“15,000 Words in 3 Days” Challenge – Day 2

I’m 2 hours in (writing hours!) and I have 1,952 words done. I’m on pace to finish my 5,000 and then some in about four more hours. Of course, I know better than to count on that with my track record. ;)

I want to do today’s 5,000 and at least half of yesterday’s shortfall. Yesterday I came up 1,064 words short on my 5,000. I’ve been very pleased so far though. I’m not sure why, but I’ve hit a real stride on this book and it’s just breezing along! Lots of action, dialogue, and some judicious narration are keeping things going nicely.

It’s totally nap time though. Lunch on the other hand is long over so I should have a really good, productive afternoon once I get my nap out of the way.

Update #2: Three and a half hours in (writing hours!) at 3:32 pm and I’ve got 2,814 words. That’s a better than average pace for me at about 800 wph and I’m on track to finish in about three and a half hours if I keep it up. So, I’m half the way there.

Update #3: Five and a half hours in (writing hours! ) at 10:45 pm and I’ve got 3,843 words. I’m going to push for my goal even though I’d rather be sleeping. I already know I’ll probably sleep in. :o

Update #4: Well over six hours and midnight has come and gone. So, I’m calling it at 4,486 words. Now off to bed so I can at least attempt to do this again tomorrow!

A “15,000 Words in 3 Days” Challenge for Myself

I don’t know if I mentioned that my participation this year in NaNoWriMo is as a NaNo Rebel. I didn’t plan that but when November rolled around, I hadn’t finished the book I was already writing, and I knew I couldn’t abandon it to start something new.

Well, I’m about 15,000 from the end of my book. (I hope!) So. I’m going to try to challenge myself to write 5,000 words a day for the next three days and see if I can finish this thing before Thanksgiving. ;)

That’s 15,000 words in 3 days. I don’t have a great track record for these kinds of challenges, but I want to give it a shot. I’ve dragged the writing of this book out longer than I should’ve and I really want to finish it by the end of the month.

Here’s the thing. Because I track my daily word counts in a spreadsheet, I can tell you exactly how many times I’ve managed to write 5,000 words in one day and when that was.

August 16, 2013
June 17, 2013
April 19, 2013
November 8, 2012

And that’s it.

So this really is a big personal challenge for me.

5,000 words in a day has usually taken me about 6.5 hours of hard core writing. But I’ve written for 6.5 hours many days and not reached 5,000 words. It all seems to depend on if I get in a zone and stay there. I’m going to write in 30 minute blocks today with 5–10 minutes between them, and lunch and a nap in there too.

I’m getting a late start today at 11 am on a Monday morning but let’s go! I know I can do this if I can keep this story moving.

Update: Two hours in (in writing time!) at 3:46 pm and I’m at 1,606 for the day. At this pace I have another four and a half hours or so to go. In writing time. Which definitely does not translate to me finishing at 7:46 pm without divine intervention. ;)

Update #2: Three and a half hours in (in writing time!) at 7:51 pm and I’m at 2,919 words for the day. At my current pace it’ll take me two and half more hours to get to 5,000. Which would put me finishing at 10:30 pm without any breaks. Uh. I’m not really counting on that but we’ll see. Maybe I’ll be able to pick up my pace if I push a little harder. :)

Update #3: Another hour in (writing hours!) at 9:48 pm and I’m at 3,705. My pace has slowed and I’ll have to write for another hour and a half to hit 5,000. Not sure I’ll make it. It’s almost past my bedtime already! I sent the kids up half an hour ago… I definitely don’t want to feel rough tomorrow because I’ve got to do this again!

Final update: I finished at 3,936 and went to bed. I’m actually quite happy with that number because it’s still the most I’ve written in one day since August!

Day 23 and 24 of NANO 2013

Still making progress but embarrassingly s.l.o.w… ;)

Nov 23: 18,390
Nov 24: 20,157

Also, I’ve noticed on my spreadsheet that I now have a streak going. I’ve written every day since November 5th. Gonna see how long I can keep that going.

Next I’m going to see how many days in a row I can write a minimum of 500 words, but that one will have to start today because yesterday I only netted 279 words with all the type, delete, type, delete I did trying to get the story to move forward. :o

Of course, my ideal word counts would be, oh, say … 5,000–6,000 a day. Pfft. I’ll get there someday.

Day 19 of NANO 2013

Ouch.
Ouch.

I’m making progress, but it’s slow. Maybe too slow… I bought some new music to help me zone out in my writing. Thought maybe my current batch wasn’t working for me. Now, let’s see what the new music does for me today. 

8:36 am: 14,581
9:45 pm: 15,147

Between 8:30 AM and 9:45 PM I don’t even know how much time I spent writing, but I know it wasn’t much. I spent a lot of time reading forums and blogs today and … I don’t have a good excuse for that when I know I should have been writing! I’m going to write for a few more minutes before I call it a night but I doubt I’ll bother updating here again tonight. Maybe tomorrow I’ll just keep it simple with a short little progress post at the end of the day.

Day 18 of NANO 2013

Sunny and back into the 60°s again. Yes! It's going to be a beautiful day. Can't wait to get started up this hill again.
Sunny and back into the 60°s again. Yes! Can’t wait to get started up this hill today. It’s going to be a beautiful day.

Today’s going to be a great day! Let’s skip the preamble and get right to the point of this post.

8:32 am: 13,305
10:45 am: 13,880
1:28 pm: 14,165
2:29 pm: 14,426
9:40 pm: 14,581

Between 8:30 and 10:45 I wrote for 1 hour (timer). The other hour and fifteen minutes has dispersed into nothingness… Or maybe I spent too much time up and wandering around, having breakfast, and reading forums I’m not supposed to be visiting until I’m done writing. Bad me! Bad, bad, bad. My pace is off too. I’m tracking at 575 wph. I wanted to hit 1000 wph. It makes a huge difference in how much word count I’ll accumulate. Sigh. Perking up! Moving on! At least the writing is going well. :)

Between 10:45 and 1:30 I wrote for … 15 minutes? What? That’s right, though, and I’m deeply disturbed that I have no clue where the rest of that time has gone. I just had to knock myself off an embarrassingly gossip-laden website where I ended up after searching for I don’t even remember what and following links until I was staring at an article about [redacted for the sake of not embarrassing myself further]. O—ka—y. Done. Getting back to writing. I was feeling good about my progress today and I want that feeling back!

Between 1:30 and 2:30 I wrote for 30 minutes. Pace is now 561 wph. Yikes! I must try to relax more as I write. Too judgmental. Too critical. See, I’m even being critical of how critical I’m being. And now I’m judging myself for that. :p I need lunch. Then back to writing.

Between 2:30 and 9:40 I wrote for 15 minutes (timer). Had things to do, not the least of which was getting myself to a grocery store before my kids decided to revolt because of the lack of food in the house. :D I’m going to try to get just a little more written today because I’d really love to hit 2000 before I call it a night, so I’m outta here before I waste what little time I have left rambling.

And calling it a night even though I got nothing else written. Oh, well. Tomorrow will be here soon enough to try again. ;)

Why NaNoWriMo Excites Me

I know it seems odd that as a full-time writer I’d be so excited about NaNoWriMo, but NaNoWriMo 2010 was the year I first discovered that I could actually write 50,000 words in one month. Until I decided to participate in that year’s NaNo, I had no idea that I could actually sit down and write that many words in that short an amount of time.

Even now, writing full-time, I very rarely hit 50,000 in one month. I think the last time was in February. Too bad that wasn’t NaNoWriMo, I’d have been a winner for sure. :P

But I digress.

I love NaNo because it showed me that writing a novel wasn’t necessarily a one- or two-year long process. It could happen much faster than that. And I wouldn’t be where I am today (writing fiction full-time) if it weren’t for that year’s NaNoWriMo. So thank you NaNoWriMo! You were a blessing to me and I hope you’ll be a blessing to many other writers in the future. <3*

*I’m sorry, but I have to mention that this heart emoticon always makes me think of butts. I know. I am sorry, honest. Sometimes I feel so immature. And now my asterisk is making me think of something else… Gah! What’s wrong with me? I’d hate to have to take one of those Rorschach tests.

Day 17 of NANO 2013

That's it. No more Ms. Nice Girl!
Those cleats must not fit right. Must try new ones… The hill is getting even steeper!

Today is a dreary day outside, as was most of yesterday, so there’s really nothing stopping me from giving myself a big ol’ dose of carpal tunnel. Sounds like fun, huh?

9:21 am: 11,227
12:10 pm: 11,991
1:47 pm: 12,376
2:44 pm: 12,442
5:03 pm: 12,737
8:38 pm: 13,113
10:30 pm: 13,305

Between 9:30 and 12:00 I wrote at least 30 minutes (timer) but probably closer to 1.5 hours because I let myself start out slow and didn’t turn on the timer until I felt like I was back into the story a bit. :) I’m trying for a decent run today but I’m going to have to spend more time with the timer going and less time on my breaks!

Between 12 and 2 I wrote for about 30 minutes (timer) and maybe just a little more, but mostly I kept hoping my headache would go away. It hasn’t yet, but I’m writing anyway. It’ll have to get a lot worse than this to keep me from writing today. :) Too many words to catch up!

Between 2 and 2:45 I had lunch and still managed to write a few words. Yay! Also, my headache has eased finally. I’m very glad to get back to writing without it.

Between 2:45 and 5 I wrote 30 minutes (timer) and then had a nap so I can get in a lot more writing tonight without feeling like I’m going to fall asleep at 8 pm. Or that’s the plan anyway! Now the real work begins. I want to write at least a few thousand more words tonight. The good news is that I’m happy with my story and where it’s headed so I’m not finding myself bogged down the way I was a few days back. The bad news is that there’s still so much story to tell that I could get in trouble with my deadline if I go long. (A usual occurrence for me.)

Between 5 and 8:38, whoa! I have no idea what happened to all that time, but I wrote for about 45 minutes (timer). I’m getting my butt back to work. I have more writing to do! And I hate forums. They suck me in and … yeah, moving on. I must write and not waste time thinking about interesting forum topics that will use up all my words. I should make a rule or something—oh, wait. I have one. No forums until writing is done! Why do I keep forgetting that?

Between 8:30 and 10:30 I’m not sure how long I wrote, but it wasn’t long. I got what? Less than 200 additional words? I think I’m just tired. Calling it a night. I have a few tricks that worked to keep me writing today that I plan to put to even better use tomorrow so I absolutely plan to do much better with my word count tomorrow. Count on it! :p

Day 16 of NANO 2013

It's a slippery slope! Time for the cleats.
It’s a slippery slope! Time for the cleats.

Okay, yesterday, I had other things on my mind, not the least of which was the importance of … uh, something. I had to catch up my accounting, because this is a business. :) If I’m gonna procrastinate, at least I chose something awesome to procrastinate with! But NaNoWriMo waits for no one and I gotta get back to it today.

9:14 am: 11,251
Sometime past my bedtime: 11,227

Ouch. I went backwards. Those cleats aren’t working!

Day 15 of NANO 2013

Hump day! OMG. I haven't made it up the hill yet!
Hump day! But…but…I haven’t made it up the hill yet!

Day 15, wow! I want to write double my needed count for the day. I’m trying to think how that’s going to happen… Maybe a little magic? A cup of tea? A better keyboard? Nope! My brain needs a makeover! I’m going to focus on keeping my fingers moving and my momentum carrying me forward. Perfection is for losers. ;) I wanna be a winner this year!

7:47 am: 11,061
Sometime late last night: 11,251

Day 14 of NANO 2013

Day 14 of NANO Start
Here I go again… ;)

I’m still having fun posting about my NaNoWriMo progress and still getting a motivational boost from doing it, so here I go again (What does it say about me that every time I say that, I think of Whitesnake and sing a little of it in my head?). Today I might not post as often. We’ll see.  I don’t want to lose a lot of time to aimless internet wanderings onto forums and blogs. And since I’m addicted to reading, I must stop reading before I start if I want to get any writing done!

7:01 am: 9,628
9:01 am: 10,361
11:30 am: 10,247
5:42 pm: 10,429
7:34 pm: 10,780
8:24 pm: 11,061

Between 7 and 9 I wrote about an hour. I used a timer so I know of what I speak. ;) I’m trying to be a little more active today, so timer goes off, I go do something that’s me not sitting on my butt typing. And, yeah, I just cried like a baby writing that last bit I was writing and discovered it’s really hard to pay attention to the monitor through snot and tears! I get very emotional when I write. Sorry. :D

Between 9 and 11:30 I wrote for an hour. I deleted a little over 400 words from a few days ago, so I’ve ended up with fewer than I started with at 9 but that’s okay. I’ll make them back up later. :)

Between 11:30 and 5:42 I wrote for an hour—what? No, that doesn’t sound right. Ah well, I’ve either forgot I reset the timer an extra time or two or … never mind. I remember. I took a break and wrote a 907 word short story (complete! in about 30 minutes! see, see, see, I don’t always write s.l.o.w.l.y!) when I hit a rough spot that just wouldn’t settle for me in my book.  Ah well. That threw off my writing a bit with a break before and after. During the hour I wrote on my actual book I deleted more, wrote more, deleted more, all because there was something really important happening and I couldn’t figure out what it was! And that’s the problem with having no idea what you’re writing until your fingers are actually on the keyboard. But—that’s the way I like it. ;) Now back to work. I have words to put down and I have a limited amount of time to get it done. I skipped my nap today and I’m going to give out early, I can already feel it. More tea’s needed but my bladder is already mad at me for too much fluid intake today. :(

Between 5:42 and 7:30 I wrote 30 minutes. Not sure what happened other than a friend calling unexpectedly. That ate up the time until 6:30 but after that, I’m really not sure how a 30 minute timer took 1 hour. Maybe I wrote for an hour and I’m just confused. I feel like it’s been a long day, so maybe I am. I can’t figure out why the writing of this book is going so slowly. Before my writing break, this book was zooming along at over 1,000 words an hour. After the break, I’m luck I’m cracking 250 an hour.

Between 7:30 and 8:30 I wrote most of the time although I didn’t keep time this time. :) But I’m done for the night. Just can’t keep on and my nose is stopping up on me. I better not get sick this month!

Day 13 of NANO 2013

Every day is a chance to do better than yesterday.
Every day is a chance to do better than yesterday.

I’d like a big gain today but I’ll settle for reaching my daily goal without too much drama. What am I doing here? I’m recording my progress on NaNoWriMo 2013—it’s fun! I’m finding the process more useful than I expected when I started and … it’s my website; I can do what I want. ;)

8:01 am: 8,195
10:37 am: 8,682
1:49 pm: 9,107
2:46 pm: 9,575
5:02 pm: 9,628

Between 8 and 10:30 I wrote, then I napped—I have no idea why I needed a nap this early but I assume it had to do with thoughts about my book congealing in my head. I had numerous ideas solidify while I drifted in and out of sleep over a thirty minute period. Then I had tea and stared at the beautiful sunshine through my window, wishing it weren’t just 39°F outside! I live in a mild part of the country and this is not my favorite kind of weather. I prefer a brisk 60°–65° over close-to-freezing any day of the week.

Between 10:30 and 12 I allowed myself to get distracted. Too many browser windows open! I’m shutting off the browser until I get something done. I lose track of time without the clock in my browser bar dinging but I’m just going to have to deal. Maybe that’s what’s causing me to get distracted. I don’t mind losing track of time if I’m actually writing when I do it.

Between 12 and 1:49 I made a bit of progress. I wrote about an hour and fifteen minutes during that time.

Between 1:49 and 2:46 I wrote! Not much else to say. I haven’t moved out of my chair or taken my fingers off the keyboard during that time. I know I’m slow. I write how I write, and that is apparently very, very slowly. Until I’m not. But apparently “I’m not” isn’t happening today.

Between 2:46 and 5 I did a lot of stuff that wasn’t writing. I probably got in about 30–45 minutes of writing. Ouch. That’s like 1,433 for the whole day so far.

It’s 10:06 p.m. and I’m bummed. I thought  I would have some more writing time tonight but stuff happened, and all that imaginary time disappeared into the ether. I’m calling it a night and trying not to feel bad about my progress today. I have to have a few good days soon or I’m going to be in real trouble. I’ve got a book I’ve need to finish asap. ASAP.

Day 12 of NANO 2013

Need I say anything more?
Need I say anything more?

I’m not going to waste time explaining yesterday’s bust. It’s all there in the post. Today I want to do a lot better. I’m hoping the book cooperates with me. ;)

8:56 am: 6,341
9:47 am: 6,738
10:59 am: 6,969
12:27 pm: 7,273
3:16 pm: 7,653
5:53 pm: 8,018
8:40 pm: 8,144
9:41 pm: 8,195

Between 8:56 and 9:47 I focused and wrote and although I’m off to a slow start and am under my hoped-for pace of 600 wph, I am happy with how things are going. I ruminate. A lot.

Between 10 and 11 I wrote for about 50 minutes. More slow progress, but my scene’s coming together nicely. Wish it were going faster, but I’ll take what I can get for the moment!

Between 11 and 12:30 I wrote a bit, but I also had lunch. Gotta keep my energy up because I’m hoping to get on a roll later.  :)

Between 12:30 and 3 I did too much forum surfing! I wrote maybe an hour during that time? Maybe a little more, but things are still moving slowly. I’m still quite happy with my story though. I’m loving the way certain things are developing.

Between 5 to about 5:50 I wrote. I don’t have any idea what happened to the rest of the time, except that some normal day-to-day living was going on. I’ll be back later. I still have at least a thousand words I’d like to write tonight. Or at least 621, because that’s what NaNo says is my minimum to finish on time. :)

Between 8 and 8:40 I wrote but s.l.o.w.l.y. until I finally gave up for the night.

What have I learned about myself over the last few days? Quite a lot actually. I wouldn’t have thought I’d find these little posts useful like that, but I have. I do believe I need to get an earlier start writing in the mornings before I let myself get distracted (going to try that in the morning) and stick with it until I get some real momentum going. Stop taking breaks that last more than a few minutes, and stop skipping my nap! Because here it is 8:42 and I’m so sleepy I can hardly keep my eyes open. It doesn’t help that at this time of year sunset is at 4:36 PM where I live (according to Google). Did you know you can type “sunset at xxxxx” where xxxxx is your zip code and Google will tell you that? How fun!

Between 9 and 9:40 I squeezed in a few more words and cleaned up a messy scene when I meant to be shutting down the computer! Who knew I had any left for the day?

Day 11 of NANO 2013

Writing takes no holiday in the month of November.
Writing takes no holiday in the month of November.

^ I was wrong.

This has been one of those days where every time I thought I was going to get started, I didn’t.

1:01 pm: 6,170
2:12 pm: 6,341
9:11 pm 6,341

Between 1 and 2:12 I wrote for about 45 minutes. 171 words during that time means I’m off to a really slow start. As usual. Sigh.

Between 2:12 and 3:22 I have no idea what happened but I don’t think I did much writing! I got completely sidetracked and lost every bit of focus I had. :(

The rest of the day didn’t go any better.

Today has been a very frustrating day.

Day 10 of NANO 2013

I refuse to give up. 6,000 words or bust today!
I refuse to give up. 6,000 words or bust today!

I’m still having fun with these little progress posts, so I’m going to keep them up until I get bored with them or I forget to do one.

7:19 am: 3,533
9:00 am: 3,873
10:42 am: 4,140
11:59 am: 4,762
3:00 pm: 5,436
5:53 pm: 5,773

Between 7 and 8:30 I didn’t write. 

Between 8:30 and 9 I wrote at more than my average pace of 600 words an hour. If I keep it up and actually get in the number of hours I plan to write today, then I should make my 6,000. What a great way to start the morning!

Between 9 and 10:42 I wrote some but did some other things too. I moved my writing location to take advantage of the morning sun, soaked up a little fresh cool air outside and called my Mom for a quickie talk. Now I’m ready to settle in until lunch.

Between 11 and 12 I wrote.

Between 2 and 3 I wrote.

Between 5 and almost 6 I wrote. I’ve had a lot of gaps in my time today that I don’t really know how to explain because the time just seemed to disappear! I plan to write more today but it won’t be just now. Got things to do. :)

Between 7 and 10 I wrote some more. I’m calling it a night though, so 6,000 or bust was a bust. That said, I’m still happy because today’s word count is the highest word count I’ve gotten in a day since August 16, which was my last 5,000 word day.

I did say I needed to work on consistency, didn’t I? That’s one reason I always enjoy NaNoWriMo. It forces me to be consistent if I want to have any chance of winning. I’m enjoying the challenge!

Day 10 of NANO Finish

Day 9 of NANO 2013

I'm loving this Chrome Screen Capture extension. It makes it so easy to put up images like this one. I've been slow to start but I still intend to come out this year a NaNoWriMo Winner …
I’m loving this Chrome Screen Capture extension. It makes it so easy to put up images like this one. I’ve been slow to start but I still intend to come out this year a NaNoWriMo Winner …

I can’t believe how much I’m enjoying this. Not NaNoWriMo, but the posting of my progress here. So, I’m going to keep on doing it until I don’t want to anymore. :p

8:03 am: 3,161
9:00 am: 3,181
10:00 am: 3,181
12:00 pm: 3,296
9:38 pm: 3,533

Between 8 and 9 I wrote. I know, 20 words? But I was still working through the very last of a chapter that was already written. It should have been faster. I don’t even know why it wasn’t. I needed it to go differently but I couldn’t figure out what different exactly meant. Just, it wasn’t right. That’s all I know.

Between 9 and 10 I goofed off. Yeah. There’s no better way to describe this that doesn’t make me into a liar. I’m so sorry! I was supposed to write from 8 to 12 today because I only have these two blocks of time to make good on some decent word counts for NaNo this weekend. So, back to it. No more goofing off!

Between 10 and 11:30 I totally goofed off some more. But no more!

Between 11:30 and 12 I wrote! I was just getting up some momentum too but had to cut it short because I have things to do now. I’ll be back later to put in some real writing time. ;)

Between 9 and 9:38 I wrote even though I’m really tired. I get up too early most days to stay up late without feeling it in the worst way. I need my 8–9 hours to operate at anything resembling my peak. So, it’s off to bed shortly and I’m done writing for the day.

Tomorrow is going to be a good day because it’s all blank pages ahead finally!