Encouragement for Lower Word Counts: NaNoWriMo 2019 Report #1

This first third of NaNo has not been my best first third of NaNo ever. I’ve averaged about 1k per day of actual writing. That’s about 700 words per day short of where I should be, which I’ll need to make up, of course.

However, it’s not unusual. Sometimes you get a rocky start. It’s ok. If you’re out there doing NaNo and you’re ready to give up because you’re already really behind, please rest assured that I’ve seen recoveries enough to know they’re possible, from anyone.

And there’s probably a good reason you fell behind. You’re out of practice because you haven’t written anything in months, maybe years. You’re busy because it’s November and November is a crazy month. You’re exhausted because you have other responsibilities. And all of that is legitimate, valid, and ok. You’re going to be ok.

Me? Well, I’m working too much, planning a wedding, and this week I got hit HARD with something that may or may not be strep throat (the test was negative, but apparently it only tests one or two strains, so it could be strep throat!). I mean hard. I spent all of Wednesday and most of Thursday in bed. I’m very fortunate that I have a job that’s flexible and I was able to just cancel class for one day and I’ll just shift work around. It’ll be fine. But I’m still weak and recovering. I went to church on Sunday and was exhausted from just one hour of worship. Seriously.

Like me, you’ve got your own unexpected stuff going on. Of course you do. Forgive yourself. You didn’t do NaNoWriMo to shame yourself for not writing enough. You did it to write more than you normally do in a month. Did you do that? You win.

As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve done and won NaNoWriMo every year since 2005. Sometimes at this point in the month I’m approaching or past 25k. Sometimes at this point in the month I’m right on target. And sometimes, like this year, I’m considerably behind and struggling. But every year, I cross that finish line somehow, because deadlines are magical, and there’s a lot of month left.

Remember that if you miss a day it doesn’t mean you have to do double the next day. You just do a little more over several days and it works out. And remember to forgive yourself. You can’t take back a day and make it better, but you can adjust course as you go and make the next days better.

Take care of yourself, Wrimo. I’m cheering for you.


Report by the numbers

  • Days of NaNoWriMo 2019: 10
  • Wordcount (at the time of writing, which is Sunday afternoon): 9,661
  • Chapters: 4
  • Write-ins attended: 1 (sorry for cancelling the other, y’all)
  • Days written: 9
  • Days spent mostly unconscious because of illness: 1.5
  • Character count: Like, 7 named characters I think?
  • Characters killed off: Hard to count. -2? I mean, seriously, the whole premise is people sometimes un-die.
  • Favorite character so far: The cat Scruff of course, but the bi owner of the local gay bar (who has only been mentioned, mind you) named Maxwell is a pretty close second ๐Ÿ™‚
  • Favorite thing about this novel: Creating random new characters
  • Least favorite thing about this novel: Setting. Seriously, I knew before I started that it would be weird writing something in the present “real” world. It’s the first time I’ve attempted this, apart from some portal fantasy that has one foot in both. It’s been a real struggle. “Write what you know,” they say. Well, the fact is, there’s a lot I don’t know about the real world and I’m feeling it.

PS: If you need someone to cheer you on, add me as a buddy on the NaNoWriMo website and send me a message. My username is Valanice. I’ll even find some time to do some wars with you. Seriously. Goodness knows I could use the wars too ๐Ÿ™‚

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