NaNoWriMo is underway and we already have the first seven days under our belts! So I wanted to check in and talk a little bit about how the week is going.
First things first, my goals for NaNo were to write 50,000 words, but across multiple projects, and to write every day. So far, I haven’t been meeting either of those goals, and that’s okay. I’m not going to list a litany of excuses here – everyone has busy weeks and complicated family lives. Instead I’ll let you know what progress I have made. I have been keeping track of how much I have written daily.
11/1 – This was my best day so far. That first day motivation carried me through. I wrote 1,817 words – 495 words in a new nonfiction piece, 10 words of revision in an existing nonfiction piece, 321 words in a short story, and 991 words of blog posts.
11/2 – I didn’t write anything this day. I know, bad start to the month. But life happens and I need to accept that.
11/3 – I wrote 125 words in my short story today, which was one section or scene. This short story has been moving very slowly, but I am happy with every short scene I include.
11/4 – This was my second best day. I wrote 1,662 words – 1,501 in a blog post, and 161 in my short story.
11/5 – I wrote 136 words in a blog post.
11/6 – I wrote 85 words in a blog post.
11/7 – I didn’t write that day.
So my total for week one was 3,815 words. Which is obviously well below the NaNo goal at that point of 11,669. But it is still almost 4,000 words in a week, which is about 4,000 more than I typically write.
Takeaway #1: I wrote on 5 out of 7 days of week one. That isn’t every day, but it is most days. And as I’ve said before, my writing habits are typically abysmally inconsistent. And on the two days I didn’t write, I was still thinking about the work and very aware of my goals.
Takeaway #2: Revision doesn’t give you a lot of words. Ultimately I end up cutting a lot when I revise. However, I counted words I added, and did not deduct words I cut for a net number. I still wanted to count all words I wrote.
Takeaway #3: The largest percentage of my words were in blog posts. On the one hand, I’m a bit disappointed by that, because it feels like a cop-out. A blog post is more stream of consciousness, and it is much easier and lower stakes to write than creative writing. So I feel like I used that as a crutch to get words without doing the work. On the other hand, I did really want to revive my blog, and that has been happening, so I still want to count that as a win.
All in all, I haven’t technically met my goals, but I’m still proud of the progress I made in week one. It’s big for me to put down words almost every day, even if it’s just 100 words at a time. I don’t know if I’ll catch up, or hit the 11,000 word mark for week two, but at this point I just want to do better than week one. I will consider NaNo a success if I write at least 2/3 of the days, and if I improve a little bit each week.
How did week one go for you? Do you feel like you’re achieving your goals? And if you don’t, how have you been gentle with yourself?