it has started…
NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month (should probably be interNational Novel Writing Month)) has started!
The goal is to write 50 000 words in 30 days from 1st November to the 30th of November. It can be whatever you want to write, but I did the classic and started the 1st chapter of my new novel 🤗
My project is a cosy crime featuring a main character named August Fox Croft. He is a retired journalist and prefers to spend the entire day in the garden instead of anything else. But then a skeleton is found in the community allotments. The very same community allotments Croft is responsible for and where he and the village had grown vegetables for their shared community Christmas dinner! How will they now have enough vegetables to feed a village?
Not the best synopsis but I’m working on it 😂
I’m surprised I can write something that doesn’t include any magic. That’s magical in itself… 😝
So far, I’m behind on my word count. I expected that. I know I don’t do well during the weekdays and I don’t like to pressure myself to do all that writing after a day in the office typing. Last year, I took every Wednesday off so I could have a mid-week catch-up with my writing. This year, work is too busy for me to do mid-week so I have taken ever Friday off but with flexibility and I can change it whenever I want. That means the weekdays will be bad word counts while the weekend will be a good word count. Friday is my main catchup session and then I hope tomorrow will get me ahead and Sunday a little further so I can start on Monday with a head start.
During the first weekend of NaNo I did fairly well (almost 3k on Saturday!) and started the week ahead of schedule (as planned). On Monday, I only did 14 words. BUT at least I did writing and updated my word count. I’m totally going for the “word count updates for 30 days”-badge. I’m a sucker for it. And it makes me write every day even though it’s only 14 words – it’s still more than 0. For the rest of the week, I did between 200-600 words a day, which is ok. Friday (8th) I didn’t manage to catch-up but I did do 1k. I got distracted by gardening and my new wormery!
The graph below is my official NaNo progress graph. The straight line is the progress you would have if you wrote 1667 words a day as suggested by NaNo, and within 30 days you would have 50 010 words. The wiggly line is my actual progress. You can see my weekend boost and my weekday slug.
Last year I did a spread in my bullet journal featuring gems with 50 boxes to colour in. For every 1000 words I wrote, I could colour in a box in the gems. At 50k it would be all coloured in and it would be a visual representation of my creation: wonderful gems!
This year I have a different motive. I have gone for a visual representation of the journey of NaNo. I have pencilled it in and for every 1000 words, I ink in the lines (black or grey) and colour in the area. I will slowly work my way up the mountains up to the highest peak and the 50k box is the sun or moon, I haven’t decided which yet. This is how it looks after Day 8:
In 2017 I had an idea, a beginning and an end but no body and no outline.
In 2018, I outlined everything (almost). I feel much better prepared and I feel that I didn’t have to worry about what happens next because it’s already planned out in my notes.
This year I have an outline fully fleshed out with a few bits and pieces of uncertainties.
So far, it’s going ok. I do struggle to sit down and actually write. I remember last year I couldn’t stop writing and ended up writing some at work (naughty). This year I haven’t even had the thought. This story is less all-encompassing than last years story. I still love Jac from 2018, and I do love Croft from 2019. But Jac had a way of getting into my head while Croft is staying outside. Maybe that says something about their differences in morals… 😂
I attended the virtual write-in on the 2nd and really enjoyed that. I had a really good day on the 2nd. On the 3rd I went to do a local write-in in person. That was very different. We sat in a local cafe all with our laptops (apart from one how had his notepad and pen 😯) out and typing away. I found it tricky to actually write. I am a massive people watcher and found myself watching other people rather than typing. But I guess it’s a skill I could develop further. I think I will go again this weekend.
For those of you how don’t know, I have RSI (Repetitive Strain Injury) in hands, fingers and arms – fun times. I got it in 2017 and I’ve slowly recovered since.
I have felt good for the last 6 months depending on my workload and amount of time spent on the laptop and in the car.
This first week has been interesting. I’ve done my physio exercises every day as always. I feel minor soreness and pain during writing but nothing too bad. The worst times are during office hours when I do a lot of scrolling at work for research. That gets to me. Also currently I recover very quickly. I only need 3-4h with no hand work for the pain to go away. That is a new development in my recovery and I’m very pleased about it 😁
Word by word people. Not day by day.
Good luck to all the other NaNoWriMos out there! Just keep swimming 🐠