13 November 2009

NaNoWriMo Update: Day 13 -- A Milestone

Daily Stats

Day 13 Word Quota: 2,500
Days 13 Words Written: 2,504
Cumulative Word Count: 17,519

My personal milestone

Friday marked a milestone for me: It was the first day I achieved my NaNoWriMo word count goal during the day before I had to go in for my shift at the Pork Palace.

In short, that meant that when I got home from work around 10:30 I was able to chill out, talk with my lovely wife, and indulge in some mindless relaxation (which in this case meant checking out some old "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" episodes on WB.com). It also meant, almost as importantly, that I wouldn't be sitting down in front of the computer, tired and brain-dead, trying to reach my word goal before I could get into bed.

Before I wrote word one for NaNoWriMo, I made a schedule for November that determined how many words I would need to write each day. I also included daily guidelines for achieving my word goal. Ideally, I would get up each writing day, spend 30 minutes to an hour surfing the web, checking mail, updating facebook, and so forth. Then there would be some general housework, with the rest of the non-workday committed to NaNoWriMo before I would get ready for my shift at the Pork Palace.

Ah, the best laid plans.

I've been trying to follow my my schedule, I really have. But I didn't count on my procrastinatory tendencies. I've been pretty bad about doing anything and everything around the house for hours before finally noticing that half the day was gone, and if I was going to get anywhere near my word count for the day, I would have to light a large, hot fire under my ass. By doing this, I put a lot of pressure on myself, and up until yesterday I was having to come in after work and write, staying up much later than normal just so I could reach my quota.

Thursday was such a day, and before I went to work I had somewhere in the neighborhood of 1,700 words done, with another 800 to do when I got home. I was tired and the writing didn't come easy, but I stuck with it and reached my quota sometime around 1:30 on Friday morning (about three hours later than when I normally like to hit the sheets).

The stage was set for Friday to be an underachieving day. I slept in, and got a later start on my writing than usual. But I was determined. I made myself sit at the computer, and by the time I started to get ready for work at three o'clock, I was excited to find that I had done 2,504 words. My quota was met! Done for the day! No late-night Friday writing!

So another day, another word goal met, another step closer to a first draft of what's turning into a fairly interesting novel. I'm working my plan, I'm having fun, and I'm learning about myself as I go.

It's hard to argue against that!

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