NaNoWriMo: The First Half

So we’re a little over halfway through this year’s NaNoWriMo, and my draft is sitting at an even 20k.

Week One went swimmingly. I was still off from work on the tail end of recovering from surgery for the first two days of November, so I was able to get a great head start. I hit 10k in those two days! Then, I snail’s paced on until the weekend, where I sprinted my way up to the 20k mark. I was steadily adding a few hundred words each work day and got myself solidly ahead on days off. Woo hoo!

Writing with an outline has been WONDERFUL. I’ve written with outlines before, but they were hastily-designed outlines and thus caused more problems than anything. This time, I spent time not only writing an outline, but revising that outline, and moving it around, and working out all the major plot and subplot developments until I was happy with the structure. This has made high-speed drafting SO MUCH EASIER. I know what I need to write, I have everything broken into scenes, and I can whip out a few of those scenes in one writing session. I am never, ever writing any other way ever again. I am so excited to outline about a million other projects and am trying very hard to keep them until December. (Go away, ideas! I don’t want to see you until next month.)

Week Two was going fine until, well, the presidential election. I stayed up late, was overtired and grieving for several days, and by then had no momentum and no motivation. Honestly, this year’s NaNo project is small-scale and personal, and my heart and focus were simply locked on bigger in light of events. If art is political and all that, well, I need to do better. We all do, I suppose, but I’m ready to get on with my small part.

I wrote 1,004 words today. I could still pull this off if I get back to my Week One pace. I think there may be some value in finishing, even if I decide I want to toss the damn thing in a drawer and move on to a different project next month. Follow through, and all that. I’m not going to be too upset if this year isn’t a win, though. I already got some valuable lessons from this project and I feel good about heading into December with new writing projects.

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