NaNoWriMo Week 1 Wrap up

We’re one week in to NaNoWriMo, and it has already had its ups and downs.

I got off to a good start with solid word counts the first few days. When the weekend rolled around, I was determined to use those days to get ahead, and I did, writing nearly 5,000 words over the weekend, bringing me ahead of schedule.

But then, my muse took a day or two off. Blame it on gloomy weather or the lack of daylight after daylight saving time, but I found myself apathetic and unmotivated. I had some pretty dismal word counts for a few days and I went from being ahead to being behind.

After a few lousy days, I think I’m back into the writing groove and got back on track today.

Word count aside, it’s important to keep in mind what we’ve all accomplished so far this month. I have sat down to write every single day for the past week, multiple times a day in fact, even though some of those days I wrote less than 1,100 words which isn’t much by NaNo standards. I’ve been waking up early each morning to write before work, plugging in earphones and tuning out the word to write on my lunchbreak, setting aside time each day to write. And because of that, I have a quarter of a novel written in just one week’s time.

Words Written Today: 2,004
Total Words Written: 13,554
Words to Go: 36,446
Percent Complete: 27%

NaNoWriMo Kickoff!

Today marked the kick off of National Novel Writing Month. For the next month, I will be working toward writing 50,000 words of a shiny, new novel.

I have spent the past few weeks fleshing out my characters, creating an outline and drafting scenes. Today the writing officially started. Here is a glimpse at the story I’ll be working on for (at least) the next 30 days:

After a failed marriage, Eden Stone is determined never to rely on men again.  She and her daughters, Sam and Nora, learn to support themselves.

When Eden’s estranged sister, Annette, has an accident and ends up in a coma, Eden suspect Annette’s husband had something to do with it.

Everyone must adjust when Annette’s daughter, Veronica, comes to live with Eden, Sam and Nora – her estranged aunt and cousins. As Eden faces the possibility of losing her only sister, she begins to discover how little she truly knew about the life her sister was leading, and has to confront her own demons.

I hope to post updates regularly with my progress, here’s where I stand after day one:

Words Written Today: 1,966
Words to Go: 48,034
Percent Complete: 4%

Preparing for NaNoWriMo

There are only a few days left until National Novel Writing Month officially begins for 2012, leaving me with not much time to finish preparing and outlining!

I was reflecting on last year’s NaNo, and here are a few things I learned in the process:

1. I am capable of getting out of bed  early every day to write. I am not a morning person. But it’s what I need to do to make the time to write.

NaNoWriMoThough I am a night owl, I had some of my most productive writing sessions before the sun came up. Evenings, for me, are full of distractions and temptations I can’t resist (read: prime time television) If I want to make writing part of my day, mornings may be my answer. And coffee of course.

TIP: Find out what time of day you are most productive and make that your writing time.

2. A little brainstorming goes a long way. I never thought taking ten minutes to think about my writing could be all that beneficial. But several times during NaNo 2011, I picked up a pen and paper on my lunch break and just started writing my next scene. In just a few minutes time, I gave myself a jump start on what I could work on writing that night when I had more than ten minutes. It helped me overcome that glaze of starting at the cursor, trying to figure out where to begin.

TIP: If don’t already carry a notebook with you wherever you go, make sure you do in the month of November. Don’t be caught unprepared if you find yourself with sudden inspiration. Take a few moments of your day to jot notes about what you intend to work on that day, plan your next scene or your next chapter. A few moments of preparation is worth pages of writing.

3. Valuable writing time can be wasted in hitting the snooze button and the few moments it takes to make a cup of coffee, turn on the laptop and get settled in my writing spot. I needed to give myself a few extra moments so that these seemingly quick tasks didn’t cut into my writing time.

TIP: Do everything you can to prepare, so that once you sit down to write, you don’t need to get up for at least an hour. Have everything you need within reach including a beverage or snack, a pen or pencil and a notebook nearby to take notes –  if you suddenly decide what you want to happen in the next chapter, write it down to go back to later, then keep writing.

What have you learned from past NaNoWriMo’s? What tips do you find useful to help you make the most of your writing time?