Monday, November 1, 2010

#NaNoWriMo Diary of a newbie

Monday 1st November

National Novel Writing Month is here! I only decided to sign up to NaNoWriMo a few days ago and feel rather unprepared but I do have a vague storyline in my head so I am just going to push forward. I have linked up with some other writers aiming to complete the task and I think this will be what makes the task achievable. This blog post is going to be a series of entries during the month to let you know how I am getting on. I do plan to blog as normal but they will be less frequent. Wish me luck - I think I may need it, alongside large amounts of caffeine.

Tuesday 2nd November

First of all I just want to say thank you to everybody for their encouragement with regards to taking part in NaNoWriMo. It is rare in a writing project to have support in this kind of way and it is part of what makes this event unique.

I hand wrote most of yesterday's efforts and then discovered when typing up this morning it was short on the daily target. I'm happy to report I have managed to catch up today. I also had some very exciting news as well and I will do a blog post on that when it is officially announced.

I can see how this challenge could be a struggle and I am hoping to have days when my word count is more than the minimum but I am happy just to keep up for now. The difficulty is when you notice errors and the temptation to go back and edit is strong. I realise if I worry about that though I will never make it to the daily word counts. So I have been strong and ignored them. Now I just have to wonder when the National Novel Editing Month is? #NaNoEdMo

Wednesday 3rd November

Third day in and surprised to discover I am keeping up. I have to confess the quality of the work is probably lacking and I am doing far more 'running on the spot'writing than I would normally but the whole process is rather enjoyable. I tend to plan quite a lot with my writing and in this case I just haven't so any plot twists and turns are a nice surprise. I have already turned to chocolate though. Using NaNo as my excuse!

Friday 5th November - Playing catch up!

After a busy day yesterday and only managing about half the daily word count I am now playing a bit of catch up. I've caught up as much as I can today and it leaves me only 500 behind now. Thankfully I have the weekend to finish catch up. But considering it is past midnight it is now time for sleep!

Sunday 7th November

7 days in and I have to admit I am quite enjoying this! I know it is not for everybody but it is a fantastic excuse to just get on with your writing. Admittedly the plot is flawed and I have made some technical errors but these are things I am aware of and can fix later. For now I'm just enjoying the fact that I have a story in my head and I am giving myself the opportunity to get on and write it. At the moment I am not struggling with what to write. I think this will change in a week or so but for now it is going okay.

Tuesday 9th November

I'm still managing to keep up although really wanted to scrap something I just wrote but stopped myself. Even though the telling of the story is not 100% this process does push the story line on. Even if you are not completely happy with the idea (which happens quite frequently with writing) you continue with it all the same. It then gives rise to new twists and conflicts as you move on, the bland bits or badly written bits you can deal with later. My husband now asks "You managed your word count for the day?" on his return from work.

In other news I lost 2 and a half pounds at slimming world and for the first time received the Slimmer of the Week award. This is surprising as over #NaNoWriMo I have taken the advice to stock my house with chocolate and wine. I have both and have partaken in both over the past week. Okay so I have still been mostly good and used my syns towards the wine/chocolate moments but I did not expect to lose quite so much. I tend to lose about a pound each week so this is impressive for me. My main theory is that the increased word count has increased my level of finger exercise and thus I am burning more calories!

Thursday 11th November

Argh! Hit a busy patch in life and need to sort out plot! No time to blog, must got on with #NaNoWriMo!

Saturday 13th November

So after a couple of days panic I am now back on track. I have changed the plot slightly as I didn't like what I had written. It means that a small amount will be scrapped almost immediately but in the meantime it still gets included in the word count. I am now up to 20,000 words which is still slightly behind but not by much. I have a three day weekend and what better way to spend your annual leave other than writing. I do have to say a big thank you to Fiona Kendall who has been supporting me through #NaNoWriMo with very helpful emails and post! It has certainly helped me get over this glitch and will certainly help power me through the remaining seventeen days!

Monday 15th November

Half way through and I have survived! Very much hoping it is like a downhill race from now on and I won't even need to break out in a sweat. Nowt like wishful thinking!

Wednesday 17th November

I have hit the 30,000 mark and am slightly amazed I have managed it! It has become a force of habit to just spend a large chunk of the day writing and I'm beginning to wonder why I haven't treated writing like this before. Okay so in it's present state I am not delivering a spectacular novel. But this has forced me to write and for the most part I've actually enjoyed it. Most of what I have written will need a lot of work but some of the good parts will remain. It has helped develop the characters without me trying to come up with it all before starting, instead I have discovered them on the way. It is now less than 20,000 words to go and I am slightly ahead. I need to get more ahead now seen as I am heading out the country next Saturday and need to finalise my work count on Friday! So glad I have the next two days off work and no one at home to disturb me.

Sunday 21st November

Argh - where has the time gone? I am at the final push and it has got harder. The story line is there but writing fatigue has set in and I found myself going into first person by accident and the work is generally more tardy. This doesn't matter for the purpose of #NaNoWriMo but in normal circumstances I would take a bit of time out at this point. I have about 11,000 words remaining and five days to do them before I head off on a much needed holiday. This bit will be a struggle as my calender is quite busy with work as well. With any luck (or a loss of sleep) I will make it!

Wednesday 24th November

Only 4000 words to go now and I'm beginning to think I might actually finish not only in time but slightly ahead ready for holiday time! I have to admit to now checking my word count far more frequently and the writing quality is slightly poorer - BUT I have nearly made it! Tomorrow I will be setting my alarm early in a bid to finish! That's alongside a Rheumatology appointment at the hospital, meeting my friend for lunch and going to work for five hours. I'm rather determined to get it done and still have time to pack my bags - even if it does mean losing sleep!

Thursday 25th November

It's done! It's been an effort, especially getting finished ahead of time, but I managed it. I will do a proper blog about it sometime in December but for now I need a glass of wine and an early night!


  1. Good Luck Catherine - I have no doubt at all that you will cross that 50,000 word barrier :-)


  2. Hope it goes well for you, Katy - I'll be rooting for you! x

  3. Thank you to you both! Will be tough but managed day 1 so a good start :)

  4. Very best of luck. Keep us informed at Writing Buddies about your progress


  5. Thank you Jacqui! Hope to see you on Friday ;D

  6. Here, can you include the words you write here in your NaNoWriMo word count?

  7. I do hope so Simon! I'll save it for when I am really desperate (roundabout day 6 maybe?)

  8. Wow you're doing really great!