I suppose I should talk about NaNoWriMo. About juggling multiple projects in a month-long attempt to write 50,000 words.
I did the same for last year’s NaNoWriMo in this post and that format seems as good as any to rip off and use again.
- Complete a new draft of Love & Pickpockets, goal of 7,500 words – Check! Completed 11/4 at 8,013 words
- Complete a new draft of The Bantam, goal of 18,000 word – Check! Completed 11/14 at 19,326 words
- Complete new drafts of serialized short stories for Patreon supporters (5 @ ~2K words ea) – Check!
- Ep 1 Finished on 11/18 at 2,780 words
- Ep 2 Finished on 11/21 at 1,251 words
- Reached 10,293 on 11/25 with 7 full or partial episodes
- Complete a new draft of The Keeper, goal of 7,500 words – Did not begin
- Complete a new draft of A Path in the Sand, goal of 13,000 words – Did not begin
- Complete a new draft of Bad Apple, goal of 20,000 words – Did not begin
- Estimated word count goal: 50,000 – Nope. 37,632.
- Have tons of write-ins for all the WriMos in my region – Check! Not as many as last year because the libraries declined participation and some of the writing workshops moved away, but we still had five events with great turn out!
How far did I get?
- Despite a strong start, I ended up far behind once I started working on the Patreon episodes, and suffered some serious resistance after I finished them. I wasn’t happy with how they turned out, and had a mental block moving forward when I found I’d left a lot of prep work unfinished on the other projects I wanted to work on.
- I ended with 37,632 words
- Last year we had house guests to start out the month and I was happy to get my work done anyway. This year the house guest came at the end of the month and I was overconfident in my ability to work with a guest in the house. I was not prepared for that guest to be as early to rise as I am! Especially considering she is from the west coast and my alarm is set for 2 am equivalent in her time.
- I had trouble getting my mind in order to even begin NaNoWriMo this year. I was still trying to decide what I would work on mid-way through October, and didn’t begin outlines until the last week. I was also still working on my Salvage revision up until October 31. Last year, I already had an outline at the end of September and felt well guided through the plot of my story. I think breaking up NaNoWriMo between multiple projects required more preparation, but I gave it less if I’m being honest.
- I hit a wall when I went to start my eighth project (following the Patreon episodes) and discovered I’d left a huge gap in my plot prep. I was reading Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein in preparation to write that one, and left the story’s third act to design after I had informed myself from the classic. Unfortunately I did not remember this when I did finish Shelley’s book, and was extremely daunted by the blank spots in my outline. Combine this with the resistance I was feeling by that point in the month, after struggling to rewrite the Patreon episodes, and I really did my own head in.
- Knowing the struggle I had to re-draft the Patreon episodes, I was afraid to then move on to another project in the list. Both of those had existing text I planned to draw from, and I felt gun-shy to attempt re-drafting again.
- Not that I didn’t already know it, but I am not a pantser. I could probably train myself to write by the seat of my pants and explore a story that way, but the habits I’ve established are such that I feel far more confident in writing when I have already decided where I’m going, at least broadly.
- Knowing I had company coming, I could have spent more lunch hours writing, but early in the month I was overconfident and used my lunch breaks to run errands and just get out of the office.
- I need to plan to write entirely new drafts. Having words that already exist make it hard for me to let loose and write with abandon.
- Hubris. I was surprised by how over-confident I was, especially going into the month with so little prep work completed.
- On Dec 1, I revised Love & Pickpockets and sent it to Parvus for their review and comments.
- I’m half-way through a revision of The Bantam. Hope to finish that today (between my lunch break and an evening session).
- My goal is to finish both the Patreon content and my current revision of Salvage by the end of the year. To that aim, I am scheduling my time for each. Mondays and Tuesdays I will spend on the new content from November, and the rest of the week I will be working through the remaining 80K or so of Salvage.
- Have a coaching session for The Bantam and look at the direction of its following episodes with my editor (aiming for next week).