Learnings from Unofficial NaNoWriMo – Week 1

Snoopy tries to find the right words...

My writing this past week has been slow, almost painfully so at times, but I have found having my mini goal to be quite useful. Although I am not working towards the massive 50,000 words all the official NaNoWriMo-ers are, I am still finding my 20,000 to be a daunting task. But having committed to it I am determined to do my best and see how I go. I am super jealous of all the massive word counts I’m seeing reported on Twitter and am so proud and happy for my friends who are doing so well. However, for me personally, I discovered by the end of last week that I have been concerned less and less about meeting a particular word count and more about just writing a bit each day.

My learnings from this first week of my unofficial NaNoWriMo are this:

  1. Write a little bit every day; even if it’s only for half an hour, even if it’s only a couple hundred words, I just have to keep practising.
  2. Stick to a routine; I have set myself a strict home time at work – I do my core hours and then I’m off. My supervisor is aware of the reason for this and is, thankfully, supportive – she even asks me how my writing is going every other day which is really nice.
  3. Remembering I’m in this for the long haul. This has been the vital epiphany of the week, I think, as it has given me a new goal for this month.

For me, I now want to finish up at the end of November, not necessarily having met my word goal (although that would still be nice) but with a whole new zest and attitude for my writing. I want to see it not just as a hobby but as my second job. I want to continue with the routine I am slowly establishing – ensuring I get away from work at a reasonable hour every day so that I can come home and spend an hour on my writing. I want to have time set aside on the weekends for my writing as well, so that I am doing some writing every day. Practise makes perfect and even if I can only afford half an hour before bedtime then that is still a couple hundred words which wouldn’t otherwise have been written that day.

So, at the end of November, 20,000 words or not, I want to have gone from the girl who procrastinated constantly and whose response to the question, ‘how’s your writing going?’ was always ‘yeah, it’s not.’ to the girl who writes everyday and makes excuses to not do something so that she can write. Whose response to the aforementioned question is ‘the writing’s going great guns, I’m almost finished the 1st (2nd / 3rd / etc) draft!’

Wish me luck… and watch this space!

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