The 10k Day for Writers yesterday was quite an experience. I’ve never tried NaNoWriMo or anything with big numbers in a limited time, so wasn’t sure how I’d do. My previous high was 1500 words in one day. On normal days I’m happy to get 500. With the edits I’m focusing on, and the general procrastinations, and legitimate distractions (such as new house), I’ve probably written 1500 words (novel related) in the past three months.
So, I cleared my day. Once I got back from walking B to school, I had a good six hours to write before picking him up again. I wrote 3700 words! That’s more than double my previous record. No gold medal, but I’m very pleased with what I did. I learned that once I got into it, I write at about 1000 words/hour.
What I did right:
- Had notes/outlines for what I wanted to write
- Once I started, didn’t look back to edit or research
- If I wasn’t sure on a detail (ex name spelling), or had a comment for a tie-in earlier or later in the story, I used Piers Anthony’s method: put it in brackets right where I’m at, and keep going
- stopped every 1.5 to 2 hours to stretch, shower, eat, report in
- alerted my husband to my goals, so he could check in on me, make sure I was writing
- closed TweetDeck and browser during writing times
- had caffeine on hand to survive usual afternoon slump
What to improve for next time:
- corral husband into preparing dinner, and dealing with kid (maybe even picking him up), to keep writing streak going later in the day
- not take half an hour to really get started; even though I had read the previous chapter the day before, and had my notes, I still didn’t trust myself to just write
- have chocolate
And yes, there will be a next time. I will be signing up for next month when the RSVP goes up. I’m hoping my body and brain will be more ready for it next time, and I will beat my record. What I didn’t expect out of this was the aftermath. Today my brain is totally fried. I can’t seem to write a thing. And I took a one hour nap, which probably would have lasted longer if the dryer hadn’t buzzed.
NaNoWriMo has always scared, yet intrigued, me. I had a wonderful excuse of a pre-school aged child to deal with in previous years. This year he's in full-day kindergarten. And I just learned that I can write nearly 4k words in one day just during the hours he's at school. I may have to move NaNoWriMo off the "try someday" list to "give it a go this year." The biggest con is that I already have two WIPs going, and would have to start a new project for NaNo.
What have you done to challenge yourself lately? Have you participated in NaNoWriMo before?