Friday, November 27, 2009

Throwing in the towel on NaNoWriMo

This is the first time I haven't 'won' National Novel Writing Month since I gave it a try 4 years ago. This was my 5th attempt. There are still almost 4 days to go in November. So, why am I giving up now?
  1. With only 4 days to go, I have just over 1/2 my word count yet to write. That's over 6,000 words per day. I've managed one 4,500 word. Even if I had nothing else happening on those 4 days (like my day job on Monday), the probabilities are against me.
  2. My excuses for such a poor word count stem mainly from getting a late start. Trying to return from a long vacation and hit the ground running with a writing project was a bit over-ambitious. Then there were a couple of sick days when my brain wouldn't work. About a week ago, I figured out that I was about 10 days behind. I made up a few of those, but not enough.
  3. My other excuse probably stems from having been writing fiction for 4 years. I just could not build up momentum because I kept paying too much attention to the characters and story. I just couldn't let go and slam stuff out.
  4. As usual, I didn't have enough of my story planned out before I dove in. I kept writing my way into it and was about to get started on my third story angle. I do like this new angle. It's promising. But I want to flesh it out and give it the attention it deserves. This sort of goes back to the previous point where I couldn't just keep driving down a dead end once I saw it was a dead end.
  5. I wanted my life back. I needed to get some stuff done this weekend that didn't involve staring at the screen waiting for words to come out of my fingers.
Am I sorry I even tried? No. As usual, I got to learn more about the writing process and my strengths and weaknesses.

Will I try it again? Perhaps. It will depend on where I am in the process next year. If I'm finally in the middle of finishing off the first draft or first (or second edit) of a story (maybe this one), I will probably stick with it until it's done (at least I hope I will).

In the meantime, I'm going to keep on reading. Nothing is more motivating for me to write than to experience a good story and think that I might be able to do that. Except maybe reading something like 'Atlantis Found' by Clive Cussler and being pretty sure that I can write better than that.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Broke 1000

That's not really a big accomplishment, considering it's day 5 of NaNoWriMo and I'm supposed to be somewhere between 8000 and 10000 words. But at least I'm getting some stuff down. I'm still hopeful that I can get some big numbers this weekend and maybe even catch up (if not get ahead).

Monday, November 2, 2009

NaNoWriMo begins

I'm a day late and a couple thousand words short. But I've begun and that's what counts. National Novel Writing Month is all about overcoming inertia (getting started) and building momentum.

Word count: 375