Today is day fifteen. Yes, I’m fifteen days into a novel writing challenge. www.nanowrimo.org challenges writers each November (they have for 20 years) to write a 50,000 word novel in thirty days! October I did a little preparation. That came in the form of making some character bios and thinking about my story line- the plot. I had an orchard for my setting. If you do the math (but I’ll save you that) you need to write 1666 words per day. To give you an idea there is about 250 words on a double spaced page, so just shy of seven pages a day are required. Of course if life gets in the way, and you know it will, then you can double up or cram a ton of writing on the weekend.
I don’t advise getting laid off, but no one has a choice in that. I used a lay off to make lemonade out of the lemons I was given. I knew I had some days I wouldn’t be going to work and I could be writing. Not knowing when I would get called back I wanted to do as much as I could. Day one I was out of the starting gate, full speed ahead, writing over 4000 words. I kept up my schedule of two to three writing sessions per day. They were interspersed with barn chores and walks around our farm in the sun. I went out to eat with my husband with a gift card we had received. In other words I tried to stay human in the midst of an incredible writing marathon. I had warned my family in advance that November was my marathon month.
So how am I doing? On day thirteen I reached the NaNoWriMo goal of 50,000 words. It was a funny moment. I was writing along, fingers flying over the keyboard. All of sudden I stopped and looked down, I had stopped at exactly 50,000. I had started writing that session still needing 2000 words, I wasn’t watching just getting the story told. There it was that glittering moment I crossed a finish line. I had averaged 3800 words a day!
My novel isn’t done yet. I’m going back to work at my job soon and my writing may slow its pace. I will finish it this month. Can you read it you ask? No, not for a while, it needs lots of editing. Simple stuff like punctuation and grammar to start. There will be places I need to go back and explain something, words I may change for a better choice. Eventually I hope it will be published. This was my first foray in adult realistic fiction. I want to be sure my pacing holds a readers attention. I want to have some fact checkers look over some of my information.
What did I gain from NaNoWriMo 2019? I know when I put my writing first, I can be really productive. I have a first draft of a novel that’s a story I think needed to be told. I continued to practice my craft. I found a super supportive organization that is expertly run and brings community to the individual pursuit of being an author. If you like to write I highly suggest you check out the NaNo projects they have camps for shorter projects and individual goals.
Find them on Twitter @NaNoWriMo
on Instagram nanowrimo
a previous blog about the NaNo experience: http:??www.carolynstearnstoryteller.com/whats-this-nanowrimo/
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