NaNoWrimo ’08 – Day 1

squareToday is the first day of National Novel Writing Month (as indicated) and I’ve already had a mini-crisis. Thankfully, I’ve exceeded my word count goal for today anyway but there were at least ten sweat-filled moments during my writing session earlier.

If you’re not familiar with National Novel Writing Month, it’s an annual event that writers all over the world partake in in the hopes of completing 50,000 words of a novel in the thirty days of November. It’s one-tenth character development, one-tenth plot, one-quarter caffeine and one-half community. That other five percent is most definitely determination but most of us fall back on the community part to be sure.

In order to keep up with the pace of the goal, I need to complete 1,667 words of writing each day. It’s not entirely difficult as I can usually write that much in about an hour and a half. The hard part is making sure I make the time to do it everyday, thirty days in a row, no matter what else is going on, no matter what my mood might be and no matter how stuck I might be on the story. Every. Day.

I decided to get started last night just after midnight and was able to get almost 1,200 words written before I went to sleep. Including last night’s words and the writing from today I’m at 2,271 words and I’m hoping to get another bout in just before bed.

2,271 / 50,000 (4.5%)

But I did promise a mini-crisis and I won’t disappoint.

It’s a little hard to explain without giving away certain parts of the story but I’ll do my best. Basically, I have and have had a particular idea of what my story is and will be. I’ve been laboring so far with this idea and outline in the forefront of my mind. When I outlined, I made sure to leave room for the creativity that comes with spontaneity as I write but I’m trying to stick to the major points of the story.

On the other hand, one of the big parts and biggest benefits of NaNoWriMo is letting the characters and the story lead itself a bit and see what comes of it. I felt this bite at me a little when I started writing last night and continued on with it when I wrote this afternoon. I wasn’t sure how I felt about this big change in motivation for my protagonist so I ran it past my husband. As soon as the words left my mouth I thought, “This is ridiculous! What am I thinking?”

Luckily, I continued talking it out with my husband and within ten minutes we had come up with a different idea that was along the same lines but much less over-the-top and even better than I’d originally planned! (Thank you, Baby) The best part? Because of the technique in which I wrote this chapter, I didn’t have to change anything to make it fit!

So, I’ve made it through another day of writing, my first day of NaNoWriMo, and successfully overcame yet another writer’s challenge. I’d call today a success.

Update: Final word count–3,629. Successful day indeed!

I am an author and a writing business teacher. I am also a mother of two, a wife, a businesswoman, a nature-lover, and a wannabe yogi. My debut women's fiction novel, PERFECTLY UNDONE, will be released on October 3, 2017. Here, I blog about my journey in publication in the hopes of inspiring others to follow their own dreams.

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