Looking Back at the Past and Planning the Future

This past year has been full of all kinds of exciting things for me. We got a new dog back in spring, I finished my first ever novel (and completed a second one too), started editing for the first time, and I’ve continued to write since. I’ve traveled to Colorado and taken another college class. And while there were moments of doubt in my writing and grief at my grandfather’s passing (and our cat’s passing too), I’d say this year has been one of the best. 🙂

I’m hoping next year will be just as great as this one. I know I’ll get to travel again (Florida this time!), and I’m most likely going to take another college class, as well as learn how to drive (yes, I still haven’t learned how yet).

So, without further ado, here is a list of eight things I wish to accomplish in the new year. Most of them, of course, will be writing related. 😉

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A Late Merry Christmas to Everyone!

I’ve been quite busy over this holiday season. I’ve made Christmas presents for my friends, had fun at family gatherings, and have worked hard on revising my novel. I also received a ton of new books for Christmas, so I know I can reward myself for (or more likely, distract myself from) my writing by curling up with a new story.

While most of this Christmas break has been a fun one, these past couple days have been a little sad, as we had to put one of our cats to sleep (the poor thing had been diabetic for a while, and her kidneys failed her).

Besides that, everything’s been great here. And the snow has been absolutely gorgeous. I’m not much of a winter person, but I’ve really enjoyed walking and photographing the snow (and even the shoveling, to a degree).

I’m planning on spending this coming January on JanNo, although I have nothing new to write (or finish). The small community if writers there is so friendly and fun to hang out with, and I’m hoping they will help keep me motivated and on track to finish editing the middle portion of my novel by the end of January.

How has everyone else’s Christmas holiday been? Anyone get several inches of snow? Or some awesome gifts?

NaNoWriMo: Day 27

I sort of had a bad day today. The bright side of it was that my foul mood spilled over into my writing, making the story more vivid and fun to write (and therefore making me feel like I’m ending my day on a happy note).

4:44 PM-?: Well, I tried something new today. I wrote while riding in the car! As you can see, I kept very poor time for this session, as I get carsick easily and only focused on writing one word at a time. I discovered that if the road remained perfectly straight and Mom drove at a consistent speed, I could look down for short periods of time without getting sick. And, if I held my iPod straight out in front of me, I could write for even longer periods. Still, with talking, music, and road noise, it was hard to focus. Thus, only 67 words were transferred from my head to the touchscreen.

10:00 PM-11:25 PM: Thanks to my mood, things went really smoothly in my story. My characters seemed quite down in the dumps like I did, so there wasn’t any stupid nonsense. Plus, they’re all planning on doing something quite daring (the climax is coming!), and the process of laying out the roadwork for it was extremely fun. Tomorrow, the climax will begin! And, depending on how long it’s going to be, I actually might finish the novel tomorrow! And, if not, I’m almost certain it will get done on the 29th of this month.

That very thought really got me thinking on a more positive note. 🙂

I only wrote for six 10 minute word wars, not really caring much for the word count. It was more to just keep me writing. I wrote 2,268 words during this time frame.

So, even though I didn’t make it to 2.5k today, I’m so far ahead with my 75k goal that I really don’t care any more. Plus, I ended the scene I was working on, so it only seemed natural to stop here for the night and continue with fun climatic scene tomorrow.

Plus, I wanted to reward myself before going to sleep with a new song that I heard in the car today. I’m not sure if I really like it or not (but from the bits I heard in the car, it sounded awesome!), so I want to listen to the song in full on YouTube (the song in question is “Enemies” by Shinedown).

Total word count today: 2,335 words

Total word count: 72,916 words

My Writing in Graph Form

A graph showing the word counts each day during NaNoWriMo

A little graph I created. This one is much more detailed compared to the one on the NaNoWriMo website. Click to get a bigger version!

I thought it would be fun to include some graphs about my writing progress. I love graphs. I would update them every thirty seconds if I could. But then I wouldn’t have time to write, which would give me nothing to update.

If you don’t feel like trying to read what each line means, I’ll give some brief answers.

Blue line: Blue line is good line! This shows what my word count is each day.

Red line: This line tells me what my average word count is each day. It usually hovers around the 2,700 to 2,800 range.

Green line: This is the average number of words I need to write each day to make the NaNo goal of 50k. It’s pretty much a useless piece of data, since I’m aiming for a higher word count, but it just gives me something else to compulsively update. 😀

Yellow line: The most important line of them all. This is the average number of words I need each day to reach 75k by the end of the month. As long as the blue and red lines stay above this yellow line, I’m in good standing. Although, twice already (one for each of my two worst days), the blue line has dipped below the yellow. Not good!

If you’ve enjoyed looking at my progress so far, here’s another graph:

A graph showing my word count progress during NaNoWriMo

This one is just like the one on the NaNoWriMo site, except I included an extra line to show my goal of 75k.

This one is pretty straight forward. The blue line is what’s needed to reach 50k, while the green line is what I need for 75k. The yellow bars measure my growing word count each day.

Also, a quick note: I’m clueless when it comes to using Excel (well, I actually use the Mac equivalent), so I didn’t program the cells to do anything. I know you can program them to calculate things after plugging in a certain number, but I do all the math manually (basically, on the calculator on my computer). I just figure out all the word counts and averages and plug them in, and I change them all each time I update my word count. Yes, it’s tedious, but it’s extremely fun and addicting!

Do any of you Wrimos out there use graphs besides the one on the NaNo site? Are you addicted to updating your word count like me?