Friday, November 9, 2018

Full steam ahead (maybe)

In preparation for NaNoWriMo this year, I read a few books on writing during the month of October.

One I read was by Chris Baty, the founder of NaNoWriMo. In his book, "No Plot, No Problem! Revised and Expanded Edition: A Low-stress, High-velocity Guide to Writing a Novel in Thirty Days," he suggests creating a Magna Carta for your upcoming novel and to do so you make two lists, one filled with things you like in a novel (focus on these, of course) and one filled with things you don't like in a novel (avoid these).

I liked the idea and I did it and I was quite determined to not do anything in my avoid list.

Until today.

It was probably doing wonders for my quality (well, maybe) but it was killing my productivity to sit here at the laptop and actively think about what I didn't want to write about while I was trying to write.

It's quantity over quality to keep hitting the writing goals.


I have to clear my brain out of the way as much as possible and I know I will still avoid certain topics I don't like writing about because writing about things I don't like will take the enjoyment out of writing. It's hard enough to do this. I can't imagine doing it and not enjoying it at the same time. But, if I make a glancing blow against topics on my avoid list, I'm letting it slide and not letting it put the brakes on the writing process.

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

NaNoWriMo: The road to 10,000 words

Today will be the day I hit 10,000 words. To stay on track to finish at 50,000 on November 30th, 10,000 is where I need to end today according to the daily word goal chart. I was at 8,696 words yesterday afternoon when I wrote out a couple of bullet points for ideas for today's writing and stopped. I was on a pretty good roll at the time and had at least an hour that I could have kept writing but I knew it was best to close the laptop and not overdo it.

Today is the day, 10,000 badge!

Also, I would like to experience the full month of NaNoWriMo. My goal is to get word 50,000 down on November 29th but November 30th would be fine also.

So far, it's been fun. I haven't felt any rush since I am referring to the daily chart to set my goals. This is not something I did previously. In years past, I would not stop in the middle of an idea. I would try to get it all out and on the page and that was exhausting.

So, what's next? I would like to get to a write-in or two during this month. And, I would like to write at a coffee shop or the library some solo. I just haven't had opportunity to get out a whole lot but this machine (my Asus Transformer) goes in my backpack and heads out with me whenever there is the possibility for some writing time so I am always ready to take advantage of any writing opportunities that pop up.

Are you doing NaNoWriMo this year? Add me as a writing buddy: https://nanowrimo.org/participants/upinthisbrain

Friday, November 2, 2018

NaNoWriMo: Day 2

Here I am, midday on day 2, and sitting comfortably at 3,614 words.


Since I started this, I moved quickly from OneNote to yWriter 6. I'm sure I'm not using all of the functionality in yWriter but it gives me the ability to easily track characters and locations and it has a nice place for project notes so everything I want is covered and it easy to navigate back and forth. I have it saving to OneDrive so I can bring this up on any Windows machine I happen to be using.

I'm also trying to slow things down and pace myself better than in years past. I get my writing done and then I pull out my Nintendo 2DS XL and solve some crosswords or play some Galaga.

I'm trying to do this different this year because I really burnt out in my 2016 failed attempt and I think it's because I blew quickly through the paltry idea I had - a story about a guy that services soft-serve ice cream machines. Really. I know. How horrible.

So, this year, I'm stopping my writing for the day when I have something left to say. I'm following this advice I found that is attributed to Ernest Hemingway:
The most important thing I’ve learned about writing is never write too much at a time… Never pump yourself dry. Leave a little for the next day. The main thing is to know when to stop. Don’t wait till you’ve written yourself out. When you’re still going good and you come to an interesting place and you know what’s going to happen next, that’s the time to stop. Then leave it alone and don’t think about it; let your subconscious mind do the work.
I'm just hoping I end up with a little left at the end of each day. It's easy to make this declaration on day two. I know it won't be as easy on day 10.

Finally, I found this website that let me generate a simple list showing my daily word goal based on writing 1667 words a day. If I write this many words minimum each day, I'll hit 50,010 on November 30th. I keep this list as a note in yWriter so I know when I can slow down and start preparing to leave off for the next day.

Pretty nifty, eh?

Required words per day: 1,667
Day: 1 | Word Goal: 1,667
Day: 2 | Word Goal: 3,333
Day: 3 | Word Goal: 5,000
Day: 4 | Word Goal: 6,667
Day: 5 | Word Goal: 8,333
Day: 6 | Word Goal: 10,000
Day: 7 | Word Goal: 11,667
Day: 8 | Word Goal: 13,333
Day: 9 | Word Goal: 15,000
Day: 10 | Word Goal: 16,667
Day: 11 | Word Goal: 18,333
Day: 12 | Word Goal: 20,000
Day: 13 | Word Goal: 21,667
Day: 14 | Word Goal: 23,333
Day: 15 | Word Goal: 25,000
Day: 16 | Word Goal: 26,667
Day: 17 | Word Goal: 28,333
Day: 18 | Word Goal: 30,000
Day: 19 | Word Goal: 31,667
Day: 20 | Word Goal: 33,333
Day: 21 | Word Goal: 35,000
Day: 22 | Word Goal: 36,667
Day: 23 | Word Goal: 38,333
Day: 24 | Word Goal: 40,000
Day: 25 | Word Goal: 41,667
Day: 26 | Word Goal: 43,333
Day: 27 | Word Goal: 45,000
Day: 28 | Word Goal: 46,667
Day: 29 | Word Goal: 48,333
Day: 30 | Word Goal: 50,000