NaNo milestone: 20K

When I signed up for NaNoWriMo a couple of weeks ago, I stated that I’d be happy if I achieved 20,000 words in the month. Well, guess what?

Tonight I passed that milestone!ย And it’s only Day 12.

At this point of the challenge I am still slightly ahead of schedule — which is amazing — but I am aware of some micro-cracks developing in the armour. Now that I’ve resumed the dayjob, my progress is gradually slowing. As expected, it’s much harder to knuckle down to write at the end of the day, compared with lolling around with the computer in cafes all morning.

I think I must accept there will be days when I cannot write — or cannot at least reach my quota — whether due to fatigue or some other engagement. Which means I need to be more productive on weekends, when I can engage in multiple sessions (say, morning and late afternoon), or on those particular weeknights when I’m on a roll.

Kim Wilkins recently shared one of her strategies along these lines: She’s divided her 30,000 word-per-month goal into 25 word-parcels of different sizes… and she picks one to write to on each of 25 days in the month, depending on her ‘other life’ schedule for that day. It’s a really cool idea.

This past Saturday, I wrote in the cafe (yay!), in the hair salon (there’s a first time for everything — waiting for the hair dye to do its thing gave me a good 45-60 minutes in a few broken up sessions), and on the couch in the evening.

It’s interesting, actually, what one will do when one is on a mission. Without NaNoWriMo, I would undoubtedly not have written in the hair salon… nor would I have dragged myself off to write on multiple occasions when away with the family last weekend. I would have just written the time off. NaNo is reconditioning me in many ways to put my writing first.

I am completely stoked to have produced 20K words in 12 days. But I am not going to get over-confident, because the dayjob does make it very difficult. Nonetheless, I remain optimistic and (importantly) motivated. I really want to nail this challenge!

20 comments

      1. Not well ๐Ÿ˜ฆ – I lost faith in myself for a few days and now I’m pretty far behind. But after reading your post, I signed onto the NaNo site and saw how far all of you have gotten ~ now I’m feeling super motivated! Gonna try to bang out a big number today and chocolate will play a key role ๐Ÿ™‚

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  1. Way to go, Ellen! I swear we are of one mind these days because I was feeling and thinking nearly the same thoughts about NaNo. I was content to just get more writing done than usual when I initially signed up. I haven’t done my daily writing yet, but I hope to leap over that 20K mark today.

    It has been fascinating how motivated I am by this and how far I’ll push myself to get that word count to a certain number. I never thought it would be that way for me.

    Bring on the chocolate and may the words flow freely from your fingertips the rest of the month! ๐Ÿ™‚

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  2. Congrats, Ellen…that’s fantastic. It’s amazing how much writing we can get done by using those smaller chunks of time we all get throughout the day.

    Lately I’ve been doing most of my writing in a paper notebook at school when I have spare moments I can steal. It’s helped me get pretty far along on a new writing project I’ve been putting together.

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      1. What you could do is set up a Simplenote account, then download the free iPhone app. You can sync Scrivener with Simplenote and bring your text in as new scrivenings. I’ve actually used this setup to write some fiction on my iPhone.

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          1. I use a Mac for writing and didn’t know the Windows version of Scrivener was different. Is there the option to sync to an external folder? If there’s an iPhone app for text editing that lets you save .txt files in a Dropbox account–and I have no idea if such an app exists–maybe you could sync with the Dropbox folder on your computer to import your writing?

            If it were me and I had no option for syncing, I’d probably just install Evernote on my phone and computer, write stuff on my phone in Evernote, then copy it from Evernote on my computer and paste it into Scrivener.

            It wouldn’t be very efficient, but it would probably take me less time than it does to type up all the stuff I’ve written by hand ๐Ÿ™‚ But writing with one of those primitive pen-things is actually kinda fun.

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          2. I was looking at synching to text with another mac scrivener user… The pc version doesn’t seem to support synching yet. It’s a bit behind. Although there may be an update I haven’t installed yet. The Evernote idea could work… Keep meaning to check Evernote out. (yeah, I have one of those pen things! There’s also the voice option, which I haven’t played with too much yet…)

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