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Monday, December 5, 2022

Maintaining Accountability

While I'd like to eventually start posting some other types of things on this blog, such as fun things about the 1920s (my favorite era), for right now I've decided to keep posting about my writing progress post NaNoWriMo.  I am using this as accountability to ensure that I keep making progress on my draft, and eventually, my goal to publish.

Last night I got some writing done before midnight, actually, but the bulk of it was after midnight, and I deliberately didn't update my word count until after midnight to ensure my word count for the night would be accurate.  (With me doing a lot of my writing after midnight, I'm afraid it is going to cause an issue someday when I don't write after midnight...  I don't want to make it look like I haven't written the following day if I wait until after midnight the next night.  Night owl problems, am I right?)

I've gotten back into some scenes where I'm blending first draft stuff I liked with this draft.  But this is also the point at which the plot turns, based on the decision I made about why the character motivation and the plot weren't working.  Plus I need to flesh out the middle of the book a little more than what I originally had written.

In other words, there will be lots of rewriting from here on out.  I'm looking forward to it!

Sunday, December 4, 2022

On Vampire Writers and Writing at Night

Once again, I got my writing done after midnight last night, writing around 1,200 words for a running total of 42,872.  During NaNoWriMo, I made an effort to write before midnight every night, so that I could update the words on the current day.  It also helped, of course, that I had a lot of write-ins to write at, which always happened earlier in the evening.

Now, left to my own devices, I'm doing a lot of my writing just before or just after midnight.  That's fine with me, of course.  I am a night owl and often feel most motivated at night.  Plus, it enables me to get my other work done during the day, and do my writing work at night.

There's also something that just seems right about writing vampire fiction at night.

The problem with writing at night is, of course, that if I want to keep going, I can't without sacrificing either sleep or my sleep schedule.  That part isn't ideal.  I'd like to be able to get into a scene and keep going if I want to.

Unfortunately, there is a lot else that demands my time, and a lot of it genuinely does make more sense to do during the day, when I have daylight.  Maybe eventually I'll be able to do some of my writing earlier in the day, but for now, I have a repeating calendar event every night at 11pm.

So Long, Farewell... TGIO Party

Today was our region's TGIO party - "Thank Goodness It's Over," meaning NaNoWriMo, of course.  We have a party to celebrate the completion of NaNo every year.  Whether you reach 50k or not, getting through the month is a big thing, and well worthy of celebrating.

One of the things we nearly always do for our TGIO party is to bring books and do a book swap.  The thinking is, of course, to celebrate having time to read again now that the month of frantic writing is over.  I am not actually sure how much reading time I sacrifice in order to write, though, so I suppose that might not apply to me.  But it's a fun tradition for our party.

We had a good turnout this year, which was surprising considering our attendance was a little down elsewise throughout the month.  Usually we only have maybe 7 or 8 people come to the TGIO.  But today we had 17 in attendance, which was probably our second busiest TGIO in years.

I'm a little sad NaNoWriMo is over, as some of these people I won't see again until next November.  But I'm also glad to have a little of my time back.  I'm still planning on working on my novel regularly, but I won't have to be present anymore at 2-3 hour write-ins 5 days a week anymore, plus the commute time back and forth to each.

Saturday, December 3, 2022

Day 2 of Writing Post-NaNoWriMo

I thought I would share a little more about my discovery of using the NaNoWriMo site to track writing projects at other times throughout the year.

This is my current graph.  As you can see, I wrote another 1,800 words tonight, which I'm quite pleased about.

I really like that I can see a graph of my progress over time, instead of just the little meter in my sidebar.  It gives me a feel for how I'm doing.  I also really like that it shows me a goal word count for the day, just like it did during NaNoWriMo, and that the daily goal automatically adjusts to what I would need on a daily basis to get to my overall goal by the end date.

I'm writing more than that, as you can see, but I set a fairly generous goal.  I'd actually love to be done with this draft sooner than the end of January.

I did find that I had to create a new project to track it outside of NaNoWriMo.  I was unable to change the parameters of November's goal, and couldn't add a new goal on to the same project.  So I created a totally new project with the 90,000 word count goal, and just added all the current words (minus the extra stuff I wrote for short stories and novellas in November) at once to show where I'm at right now.  Better than doing math every day when I report my word count for the day.

While I like the meter to show my current word count in the sidebar of the blog, I'm really enjoying using the NaNoWriMo site to track progress over time.  Maybe eventually I'll find a way to do everything with the same system, so I don't have to report in two places (and manually insert the code for the sidebar meter).  For now, though, this is working for me.

Friday, December 2, 2022

My First 1,300 Words Post-NaNoWriMo

My biggest fear is that like in other years, my daily writing habit is going to go away now that NaNoWriMo is over.

I have good reasons to believe this year's will be a more lasting habit.  I didn't burn myself out by forcing myself to write thousands of words at the very end to catch up, as I have often done, for example.  (One year I wrote 10,000 words on November 30th!)  I also am feeling fairly motivated to finish this book and get it published, so hopefully that will help me keep going as well.

In any case, I wrote 1,300 words last night, and I am feeling very good about it.  I'm in the middle of a good scene and should be able to pick it up again easily.

I'm hoping I can develop a habit of writing late at night, when (hopefully) the rest of my stuff is done for the day.  I think it'll be the easiest place to squeeze writing in on a regular basis.

Stay tuned as I try to turn National Novel Writing Month into a writing year!

Thursday, December 1, 2022

NaNoWriMo 2022 and Beyond...

I have revised my blog template to reflect my winner status for NaNoWriMo 2022, but more importantly, I updated my word count goal and current word count in the meter I have in my sidebar.  I'm going for a novel of at least 90,000 words, so that's my minimum word count, although I wouldn't mind if it's a little over.

I also stripped out thousands of words I wrote as a short story or backstory during the course of November, leaving me with 38,501 words.  While it looks like I just lost a bunch of words, I had been counting some related writing for NaNoWriMo and now I'm just focusing on only the novel's word count.  It's a much more reassuring word count, though, actually, because 50,000 was too far along in my word count goal for where I'm at in the story arc.

I have also created a new project for continuing Ruby Ransome rewrites on NaNoWriMo's website, which now allows you to track writing projects outside of NaNoWriMo, too.  I'm pretty excited about this possibility, honestly, and interested in seeing how well it works to track my own personal writing projects.  I do wish there was a widget I could add to my blog that would update with my current word count automagically, so I could just update in one place, but alas.  There is not that feature, so I will have to update everything manually.  Forgive me if I get behind on that.

Wish me luck as I continue working on this book.  I wrote out a tentative schedule for myself for publishing next summer, and if that's going to work out, I need to finish the draft by sometime in January!

NaNoWriMo 2022, Day 30: WINNER at 50,243 words!

I'm pleased to say that I "won" NaNoWriMo last night while at my final write-in of the year, reaching 50,243 words. 

I'm happy with how the month went, partly because it didn't feel as difficult as it usually does to write every day, and partly because I'm hopeful that this time I've created a daily writing habit that will stick.

I think my graphs are pretty interesting.  This is the overall word count graph, where you can see that I had some big jumps and some small jumps, but overall kept steadily writing all month long.

This graph breaks down my daily progress to show what I accomplished every day, and how individual days stacked up to other days.

NaNoWriMo now also awards you badges throughout the month.  I was going for the daily update badge, but since I didn't write on Thanksgiving, I didn't get that one.  The other one I didn't get was the daily par badge.  It says you would have had to meet par, which for NaNoWriMo is 1,667 words every day, but I don't know if I could have gotten that one by meeting the lowered par each day after some of those big writing days.

All in all, I'm pretty pleased with my achievements for this year's NaNoWriMo.

Stay tuned for more as I revise my word count goals for the novel, strip away some word count that I counted for NaNoWriMo and don't plan to in the actual novel draft, and make some changes to my blog.

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