Monday, 26 September 2011

NaNo Prep - 35 days to go!

Day five in the big NaNo house... I got up.

That was about it for day five of my NaNo prep. If you missed the earlier post, I signed up for National Novel Writing Month or NaNoWriMo - if like me you like your acronyms.

I've been very conscious since signing up that this is a very big deal. Writing 50,000 words in a month when I've got a family and a full time job is going to be tough. The job and family will take priority.

But, I really want to achieve the target - complete a 50,000 word novel.

My Goal 1: To write an enjoyable, bestselling novel!

That is it - my top goal, first thing on my mind whenever I start thinking about what I want to do with my life. I can't force anything I write to become a bestseller but I can keep writing and improving and someday...

So, what do you do when you know you've got a big challenge heading your way?

Writing a novel is a marathon, not a sprint. I reckon that is an ideal analogy. I've been thinking I need to discipline myself, get myself in shape. I didn't know if I could physically write 2300 words a day (what I've calculated I will need to write each week day of November to hit my goal) when I signed up and so I started testing myself.

I started fairly small. I timed myself freewriting for a minute. I found I could write 43 words in a minute. I tried two minutes. I managed 83. My average was heading down. If I could write 40 words a minute though - that would be an hour a day! I could fit that in, couldn't I?

I suspected I may need two hours a day because I would flag and I want the novel to have a plot which will require some thinking as I write. A week past Friday I had a brain wave. One of those ideas that strike and I knew I had to write a story. I started writing with pen and notebook, in bed, at 11:15pm. I decided to push myself and see how long I could write for. I was tired but kept going. Seven doubled sided A4 pages later it was 01:20am and I collapsed feeling quite pleased with myself. I reckoned I had written at least 2,000 words. It took me a couple more hours over this last week to type up my story and I discovered I had hit my target - 2,360 words!

The story wasn't finished and so I decided to use it to further test myself, getting up an hour earlier and initially typing up the handwritten pages for a time before adding to the story. I managed to do this Monday through Wednesday and added another 1,000 words. Not spectacular but a start at disciplining myself. Then I had another brainstorm on Wednesday evening.

I had a completely different idea and speed wrote again for two hours. This time - while typing - I managed 2,800 words! I allowed myself to sleep in on Thursday:)

Day five - I managed to get up early but got distracted. I have 35 days to go and then the real fun begins except, I'm having fun right now! Signing up for NaNo has given me a real buzz and ideas are sparking again.

Do you want to write a novel? Have you signed up for NaNo?

Let me know if you have or just buddie me! My user name is Frozbie (don't ask - it's not that great a story!)

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