NaNoWriMo 2013: Day 25

I think today was the hardest day of writing for me so far this November. I’ve hit a rough spot in the plot, because I feel like the ending is coming too soon, and I’m floundering. (Though Christopher Tallant left a comment on my previous post, giving me an idea to help with this. 🙂 I wish I had read it before I started today’s writing session!)

10:25 PM-11:50 PM: So, like I said, I struggled. Not once in the six 10 minute wars I participated in did I reach the 500 mark. In fact, in one war, I dipped below 400, which hasn’t happened in a long time. (Okay, I had to check that…last time I dipped before 400 was on the 14th, so it wasn’t that long ago. Feels like it, though.)

But as I struggled to write, I noticed something: I was the only person doing the wars (except for one person, who got to 50k during one of the wars) with more than 50k. While I was struggling with my story, these writers were struggling with their word counts (and possibly their stories too). Why should I complain to myself?

I then turned to Twitter, and saw much of the same thing. Some writers had already made 50k, or were close to making it, while others were behind, desperately trying to catch up. Instead of complaining about the progress of my story, shouldn’t I be more thankful? More positive?

So I did something that I normally don’t do: I tried to send some encouragement to people via Twitter. Now, the reason I don’t normally do that is because 1) I’m a really, really shy person, 2) I’m not very good at encouraging people, and 3) I’ve only thought about myself and my story this November, occasionally posting on other blogs when I found the time (basically, I’ve been selfish).

But, despite going out of my comfort zone, it felt really good cheering people on. 🙂 In fact, for the remainder of November, that’s what I’m going to do: between word wars, I’m going to hang out in #NaNoWriMo on Twitter and cheer writers onward. Feel free to join me!

For the few readers who read my blog, if you’re doing NaNoWriMo like me and have not yet made 50k, don’t stop writing now! You can still make it, so long as you keep writing!

Words written today: 2,650

Total words written: 63,670

Scenes edited today: 0

Total scenes edited: 15

P.S. I suppose I should have added something about my story, like what’s going on at the moment to my characters, but it’s such a chaotic mess that it’s not worth mentioning. Maybe tomorrow, if things improve/get more exciting.

P.P.S. I forgot to mention that I validated my novel, and I’m now an official winner! Badges will at some point be added to my blog. 🙂

NaNoWriMo 2013: Day 18

This has probably been the craziest noveling day in the history of NaNoWriMo.

2:50 PM-3:40 PM: Before I go jumping into the craziness, I first must say that I edited 2 scenes today. While still behind on this goal, I’m happy with the way Secrets is coming along, and I’d rather go slowly and do a better job than rush through it and make more of a mess.

8:46 PM-11:59 PM: Okay, now for the craziness. So, if you remember last year, I broke 50k on Day 19. Now, knowing me, I always like to beat records, right? The last thing I wanted to do was get to 50k again on Day 19 this year. It just seemed too repetitive, like I wasn’t trying hard enough to do something awesome. Besides, it just so happens that my biology class falls on the 19th, which means that probably no writing will get done. That would have meant I would have reached 50k on Day 20.

I was not going to let that happen.

However, I procrastinated with writing, like I always do. But unlike the usual writing days, instead of needing 2.5k, I needed 5,460 words to make 50k before midnight. When I did the math, that equated to about twelve 10 minute word wars. I do four of them in an hour, so I needed three hours.

If I started at 9:00 PM, I would make it. Just to be safe, though, I planned on starting at about 8:45 PM to get an extra word war in.

As you can see by the time indicated above, I started one minute late. Not too bad, except that I had a little problem.

I totally forgot that I needed Dad to help me with something when he got home. Something that was most likely going to eat about a half hour or more out of my writing schedule. And suddenly, just like that, I wasn’t going to have enough time to get to 50k before midnight.

For once in my life, word wars were actually going to slow me down. I didn’t have the time for the five minute breaks in between wars.

I wrote for 20 minutes, then 6, and then 11. I couldn’t keep going at a steady pace. The TV was on, I was waiting for Dad to get home, and I was just too worried about not making the goal. I had written 1,139 words at this point, with two and a half hours to go.

The pressure was on.

I got a 10 minute war in and then wrote for 2 more minutes before Dad got home. Word count: 1,684. Words to go: 3,776.

He helped me for about an hour, and the clock was ticking. I got in bed a bit after 10:30 and jumped in late on a word war at 10:35. Then, I wrote for 4 minutes during the break, did another 10 minute word war, then wrote for another 2 minutes during the break.

But this wasn’t working. It was 11:05, my word count was at 2,870, and I still needed to write 2,590 more words in under an hour.

Boy, you have no idea how much I was panicking.

I did one more 10 minute word war, and I beat my all time record with 552 words! I only paused to post it on the forums and compulsively update my word count before I completely ditched the wars. This was my night. I was not going to stop writing until midnight, whether I had 50k or not. Even the small breaks I allowed myself for brief posting and compulsive updating had been slowing me down. I needed to keep my face in the story and not look away.

So, from 11:06 to 11:59, I kept my face in the story. I even stopped myself from correcting typos, or trying to spell bigger words that kept tripping up my fingers. There just wasn’t time.

When I paused to glance down at my session count, I wrote 2,066 words! In just 53 minutes, I wrote over 2k! That has to be some kind of record for me.

And when you do the math, here is what it all comes to: 5,488 words for the day. Meaning I got to 50,028 words one minute before midnight! 😀 I did it, despite the fact that I thought it was going to be impossible.

This just goes to show that even when you think you can’t make your word count (and you even have the math to prove you won’t make it), you can still prove yourself wrong. Never ever give up, because if you work hard enough to reach your goal, you will make it. 🙂

Words written today: 5,488

Total words written: 50,028

Scenes edited today: 2

Total scenes edited: 15

JanNoWriMo

I’ve been kind of absent lately from my blog for a lot of reasons, most of which include school, writing, procrastination, and JanNoWriMo (short for January Novel Writing Month). My brain seems to operate on a basic level and can only handle a few things at once before forgetting about others.

I’m pretty sure I’ve talked about JanNo here before, but for those who don’t know what it is, it’s a spinoff of NaNoWriMo and takes place in January (which I guess was kind of obvious…), although the rules there are much more lax (you can finish already started works and do any kind of writing you want). The home page is a little outdated, but the forms are pretty active.

While I’m not officially participating, as I’m just editing my novel, I still enjoy hanging out with the small friendly group of writers there. I’ve even been brave enough to share an excerpt of what I’m writing with them, as I’m so paranoid of what other people will think of my writing and how they will judge me based on it. But their nice, encouraging feedback is helping me to open up more, and not worry so much about others’ opinions of me. I can’t please everyone.

I know it’s a little late for others join the group and start writing, but if you haven’t heard of the website before, I strongly suggest you check it out. It’s never too late to meet a new, wonderful group of writers, and the motivation you get when receiving words of encouragement is such a beautiful thing, especially if you’re struggling with the words on the page.

On another note, my novel so far is coming along great. I was on a three (or was it four?) day writer’s high, extremely pleased with myself and what I had written/edited. Things have gotten more bumpy since then, but I’m happy that I’ve kept to my resolutions and haven’t missed a day of writing so far this year. I only have about three more scenes left before finishing the middle of my novel, so I’ll have to make a decision about whether I should edit the end next or go back to the beginning.

We’ll just have to wait and see how it goes.

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?

An Update on My Editing

As I’ve already posted here, I’m trying to get into a better writing/editing schedule. I had been doing so well, up until yesterday.

I get up early each morning and try to edit my story for at least an hour. However, my body doesn’t like the fact that I wake up when it’s still dark, so it has mastered the technique of sleeping through the alarm. I sometimes hear the alarm going off in my dreams, but even then I continue dreaming and remain asleep.

Making the alarm louder and more annoying on my iPod doesn’t help either, as yesterday I finally mastered the ability of turning the alarm completely off while staying asleep. I later woke up confused, then frustrated, and finally skipped a day of editing by promptly falling back asleep.

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