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!
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 that 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!