Since it’s the 15th, it’s the exact halfway point of this year’s NaNo. It’s a great time to stop to think how’s it going and what I’ve learned this year.
I haven’t written my words for today yet as I’ve noticed I do my
best fastest work in the evening when there’s only a couple of hours left of the day. It encourages me to keep writing through the bad parts. “No time to stop” I tell myself and the inner critic that loves to butt in.
That being said, I’m luckily ahead of the target. Yesterday I hit the 29,000 mark and even though it’s not quite as grand as 30,000 I’m still happy to have reached it. When I first officially participated in Nano in 2012, I was already way past 30k at this point so I could’ve done better this time too, but I’m not too worried. I’m actually proud of myself for being ahead with everthing else going on in my life at the moment.
So what have I learned from NaNo 2015? (Find my 2014 version of this here.)
Evenings work. This equals to pressure works. I know I have to hit that target so if it’s already 11.30 PM I know it’s time for some serious typing.
The occasional miss is acceptable. So far I’ve had at least two days when I couldn’t get 1,667 words done. Once because I was too ill and once because other things simply took priority that day. But it’s okay. As long as we get back to writing as soon as we can, we’re allowed the occasional “miss.”
A buffer helps with sanity. I had a pretty good start this year and on most days I’ve been at least two days ahead of the actual word target. This has helped me keep calm and not run up the walls when I had those not-up-to-daily-target days. If you happen to have some extra time off, use it for getting some extra words for your Nano, just in case.
Research can come later. I’m one of those writers who love to stop in the middle of a sentence to go search Google for an answer to a research question. During Nano I try to avoid it at all costs. What I do is simply insert a placeholder word for where the research would go. If I can’t remember the name of someone, I’ll just refer to them as Name until I have time to figure it out.
Outlines are good but not set in stone. If anyone reads my Twitter, I tweeted about a character who in my outline and plans worked in banking. She wasn’t exactly a major character so I hadn’t spent too much time on her, but the bank theme was there. So then I write the story forward and this character enters. But instead of being a banker, she was the captain of the guards. Not my plan but it ended up working great. If your characters want to do whacky things, let them. You can clean it up later if it turns out to be a complete mess.
If you’re doing Nano, how is it going? Do you agree with these points or is there something else that works for you?
Today is the last day to enter the giveaway! There’s no exact end time but once I get up tomorrow, it’ll be over. I’ll announce winners on Wednesday!