My first NaNoWriMo

Winner, winner, chicken dinner

Off the top, I have to say this: I won!  My first time out and I won 🙂

Backtracking to my trip to Surrey

Before I even left, I was considering NaNo. The municipal liaison came out to the Sudbury Writers’ Guild meeting in September to promote. My leave would be until November 18, 2013, so I thought I’d probably have a chance.

While at SiWC, I heard several people talking about NaNo and how it had really helped them get their ideas down, break through writers’ block, built their confidence, and so forth.

By the time I got back, I was determined to give it a try.

I chose a project that I had outlined years ago. I’d had a little bit written, but I hadn’t touched it in years.

I was going to start over in any case.

The power of planning

I knew I was going away for a few days to visit some friends, and that I’d be going back to work before the month was out. I started out by front loading the work, trying to move ahead quickly at the beginning so I could coast a bit at the end if I needed to.

Still, when I went back to work, there were a few low count nights. I was worried.

To make time for my writing in the evenings when I went back to work, I tried using my smart(er than me) phone to keep track of my email and social media.

I got up a half-hour earlier than usual to check Facebook, WordPress follows, and my Feedly follows and share the interesting stuff on Twitter and Google+.

The pilgrim’s progress

Here’s a convenient table for you:

Day Count Total + or –
1 2161 2161 +494
2 2284 4445 +1111
3 2325 6770 +1769
4 travel 0 6770 +102
5 2122 8892 +557
6 travel 0 8892 -1110
7 1877 10769 -900
8 2168 12937 -399
9 2190 15127 +124
10 1675 16802 +132
11 1721 18528 +191
12 2284 20812 +808
13 2008 22820 +1149
14 1699 24519 +1181
15 1684 26203 +1198
16 1894 28097 +1425
17 1668 29801 +1462
18 1727 31528 +1522
19 return to work 1181 32709 +1036
20 549 33258 +82
21 507 33765 -1242
22 1822 35587 -1087
23 1814 37301 -1040
24 1707 39008 -1000
25 1731 40739 -936
26 1677 42416 -926
27 1692 44108 -901
28 757 44865 -1811
29 2232 47097 -1246
30 3802 50899 +899

What I learned

I don’t think I could do this working full time.

Having said that, it was fantastic to know that I could pull a 50000+ word draft together in 30 days. It was interesting to me because my first novel took me a year to write, working in the evenings and on weekends.

It gives me hope that if I do end up getting a deal for my work at some point and am asked to pump out sequels in swift succession, I should be able to do so. Also, if I end up going the self-publishing route, it’s always good to have moar material out there. If people like what I write, I can potentially supply the demand.

While my Samsung Galaxy Note II is quite lovely, I don’t think that I could manage my social media long term using it alone. Some of the information so easily accessible on my desktop is not so convenient to find in an Android app version of the program. Also, some things don’t translate well. Though the Feedly app appears to allow FB mentions in a post, it does not actually include them when posting to FB.

I have a few strange-looking posts over the last couple of weeks, and was not able to keep track of anyone’s birthdays on my phone, so apologies to anyone I may have offended or missed as a result.

Again, it’s good to know that I can do a minimally good job of maintaining my social media from my phone if need be.

Today, except for these blog posts, I have not written. I’ll get back on that horse shortly. I’ve also had to let a few submission deadlines slide because I just couldn’t manage to do it all. Everyone has their limits.

Coming up

I’ll be blogging in the future about my writing plans moving forward as well as a little about work. Interesting times I live in 😉

Writerly Goodness, signing off.

9 thoughts on “My first NaNoWriMo

  1. Congratlations, Melanie! Happy you did it! I did not – but I have the beginning of a novel, so I’m not totally disgusted with myself. I do work full time, and you’re right. It is difficult. Besides, I’m old. 🙂 Looking forward to more about what you wrote.


  2. Hi Melanie; I enjoy reading your postings even though being outside the loop I’m sometimes not quite sure what it is all about. I do recognize though that you have accomplished a difficult goal. and are to be congratulated on that and you achievement of validation in such a large field of entrants ,,,, But then we’ve always been proud of you!
    your ever lovin’ Aunt Margaret and Uncle Walter


    • Just so you know, and I probably should have put this in the post itself because not everyone knows what the heck NaNoWriMo is … It’s national novel writing month. It’s been around for a few years and is primarily motivational. The goal is to produce a 50,000 word “novel” in November. Which means writing about 1667 words a day, or about 7-8 pages, depending on your word processor. Usually, when I’m writing new material, between 2 and 5 pages a day is great for me, and more often than not, 2-3 is all I manage. So this was a monumental accomplishment for me.
      Having said that, NaNoWriMo is also a registered charity (in the States) and does a lot of literacy work in schools.
      I also just got my winner email with all of my NaNo deals. Mostly, it’s discounts on self-publishing packages, which I don’t think I’ll be ready to use by the expiry dates, but the one thing I will give myself as a reward is Scrivener. It’s a writing program about which a lot of writers I know have very good things to say. So I’m getting it at 50% off 🙂
      And a last bit of perspective: the average young-adult novel (the genre of my NaNo project) runs between 67,000 and 70,000 words. So I have a workable draft to revise and start flogging.


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