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Day One: A perhaps unremarkable beginning November 1, 2012

Posted by thejinx in enduring chaos, nanowrimo, writing.
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After having successfully participated in NaNoWriMo four times now, I have come to see some patterns in my progress.

For one thing, I always tend to start strong. 2,000 words is usually a slow start for me. In 2008, I wrote 10,000 words in the first two days of November – and even deleted about 1,000 words before ending up with that much. In 2010, the last time I participated, I even threw out silly ideas like ‘it’s not as much fun because it doesn’t seem like a challenge’ and ‘maybe I’ll try writing two novels to make it a real challenge.’

Spoiler: three times out of four, I have managed to reach 50,000 words on at earliest the last 2-3 days of the month.

I also suffer the mid-month slip. I always come up with excuses for it – it’s just this story, not the writing – but it happens and I usually if not always fall behind before the sobering final week arrives and a last push gets me across the finish line.

This year is going to be different. I knew that from the start. I do, after all, have a 15-month-old to take care of, though that shouldn’t be too much an excuse given that she goes to bed by 7:00. I know it will cause some lagging, though, and I should mentally prepare myself for the fact that I may not quite make 50,000 words this month.

Not that I’m setting myself up for failure; I’m in this to win it. In fact, the mere thought of not reaching 50,000 words for the first time since I seriously started participating in NaNoWriMo is a difficult pill to swallow. After so much success with this challenge, it’s hard to prepare myself to accept defeat if it should happen, no matter the reason.

Of course, right now, that’s a long way away. The month has only just begun. But I am breaking my pattern already. Instead of pushing myself to churn out as many words as possible on opening day, I wrote perhaps more like many participants, doing a word count every paragraph or two until I just broke the goal of 1,667 words and called it a day.

It’s the beginning of the month, I’m still out to write not just whatever drivel I might force onto the page but the foundations of a good book, and I’m content to keep a leisurely pace to start with. I know I should build a buffer, as I have a convention next weekend during which I will most likely not be able to write at all, and there’s no telling if any other plans might come up this month and impede progress, let alone the potential bad day with the little one making it difficult to write during the day.

For today, though, I won’t push myself beyond the minimum requirement. There is still plenty of month left in which to write, and the last couple hundred words dragged a little tonight.

Another pattern I am starting to recognize is how long it takes to write a scene at NaNoWriMo pace. The thought that this second scene of my book will quite possibly take a few days to write is an interesting thought.

Widget has been added to the sidebar. Now let’s see how consistent I can be with writing the book itself… and updating here about it.

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