NaNoWriMo, Week 3

NaNoWriMo Week 3 Statistics:

Words Written This Week: 11,783

Total Word Count: 37,434

Percentage Complete (assuming 50K words): 75%

Chapters Written: 17

How it’s going so far: I was astonished when I realized, last Wednesday, that I had already surpassed the total number of words I’ve ever written on a novel during my previous best month (20-25K; I’ve never kept exact track, but that’s about right). And I was only halfway through the month.

The NaNoWriMo challenge has made me feel very energized and optimistic about future projects. 50,000 words isn’t realistic every month (not when I’m working full-time; not even next month when I’m preparing for the holidays) but it’s realistic a few times a year, and I can hit higher targets on the other months than I had done before. I still expect to need several weeks in between novel drafts to let things rest, work on character development, and do research, but writing each draft should go faster. Theoretically, if I can do one 50K month and one 30-40K month, I could write an entire draft of a historical novel in two months. That’s a LOT faster than the 4-6 months it usually takes.

In contrast, it’s a little depressing that I’ve been a dedicated writer for six years now and am only just now getting to this level of productivity. And it’s not even NaNoWriMo that got me there, really. It’s the work I did last summer with re-structuring my writing so I could do more with less time: more pre-planning, distraction-free pomodoros, and practicing my focus on continuous writing. I don’t stare at the screen for minutes at a time, wondering what happens next. I have enough of a plan in place that I know, at least roughly, what to write; and enough wiggle room to make creative decisions on the fly, which keeps the joy in the writing. I wouldn’t have been able to do this challenge (I wouldn’t have even attempted it) if not for those changes to productivity I’d already made. What NaNoWriMo has done for me is given me the pride and confidence to continue on that productive path.

In that sense, I can thank having children for making me a more productive writer, because if I had more time, I wouldn’t have been forced to do the most with the time I had. When this season of life is over, and my children don’t need me as much, I’ll have more time to write, but I’ll also have years of experience writing fast and with focus.

How’s your big project going this month?

2 Responses to “NaNoWriMo, Week 3”

  1. Sara L. says:

    Yay! You’re getting close, Leanne! Keep up the good work, and I wish you and your family a Happy Thanksgiving. 🙂

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