Stop by to let me know what lessons you've learned this year, before we usher in another new year of possibility.
I'm over at sweet'n'sexy diva's today talking about all the lessons I've learned from Nanowrimo. Especially the lessons I learned this year.
Stop by to let me know what lessons you've learned this year, before we usher in another new year of possibility.
I managed, on November 29th, to complete 50k and win Nanowrimo for another year. Whoo hoo! Even through my plan this year was to try and finish as many stories as possible, almost all the words I wrote went towards the same story, the one I started last month, and its still not done. Finishing the story will be the first priority my December close out plan.
I'm sure you can notice that I didn't post much this year through the month of November. Most years I like to keep you guys updated on my progress. Sometimes even give you a little excerpt or tease.
But this year I couldn't do that for a copy of reasons. One - I can't post at work like I did other years (stupid increased security), which limited when I can post. But in all truth, that is mostly an excuse. The real truth - and reason two I couldn't post - is that I just barely got the goal done by the skin of my teeth.
Yes I finished a day a head of time, but I was only able to do that by putting in a lot of extra time (the time I could have been blogging), and getting in over ten thousand words in the last four days alone.
For the last six months or more I've been having trouble writing, having trouble focusing the way I used to. If nothing else, I think this nano gave me so great new tips to get more focused, including getting out of the house and going places (like a starbucks or barnes and noble), breaking up goals into smaller sections, and finding away to put my writing/and myself first.
I'm really hoping to bring all these new lessons and new enthusiasm into December and the new year, and get a few stories done. Starting with my nanowrimo project.
Its late October, which normally for me means Nanowrimo prep. This is the time when I would be finishing up stuff (revising, writing blog posts, cleaning, etc…) and taking a break from writing, to be refresh and ready to go on November 1st.
But so far this year, everything hasn’t been working the way it normally does. So why would I expect Nanowrimo to be any different.
As some of you might have noticed, this year hasn’t been great for me writing wise. I’ve been working through some personal things, including getting a new job, still adjusting to a new place and welcoming a new member into my extended family (a little baby nephew), which has all put a crimp into my writing time and focus.
On top of that I have been having some writing issues too. Mostly, that I’ve been starting series. I have three series now in the works, that have one or two books finished, but I am waiting to submit until the whole series is finished for a couple of reasons (including consistency, publicity, and giving my readers what the want—limited wait time between books), which really slows down my out put, but will cause a big bang next year when they are finally complete and ready for publication.
But regardless of all this I had still planned to participate in Nanowrimo. Its one of my favorite activities all year long, and regardless of everything else going on, I still wanted to part take. I was planning on spending October the way I normally do, revising, focusing on my new stand alone ménage, and then hit November with a bang. This year I’m also staying home for the holidays, which would free up a lot of distraction and time.
Then on October 1st I got into a car accident. I was fine, besides a few bumps and bruises, but my car was not. Emotionally, the accident hit me hard (pun intended) and distracted me even further from my goal of revising my ménage. Not only did I have to deal with the insurance company and finding transportation, I also spent over a week looking for a new car. Not to mention the mental headspace these all took up.
On top of that, the accident spurred in me a need to write about it, to make sense of it and deal with my emotions around the crash in the only way I know how—through a story. So I immediately started writing my heart out on a new book, featuring a heroine that gets in an awful car crash and the man who saves her. So I’ve broken one of my cardinal rules for Nanowrimo. I never write in October, to give my mind time to relax and store up ideas so when the first comes I want to write so bad I stay up for hours just to get the words down. That combined with my need to get some works finished and off to my editor soon, I’m not sure Nanowrimo is the right idea for me this year. I’m certainly not setting myself up for an easy month the way I normally do.
But instead of abandoning the idea of Nanowrimo all together, I’ve decided to amend Nanowrimo this year to suit my own needs.
The point of Nanowrimo is to encourage people who never thought they could write a book to just give it try. To show them that they can write 50k in a month. I’ve definitely proven that. I’ve won Nano for the four times and published eighteen books. As a published author, I need to focus more on finishing books, and getting them to publication, instead of just getting words down on a page. But I still love the spirit and encouragement of Nanowrimo, so this year I’m going to do it my own way. While I will still try to hit the 50k word goal of Nanowrimo, my focus this year will be on finishing works already started. That means no new book for me this year. I currently have over twenty books on my started list, ranging for a thousand words to thirty thousand. I need to get some of these babies completed and out of the house. For my own focus if nothing else.
The rules are simple. I can work on anything that is already started. Even if I just have a few words on the page. If I have a document holding some combination of words, that counts. But that’s the only things I can work on. No exceptions.
With so many ideas in the works, it shouldn’t be hard to find another 50k to fit in. Though I will admit it is harder for me to add words to something already created than to start something new. Especially because a few of these works are a little old and will take some time to dust off the characters and get writing. But that’s the challenge of it.
My focus will not only be to hit the word count goal, but also to complete as many works as possible during this month (giving me even more fodder for my December close out plan). My first focus will be the accident story I’m currently working on, and after that completing one of my series.
While I’m still working through some personal issues, especially the change in job that is supposed to be officially completed this month (Great Timing!) I refuse to let that tamper my Nanowrimo fun. I’m going to make this November productive and enjoyable if it kills me—though I certainly hope it doesn’t.
With only six more days to go, I'm already starting to get a little antsy to get started. While only time will tell how successful this month is, I'm determined to make November my most productive this year either way. I can’t wait to start telling you all how many great stories I’ve finished and you can expect to see on your digital shelves very soon. Wish me luck!
Nanowrimo Day 20 - Winning
That's right, today before lunch, I wrote the last 500 words to win Nanowrimo. The last three weeks have been a whirlwind. I've written two short stories and over 20k on two different stories.
This is the fastest I have ever written, and I'm going to try and push for more. I'd loved to come out of this with one completed work. Or if I really stretch, two. I've never walked away from Nano with a complete story. I've gotten a few close, but never complete. I never had enough time to complete something within the month. I have a few commitments for the release of Owned for Christmas which I need to work on (because I've been ignoring them for the last three weeks to reach this goal), but I'm going to keep reaching, keeping trying to complete both of these.
Owned Forever: 19,698
Good Girls Always Finish First: 21,084
Once Upon a Prom Night: 6,004
Nanowrimo Day - 16
Today I had my best writing day of the whole Nanowrimo experience. My plan was to get to 40,000 words by the end of the weekend. I got in some good writing on Saturday. For whatever reason the words were flowing, and I managed 3290 words that day. Bringing my total to 38,364. So I knew this goal was not only in sight but easily within my grasp.
On Sunday though, the words were not flowing as easily, but I managed to get in the 1,636 I needed to hit my goal before heading out to Panera for a dinner and writing session. That's when the magic started. I got another 2,000 words at Panera before I was done with my meal. And then what did I do, I went home and wrote some more. Bringing my total word count for the day to 5149. Amazing! I never write that much, but going somewhere like Panera or Starbucks is one of my tricks of the trade to beef up my word count.
Several of my author buddies that write full time talk about getting these kinds of numbers, but I never thought it was possible for me to do. I just don't do it. Ever. But now I'm rethinking that whole idea. Maybe I can't do it every day, but I can definitely hit that kind of number. Maybe there's even more I can do. Maybe I can write full time, maybe I can be prolific like some of my friends. Only time will tell, but right now, all possibilities seem available for me.
Total word count: 43,513
Nanowrimo Half Way
Last night I crossed over the half way point. That's right, I have written 25,000 words in a little over a week. Its pretty amazing. I don't think I could do it all the time, its really taking the energy out of me but it does make me think what could I do if I just put more effort into it. If I just focus a little more.
In the next year I'm going to be trying to focus more on my writing, and I want to try and remember how much I got done this week. How much I really can do when I want to.
Nanowrimo Week 1
Nanowrimo week 1 is complete and I've done a great job of keeping my word count up. My lowest count day is 1746, which is still above the Nanowrimo daily requirement. Every other day was hit or exceeded my personal goal of 2147. All and all this year has been great. I've got some good progress on some stories I want to get into my publisher soon, and I'm loving it.
Yesterday I pushed myself and managed to hit 20041 words before I crashed. Not a bad word count for 7 days worth of work. My goal is to get half way done by the end of the weekend. Next week is going to be a little harder. My boss will be back, so I'll probably have to work some more (boo!) and I have some personal things going on at the house I have to take care of before my guests arrive, but this great head start only makes those things more possible.
Nanowrimo Day 4
We're really starting to get into the heart of Nano now, and my energy is starting to wane. I got my words in yesterday during work, even exceeded my goal of 2174 (The number of words it takes to be done by the day my parents arrive for Thanksgiving) but not much more. I really pounded through the words, and got what I needed, but by the end of the day I was exhausted. I barely wrote anything at home. I watched a little TV, made dinner and fell asleep.
That's one of the tricky parts of Nano. Its a marathon, not a sprint. And finding the right amount of energy, fortitude and rest. It was really important to me this year that I get a good start, which I haven't always done in the past, because of my commitments. And I've definitely achieved that good start. Now I have to start giving myself a break and letting myself relax and enjoy this process.
In upbeat new, I finished the first draft of Hot-N-Ready. This is a short story that I plan to submit to Romance Divine as part of a free read anthology they are doing. Right now its pretty short, which was the point, but I'm sure when I go to edit the word count will go up a little bit. I believe in free reads, giving people a chance to take a sample before buying the whole cake, and have been successful with them in the past. I'm thrilled that Romance Divine thought of me for this opportunity.
Owned Forever: 9526
Nanowrimo Day 3
Nanowrimo Day 3, otherwise known as my first day back at work, was hard but not as bad as I would have expected. Thankfully my boss is on vacation this week so its an easier transition into working while writing like a crazy person than I've had in previous years. It definitely took me longer to get my words in yesterday than the days before, but I still managed to 3139 for the day. Though I did have to motivate myself with a pumpkin latte treat, that I didn't even get, because by the time I hit 10k it was too late to head out to Starbucks for my yummy treat. But I'll get it shortly, now that its finally cool enough to enjoy.
On top of that I received edits on Serving Madame: Monsieur's Turn. I am a working writer, and my priority is to publish books and maintain good relations with my publishers, over winning this contest. So edits and emails from my publisher have to take precedence over nano. Thankfully the edits were quick and just grammatical so I was able to get them done and back to the Romance Divine quickly as well as get my words. Making Day 3 overall a very productive day.
Owned Forever: 8449
Nanowrimo Day 2
Day 2 of nanowrimo was almost as good as Day 1, thanks in some part to daylight savings time, which gave me an extra hour to write. I also went to a local write-in held at the Panera down the street. I know these events don't work for everyone, but for me they are great. I got down at least 1500 in an hour and a half. Not bad word count for that time. And I got to eat my favorite yummy black bean soup too.
All and all I ended up with another 3071 words for the day, bringing my total word count up to 7382. But the real test is coming up. Going back to work. I know I won't be able to get the same kind of words in that I can on a weekend. But I just need to make the most of my time and get in as many as I can.
Owned Forever: 5856
Total word count: 7382
Spicy Erotic Romance Author and Life-Long Book Lover
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2011 Reading Challenge
Willa has read 44 books toward her goal of 51 books.