Halfway Through NaNoWriMo’17

The halfway mark (Nov 15) was yesterday for this year’s NaNoWriMo. The reason I participate in NaNoWriMo is because it is a structured opportunity to challenge myself (plus I enjoy the tracker).

I set my goal for this November at 175,000 words.

Why did I set my goal so high?

While inspired by Dean Wesley Smith‘s concept of Pulp Speed, it wasn’t the sole reason why I decided for such a lofty number. I wanted to get work done. Currently, I have 10+ projects set on my pipeline for the next year or two and I want to get those manuscripts moving so I can get closer to publishing so I can move to the next and so on, so forth.

For the first five days, I wrote 6k words every day and it felt amazing. On the sixth day, I took a break to spend time with loved ones… and that is where I tripped up. I lost the original momentum. My word count went down under 4k, as low as 800 words for one day. I managed 8k on November 11, but for the last two days, I’ve done a total of 0 words on manuscripts.


There are reasons for this, of course, but I wouldn’t classify any of them as great excuses though great opportunities for reflection. I didn’t foresee my brain stuttering at switching immediately to new manuscripts as much as it did. What that suggests is I didn’t spend enough time outlining beforehand because I’m concerned about free-writing due to the stronger likelihood of inconsistent details/descriptions in plot points/character traits/setting environments. Which isn’t that great of a reason… now that I write it out here… so I should probably just get over it! Hindsight, eh?

My current status for NaNoWriMo is as follows…

  • Manuscript 1: Finished.
  • Manuscript 2: Finished up except for Ending and Resolution. (my subconscious wants to ruminate on this).
  • Manuscript 3: Weakly started, but started. My nerves are influencing my ability to work on this one. It’s a larger project and part of me wants to get it so right that I’m freezing up a bit when trying to make sense of it.
  • Manuscript 4: Developing, haven’t started yet. I want to start this one even though 3 is still in process. I did a lot of development work on it, but I’m not including those words as NaNoWriMo counts (only actual manuscript prose count).
  • Manuscript 5: Not started yet, slightly developed in my mind, but not on paper yet.
  • Manuscript 6: Not started, not developed, might not actually be included when it comes down to it… or might be used for pure free-writing.

In order to hit 175,000 words by November 30, I have to accomplish ~123,000 words in the next two weeks (which is about 2x more than I accomplished in the last two weeks). What this means is I will have to consistently write ~9,000 words (rounded up) every day. I’m not day-jobbing currently (planned to take Winter off for writing manuscripts) so that helps a great deal!

Or I could shift my goal to about 110,000 words, which is closer to what the remaining manuscripts actually need… which is about ~8,000 words every day, so it’s not that big of a difference though.

So what I will be committing to for the next two weeks is aiming at 8,000-9,000 words a day.

If I do more words on a day, all the better!

If I miss hitting the mark for a day… I need to jump right back into the next day like it didn’t even happen. I don’t know where I’ll end up on November 30, but if I don’t hit 175,000 words – this will be my first ever NaNoWriMo that I didn’t “win” according to my own standards.

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