Post-NaNoWriMo

National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) came to an end on November 30. I started out strong, writing 2,021 words on the first day. To write 50,000 words in 30 days means writing about 1,667 words a day.

I hit my stride early, occasionally writing over 1,667 words. But I peaked early, and after that, I faltered and fizzled out. The total number of words I wrote for my novel is 23,927. I wrote a whole bunch of other words in my outline, but I didn’t think they counted. At one point, I changed my word count goal to 25,000, but I never made it.

I may not be an official “winner,” but I got a lot out of this. I learned that I have the ability to crack down and write and write and write. It didn’t matter if I wrote the scenes out of order, as long as they were written.

What tripped me up is my penchant for editing even before I write more of the story. I want to read and re-read the first chapter, and edit it along the way. When I was stuck, I wanted to re-read the new scenes I had written because I knew they needed revising. And revising was better than staring at a blank screen. But I didn’t think that would count towards my word count.

I did end up writing a lot more of my novel than before NaNoWriMo. I maybe doubled the overall word count. So the whole endeavor was satisfying.

Fresh Eyes

My novel outlining class doesn’t begin until mid-September, so I have some time on my hands. I’m kind of stuck with regard to my novel right now anyway. I only have part of the outline written and I’m not even sure if the way I formatted it is working for me. So I’m taking a break.

In the meantime, I’ve begun revising a short story I wrote about 5 years ago. It’s been sitting on my desk probably because I got bored of it. It’s the millionth draft, and when I looked at it the other day I saw more revisions that I can make. Looking at it now, with fresh eyes, I’m excited to work on it again.