Tuesday, November 22, 2011

NaNo ... veteran?

I've just stopped long enough to read the last few posts about
NaNo - clearly I've been too involved in NaNo to stop and
read much of anything for the last oh, 22 days.

I guess I'm a NaNo veteran because I've been doing it since
2008.  Not as long as some out there have been, but long
enough to know just what the month of November means to
a writer involved.   My first year I was smokin' !  Having enrolled
late, somewhere around the 9th of the month and finishing early.
Obviously my 'day job' at that point didn't take up a lot of my
time. lol   The book I wrote that first year was actually published
after many months of fixing it.   The next few
years weren't as fast paced as the first, but I have still managed
to slide across the finish line with no recollection of what day or
time it was.

This year I've been pushing it to the limit trying to get it done
while working full time and completing a month long book tour.
It's been exhausting, but still invigorating to do.  I reached
40k by the half way mark so I could coast for the last half, knowing
my motivation and energy would dwindle for the home stretch.

I have a friend that signed on this year and she's been struggling
quite a bit.  She's been too focused on that big 5-0 at the end.
I told her my secret to getting there without losing all sanity and
from the last few posts on here, I think I'll share it with everyone
at RtM too!

Don't look back.  That's the main thing I do to cross that finish
line before December 1st.  I write, with minimal corrections - only
those newly created typo words get fixed as I go (what can I say
they flash at me like beacons).  Each day before I pick up where
I left off, I take ten minutes (no more) and read what I blundered
onto the page the day before, mostly to pick up the same flow I
had going on ... then I just write.  Corrections can be done in
December!  Little plot oops's can be fixed in December!  I've had
to scrap entire chapters in the following months because my brain
and characters were all over the place.

I also carry a notebook with me everywhere when I'm not writing -
yes I can be found hiding in the back room at work scribbling like
a mad scientist in a notebook - if your plot is rolling and your characters
are willing to run for you, then write it down!  Guaranteed if you have
that 'great idea' for the story when your nowhere near the computer, it
will vanish like free chocolate if you don't jot down enough to bring
the scene back to you.  Somedays I'd never get any word count posted
if it wasn't for translating that scribbling into scenes.

Last thing I do - I don't watch that word count thingy!  I set a goal -
write a chapter a day, two chapters, 500 words or 1000 words...
set your own goal and plod ahead towards your goal.  Before you
know it you'll take a peak at that nifty little graph in your NaNo stats
and see that your doing just fine.

In my eyes, anyone that signs up and attempts to complete this thirty
day marathon .. is a winner!


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