Saturday, November 22, 2014

NaNoWriMo 2014: Week Two

(Yes, you're reading that correctly, I'm sorry this is a week's been a crazy week. Please keep in mind as you read that this is all from the perspective of the end of week two.)
I suppose you could say this week was sort of up and down-ish. But mostly up, I’m glad to say. Heh, so much for the two week slump. Although, as far as what to say, yes, there was a bit of a slump. But word count, well…read on for yourself…Here are my stats so far.

My week two stats are as follows:
Day Eight: 0 total word count
Day Nine: 1,546 total word count
Day Ten: 338 total word count
Day Eleven: 0 total word count
Day Twelve: 935 total word count
Day Thirteen: 1,025 total word count
Day Fourteen: 0 total word count

Week Two: 4,604 total word count

So yeah…after the first day of week two, I had a better week, at least when compared to week one. It's been a little rough as far as trying to get out of the slump of the beginning of the story. I think I finally decided to just skip ahead a bit and try to gauge when I would get to the main part of the story. But since I'm Pantsing this year, that's a little bit difficult to do.
I did find out two very exciting things about my potential that I never knew before. I'm still psyched about it too! Within the last 15-20 minutes before midnight on day 12, I wrote 639 words in a rush to up my count a little bit before the clock struck midnight and my novel turned into a pumpkin...wait...
Anyway, I had known before then that I could write 500 words in 30 minutes, but I didn't realize the potential hidden inside me. I didn't know that until I went searching for it. And you know what? It's a fantastic feeling and is still doing wonders for my confidence knowing what I'm capable of. But just wait, I'm not done yet...keep reading...
I further found out my potential that I never knew about in all my years of writing. @NaNoWordSprints on Twitter has been having #1k30min sprints throughout the month, meaning they were challenging WriMo's to write a thousand words in 30 minutes. Having found out that I could write almost that much in less than 20 minutes, I wanted to stretch myself further than I ever had before and just see if I could do it. Any boy did I. My fingers were flying across the keyboard like they never have before. And I. Made. It!! I wasn't sure if I could in the last few minutes, but I was close. But by the time the clock hit zero, I managed to crank out 1,025 words!
I think I've about decided to make December my month to focus on all the short stories I've been wanting to post on Wattpad/Booksie. I want to try to finish or edit them in hopes of beginning posting them either late December, or in January. I feel like that would be a pretty great way to start off the new year though, to do what I promised so long ago and post all of the shorts I've been working on. I wish I could've gotten around to it a long time ago, but every time I think about it again and realize all over again how much time has gone by since the last time I said "soon", I'm usually in the middle of some crazy day/week/month...etc. But I think I'm going to just make a stand against myself now and just decide to set aside some time just for those stories that have been so neglected. I feel like they've waited long enough to be read.
I've made quite a few new WriMo friends in the NaNoWriMo chat rooms this year too. I've actually kind of searched out a few rooms to see who all else was awake-at 3 or 4am. I'm glad I did too, there's some pretty cool WriMos out there. A couple of them are awesome enough to make a slight error in type just plain epic! For those who aren't as familiar with NaNoWriMo and it's inner workings, there are these chat rooms where we can interact with each other and share in the madness that is our chosen hobby/profession/whatever you may call it. In these chat rooms, we can arrange little word wars where we sort of compete against each other to see who can write the most words in a given amount of time-15 minutes is usually the most popular. Whether or not any of us consider it a true competition, it's still a great way to get more words written and get that much closer to that goal of 50,000 words by the time the clock hits midnight on the last day of November. Another type of war that can be held is a chain war, where a selected number of word wars are held back to back with a short break in between, as opposed to one war with however long of a break you wish. then, how, you may ask, did a couple of girls make this thing called a chain war into something epic? Remember the typo? I'm not sure what the original number was supposed to be, but it ended up being 300 10 minute wars back to back. One of them figured it out and it was going to be three days straight of the same war. All thanks to a typo. And now, since that one ended, there's one set up to continue til the end of the month. Pretty convenient when the chat rooms are quiet, or there's no one in the chat rooms, but you still want to war. It can be pretty motivating to war with yourself too. Try to beat your previous best enough, and who knows? You might just up your writing speed. Or discover a hidden potential you never knew existed. :)
To make things even more epic, there's now talk of creating a chain war at the start of next year's NaNoWriMo and have it run the entire month. Yeah, that's right, you read correctly. It's going to be so awesomely epic and I can't wait! If any other WriMos are interested, I'll share a little more detail on it the closer it gets...just don't let me forget, lol.

     Too much excitement to contain...

Sunday, November 9, 2014

NaNoWriMo 2014: Week One

Week one has been full of stress, interruptions or distractions and feeling discouraged from low counts. Also major computer complications. Brace yourself, my total count so far is pretty rough, and low. Here are my stats so far.

My week one stats are as follows:
Day One: 49 total word count
Day Two: 648 total word count
Day Three: 0 total word count
Day Four: 63 total word count
Day Five: 0 total word count
Day Six: 0 total word count
Day Seven: 0 total word count

Week One: 760 total word count

Needless to say, my NaNo this year has been really rough. All of those things mentioned at the top of the post have really taxing on me. Several days I didn't get any writing only because I was having major computer issues. I'm still sorting that out, it comes and goes.
Anyway though, I really wish I could say I had a much higher word count at the end of week one than I do, but it's just been a long, tiring week full of distractions or interruptions. If there wasn't some distraction around and I was actually able to get a moment to begin writing with some kind of focus, here came an interruption. Quite annoying when you're as far behind as I am. But I think I've decided to have two or three days (probably three by now) writathons with 5k goals. That should get me caught up...if I can sit and write with focus for long enough.
But that's another thing I've learned this year-well two things. I've always been a Planner through all NaNo experiences, and it's worked for me. I like having my plot planned out, having a guide from chapter to chapter. But this year, I decided to just try throwing the rule book out the window and being a Pantser just once, to see if I could do it (plus I just really want to get a first draft done already). What I learned: It does not work for me. At all. This year has been the most difficult to write even when I do get time to write because I only have a rough plan like the one I've had since I started this novel years ago. The plot hasn't changed much, but the beginning is feeling a lot harder because I'm trying to just make it to the main part of the plot without boring anyone-myself included. I'm glad this is only a draft and I can do a lot of editing to the beginning once I get it done. I know it could be so much better.
The second thing is how much it helps to learn how to turn off the inner editor. Granted, I'm still learning, but I have a start on it anyway. A lot of what's helping is using the website Once you set a word count goal, it forces you to write until you get to your goal and you cannot edit until you meet that goal. A little frustrating depending on how many typos you make. Oh, and you can only see one letter while you're typing. There is a preview button so you can see everything you've written-if you can handle not being able to edit your mistakes, that is. I know what you're thinking, "that's maddening, and you're crazy." And maybe I am. Wait, yes. I most definitely am. Hey, I'm a writer, it comes with the territory. But trust me on this, it takes a little getting used to, but once you get the hang of it, it could really help if you're behind (like I am) on word counts because it forces you to not edit. And if you're like me and write using that during a sprint or a word war, then copy and paste it over to Word (or whatever program you're using) and only tweak the writing so it makes sense, you'd be amazed at what a difference it makes in your total word counts per day. I found out this summer when I was introduced to the program that I apparently have the potential to write 500 words in 30 minutes. I never knew that before. I'm still working on my WPM speed to get it up so I can type faster, but I'm happy with my current speed too. :)
Hopefully next week I can report higher word counts and say that I'm caught up. A friend of mine told me just a couple of days ago that you share your talent with others. You can use it to entertain others, and make it about them and their enjoyment. Thinking about my writing in that way, I hope it will help my word count go up. I tend to think more about all the little details that goes into my writing-which is good, up to a point. But allowing the writing to take control in a bad way and quite possibly hinder the actual writing is something I'm realizing and need to learn how to kind of block that out. Whenever I get to the point of the novel where it takes over and begins to write itself (as I've heard so many others experience), I feel like it will be both thrilling because I'll feel more like a real writer, and the tiniest bit terrifying, but only a little bit. I'll just be so excited whenever I can finally say I have a finished draft. So here's hoping that will still be able to happen this month.

     Desperately wanting to catch up...