A Summer Writing Update

One of the most common questions new writers ask focuses on the ‘best‘ way to write. Whether this is a question of routines or order or projects, or even the act of actually getting words on the page.

If you’ve been reading a while, you’ll know I like to explore different ‘systems’ for writing, and believe it’s worth returning to techniques that perhaps didn’t work before, because time, and each individual project may require a different writing system.

In case you missed it, I’ve tried the #WriteChainChallenge, NaNoWriMo, A-Tweaked-NaNoWriMo and Camp-NaNo. I’ve learned the I need community and word-sprints to make large-scale progress.

[In order to use accurate graphics and examples, these details were compiled on August 5th.]

2017 So Far

My goal for 2017 is to write 100,000 new words of fiction. Dividing those 100,000 words by 12 months gives me a monthly aim of 8,334.

That’s an average of 269 words a day.

By August 5th, we were 217 days into the year. I should have completed 58,373 words. Instead, I’d only met that daily aim on 24 days, not even meeting half of that wordcount aim.

In June and July I didnt get a single day reaching 269 words.

But, with my course completed, I have proudly written at least 269 words from August 1st to August 5th, so I might still hit my yearly goal.

If I consider the likelihood of completing NaNoWriMo again this year, hitting 50,000 words in November, I only need 24,126 words across August, September, October and December. That’s just over 6,000 words a month.

And in reality, I still wrote 25,800 words across 7 months where I “wasn’t really writing much.” That’s nothing to ignore, by itself.

[In the week since those statistics were taken, I’ve written more: In fact, in the first 10 days of August, I wrote 3,448 new words which is 1,000 words over June and July’s wordcounts COMBINED.]

NaNoWriMo 2017

I’ve written at length about my history with National Novel Writing Month:
– It got me writing novels at University.
– I can’t bear the idea of failing it.
– It has been the only thing to ‘salvage’ a bad year: bringing a positive focus and sense of achievement.

But in essence, I now follow 3 rules:
* Plan the novel in advance.
* Allow myself to fall behind in cleaning/other projects in November
* Use the community for motivation and support.

So, it’s August and I have begun planning for my NaNoWriMo 2017 project. So far, I have a main character, some setting and a set of quotes which inspired some of the characterisation. Now I just need to find the plot and then I can begin planning some scenes.

How are your goals coming along this Summer?

When do you begin preparing for NaNo?

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4 responses to “A Summer Writing Update

  1. I’m completely new to NaNoWriMo, and I’ve never finished writing a novel in my life, so this should be an interesting experience. Currently, I’m exploring different forums on the website and trying to find writing buddies. I already began writing a novel this summer, and the idea of beginning a whole new one is an intimidating thought. To prep for November, I’ll be doing a lot of brainstorming and outlining. I wish you the best of luck on your NaNo journey this year!

    • Hi Gabby,
      Feel free to add me as a NaNo buddy if you take part: I’m ‘easdannsair’ on there.
      Equally, if you have twitter, I can recommend looking at the tags #WritersPatch and #Storycrafter for finding other writers 🙂

  2. I’ve allowed myself to slow down this year, constantly remind myself that this is ok. There are days when I wish I was making more progress, but I also have to accept that writing takes time and my writing is slow, at best. Comparison is my biggest demon. I really have to fight to stop myself from comparing my progress to someone else’s. Those are the worst days. The good ones are when I’m so in love with the story, I forget about everything else.

    I’ll probably skip NaNo this year, but I may host a Come Write In at my library, if I can garner interest from students 🙂

    • I’ve had such an on-off relationship with writing since starting in 2009, and I feel each December I’ve learned a lot and then by about August I debate if it’s worth completing NaNo this year. That sounds awesome, if you have the interest in your area 🙂

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