Welcome to the blog of science fiction author Eileen Rhoadarmer--where science fiction and Mommyhood collide!

Friday, November 26, 2010

NaNoWriMo ain't gonna happen

Nope, I'm nowhere near close enough to pull this off.  I'm just around 21,000 words now, and with only five days left, I'd need over 6,000 words per day in order to reach the coveted 50,000.  Not a chance.

But that's okay.  When I first heard of the program several years ago, my response was a resounding "why would I do that, when anything that rushed will come out as crap?"  Well, I decided I was going to do it back in May because in all my years of writing I haven't written a novel yet.  I figured this was a good way to give myself the necessary kick in the pants, plus there's the extensive support network online (though I'm not much into message boards.)  However, it turned out to be unnecessary since I've been working on my first novel since the end of July, and I've been writing daily since early September.  I didn't need the kick in the pants after all.

I have been writing daily all month, and I had a few really productive days.  2,200 words in a day is definitely my personal best--at least as far as I've kept track of (I never counted daily words while working on stories, or years ago when I was in school.)  I would venture to say that I am capable of writing that many words in a day, and that they aren't necessarily crap.  However, it's not a pace I can keep up regularly.  Like I frequently do, I hit a plateau where I only wrote 200-400 words each day, which lasted for more than 10 days.  I remained productive during this time, but only marginally so.

Mostly, NaNoWriMo has taught me about myself.  With a toddler, the exhaustion of pregnancy, and all the usual (and unusual) distractions that life throws at me, 1,700 words every day is just not realistic for me.  Most days I just can't spend that much time writing.  Some days I want to and get frustrated that there isn't enough time, and other days I just don't want to.  And that's okay too, because my best writing comes when I want to be doing it.  I also found that the pressure of trying to keep up a high word count detracted from my mood during the rest of the day as well.  I had some really frustrating days at the beginning of the month, and I decided that this wasn't worth the stress on me and my family life.

But as I said, the purpose it was supposed to serve became unnecessary before I even started.  My novel itself is now over 64,000 words, and I'd say I have at least another 20-30,000 more to go.  Possibly more, since the only "outline" is in my head.  I'm pleased with my progress, and with the book itself.  I don't need a competition to write it--just the desire to tell a good tale.

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