Draft finished, feeling accomplished

At the beginning of the year, I decided I was going to write a novel much quicker than I’d ever written one before – in a year. Completed, beta-read, edited and ready to submit.

My WIPs tend to take several years, malingering through many rewrites without much of a plan, and at the beginning of the year, I decided – finally – that this was stupid.

And, coincidentally, at the same time these decisions were occurring, the NaNoWriMo web site announced that people could create their own goals whenever they wanted. So I set up a goal – to write 40,000 words in 90 days.

Today, I finished – 8 days (and 3,600 words) short of the deadline, but the draft is complete, and I am very happy with it, as it stands!

NaNo page

As you can see, after a good start, I had a bit of a… ahem, break. A couple of short stories took priority, and there were probably a few days of Olympic-style procrastination and hot chocolate drinking with friends. However I think I rallied quite well.

There’s something satisfying in recording my words in this way. I usually use a spreadsheet, but that doesn’t include an end date, it just lets me write and write and write… In fact, it was precisely thatย deadline which forced me back to the WIP on day 57.

My next step is to do something else I’ve never done before – I’m going to read my draft the way I beta-read other people’s – complete with sarky asides and random comments.

Of course, I’ll be setting a goal for that too – 132 pages, 5 pages an hour (because I’ve never made an hourly goal before, so I’m not sure how long it will take) – 26 hours should do it.

Have you seen this feature on the NaNo site? Would you consider using it?

How do you keep yourself accountable?

To all A-Zers! If you’re in the middle of the challenge, thanks for visiting – I know you’ve got many other places to be. I’ll be reading your posts with interest, but I probably won’t comment very much, because I know how overwhelming this time of the year can be. I thought long and hard about joining in again this year, but my WIP challenge is more compelling. Have fun!




30 thoughts on “Draft finished, feeling accomplished

  1. Congratulations, Annalisa so pleased you finished your draft. I think having targets/goals can be really useful at keeping us on track!


    1. Thanks Suzanne. Yes, I definitely feel on track now, I never thought I’d be able to draft so quickly… It’s only taken me 25 years to figure it out – d’oh!


  2. I adore the nano site, but if Nanowrimo doesn’t hit when I’m drafting, I wind up with two projects that don’t go much of anywhere. I have a moleskine planner that I jot down progress reports in. Even if I’m editing, a note to say what I was working on gives me something to go back and see what I’ve done.


  3. Kudos. And I hope your beta read proves exciting – you can write in comments to yourself like “brilliant”. “Booker Mann is in sight. Anyway – you are on a tear and I’m very curious about your subject matter. I have faith that’s it really good.


    1. Thank you! Yes, I HAVE been writing positive comments as well as less flattering things, just as I would for anyone else. I think it’s important to point out the good stuff, otherwise editing can get so depressing.


    1. I’ve always been impressed with my ability to limit my social media activity during NaNo, so this was an interesting experiment, and one I’m going to continue right the way through my editing process. I’ll be blogging my updates, to keep myself accountable.

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  4. Charts like that freak me out. Can’t do it. They’re just too much. I like word goals for each day. That’s totally doable, and the more you write over time, the more your brain conforms.


    1. It’s weird how we’re all motivated by different things. This totally works for me – I can’t help update the word count almost every time I stop for a break, just to see the total increasing ๐Ÿ™‚


  5. So excited for you! It really says a lot about someone to be able to finish a project. Now go tear it a part!! ๐Ÿ™‚


  6. Nice new look, Annalisa. My plan is to finish my second novel in a lot less time than it took me to write the first. I want to get the first draft done by the end of May. I don’t like setting daily targets. Some days I’ll just write a few hundred words and other days a few thousand – but the longer term writing targets, I usually accomplish.


    1. Excellent, good luck with Book 2. The great thing about the NaNo graph is I’m not going for daily word goals (I don’t write every day), but the deadline date is the important part for me, because I can fiddle with chapters forever if I’m not careful.


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