17 November 2009

NaNoWriMo Update: Day 16 -- Midterm review

Daily Stats

Day 16 Word Quota: 2,500
Days 16 Words Written: 3,696
Cumulative Word Count: 25,087

Midterm Review

Monday was a big day for a couple of reasons. For one, I had my second-highest daily output since I began NaNoWriMo. Second, I hit the word-count midpoint for the month; a big deal in and of itself, but I think it's more significant for me that I hit it on schedule.

I feel good about this, and I think I should feel good about it. I put a lot of work and planning into this project/challenge/bit of madness. Seeing that magical halfway mark appear when I planned for it to do so is a nice bit of affirmation for the work I'm doing.

I expected these past two weeks to be filled with agony. I anticipated writing into the wee hours of the night, every night, connected to a straight caffeine I.V. and pulling my hair out while I wrestled with character and plot.

Hasn't happened. It's been -- I can't say easy, because it's not -- but enjoyable. And as November has progressed, my writing is coming easier and I'm having fun. I suppose it is much like undertaking a new exercise regimen; the more you do it, the easier it becomes and the more you enjoy it.

Problem issues

There have been problems, to be sure. Disposing of my inner editor was the biggest one, but I shipped him off to parts unknown in a small, cramped crate. Which is actually fairly humane and better treatment than he deserved. My inner editor is a jerk, but I will start listening to him when he returns in January.

Procrastination is another issue, but I think I've finally, truly realized that Snakebit isn't going to write itself. The greatest ideas in my head don't mean squat if I don't make the time to sit at the keyboard and actually get them out of my head.

I also had to get used to the idea that the first draft wasn't going to be perfect. I am certain that the eventual Snakebit manuscript will be something quite different from what I'm putting out this month. I really started moving along when I could tell myself that I'm laying a foundation.

Imperfect is okay (for now)

Knowing that I didn't have to be perfect also affected me in another positive manner: I started cranking out material. I have been surprised at how many words I can get out in a day. The episodes for my other writing project, Committed, also run about 2,500 words each. I would sweat and strain and fuss over those episodes for a week, and often longer. I considered a 1,000 word day as an exceptional output. Not any more. I like that a lot, and I plan for this new productivity to carry over to other projects once NaNoWriMo is done.

One more thing: I'm finding that finishing 50,000 words will only get me about three-quarters of the way through the novel. While the 50,000 word goal is a good one -- and one that I think is definitely in sight -- I want to finish the book. Looks like I'll be upping my word quotas. Can I do 3,500 a day? Every day? I want to give it a shot.

So I am eager to get going with the rest of the month. I'm caught up, I'm working my plan, and I'm going to end up with something I've wanted for a long, long time.

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