part of a fantastic community that all gather to try and smash out 50,000 words in thirty days.

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5th of December 2018

I had no time to write during the day today, but even if I did I didn’t have anything I could directly work on until I’d looked over PE3 and see exactly where I am. Which is what I’ve done tonight, and added 513 to that project. As it stands it is at 54244 words. I think it’ll get to about 70k but I don’t know for sure, that’s just a gut feeling.

I also spent a fair chunk of the evening breaking up the Pages file that I had for NaNo. I’ve now copy and pasted each story I worked on into it’s own file so I can move forward easier with them. It’s left me with ten different stories in different stages of completion that I need to work on. I have a lot fo work, and few of these turned out to be short stories but I’m really excited with what I’ve got to play with and am looking forward to the new year when I can really get stuck into some of them. I do have PE3 to get done before I can really commit to any of them, and I want to get my vampire novel sorted out before these as well.

So I’ve got a hell of a lot of content to be playing with over the next couple of years just from PE3, the vampire collection and this years NaNo.

Exciting times ahead.

1st of December 2018

Yesterday proved a little more difficult to find time to write than I’d anticipated. I managed a few words before work, and then after being at my regional TGIO (thank god it’s over) party for NaNoWriMo. So I only added a couple of hundred words to PE3.

The TGIO party was a lot of fun. I got to hang out in a pub with some damn fine people and have a laugh and compare war stories from this year and previous years NaNos. I saw people I hadn’t seen in quite some time and a new face which is always nice.

So it was a low impact start to December, but there’s. A lot of the month to go and lots of words to write.

NaNoWriMo 2018- Day Thirty

Well, here it is. My last NaNoWriMo diary entry of 2018. I’ve kind of finished the month with a bit of a whimper with 506 words for a total of 53080 but I’m happy with that. Today did prove to be one of those days where I found it difficult to make the time but I made the most of what time I did have.

I am really happy with what I’ve managed to get written this month, I’ve found my flow again and I’m really excited to be getting back to PE3 tomorrow and getting that wrapped up.

This NaNo has been a real eye opener for me outside of what I’ve written. I’ve hosted nine write-ins and tried to be a supportive member in my local region, which combined broke the seven million words written mark! So thrilled with that achievement. I hope I’ve been encouraging and helpful when asked. I do consider myself a NaNoWriMo veteran. This was my eighth year, and my fourth win so I think I can say that I do hold that veteran status now.

I’m going to sign off from NaNoWriMo this year by saying that it doesn’t matter if you hit the 50k, what matters is that you write and don’t edit. You can always edit after NaNo, you can always carry on until the story is finished. Just write the story you want to write, at the pace you want to write it.

NaNoWriMo 2018- Day Twenty Nine

Today was one of those days where the real world threw a small spanner into the works of NaNo, but it was only a small one and I ended the day with 1028 for a total of 52574 words. I’d love to hit the 55k but I’m not going to bust a gut to get there. If I was the other side of 53k right now I’d give it a go but I’m not.

NaNo-2018-Winner-Badge

I think something that I can be good at is making the most of time I have. Today was a little up in the air first thing this morning but I managed to find a small window and crack out some words. This is a skill I really need to nurture and make the most of it. Especially as we approach the holiday season when there are social events and time when writing will not be easy to make time for. So when I get a few minutes before work, write. When I go out I like to get to places early, but instead of going in, why not sit in my car and write for five or ten minutes beforehand. If I’m standing in a queue while Christmas shopping, write. We’ve all got smartphones, why not make the most of them?

NaNo-2018-Winner-Twitter-Header

This weekend for instance, we’ve got our regions TGIO party (Thank God Its Over). There’s no reason why I can’t write a few words before getting down there, or once I’ve got home. Surprising I seem to be able to write pretty well at this time of night. Then on Sunday give it a decent shot and see what I can get down.

Once NaNo is finished I will be returning to PE3 full time, but I’m going to break up the stories I’ve worked on for NaNo and work on them individually in the future. I’ve got a lot I can play with and when I do need a change of pace from PE3 then I have plenty I can play with. In fact I’ve got enough to be working on things for the next two years if not longer. This short story collection probably has more novellas in it than short stories, but I’ll deal with that in the future.

That’s all for now. I’m off to the land of nod.

NaNoWriMo 2018- Day Twenty Eight

Today I’ve written 1253 for a total of 51546. Today felt a little more low key writing wise. The Write-In tonight, my last one for NaNo, had a bit more of a chilled out vibe than is normal for NaNo but it was nice.

There is still two days to go, two days where I can get a few more words on these short stories. This week it has been really brutal working on some of these stories. Some very emotional pieces that have taken some doing if I’m honest. So I’ve switched to one where I’m just gonna go bat sh*t crazy with it and make it as ridiculous as I can. Have some fun with it.

NaNoWriMo 2018- Day Twenty Seven (Bonus Post)

So, as I wrote yesterday I hit the 50k on NaNo last night. I was half planning to write about 1200 or so words last night and then tonight I’d wrap it up. But it got to about 10:30pm and I saw I had less than 1500 words to write, and I couldn’t help myself. I was sprinting online with a couple of members of my NaNo group and before I knew it I saw I was dead on 50k.  I didn’t celebrate just yet though, because I know the NaNoWriMo validator always knocks off a few words (which it did when I verified it). I finished for the day with a word count of 2753 for a total of 50293.

It is such a great feeling when you paste in your document into the validator on nanowrimo.org see that bar turn purple, but for me hitting 50k isn’t the most important part of NaNoWriMo. It’s getting words on the page. it’s just writing and not editing what you’ve written. It’s having something to edit and build on at a later date.

Even though I am past the post, I still have words I need to write in the various short stories I’ve got in this collection.