the end is the beginning – on winning NaNoWriMo 2015

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I did it! I actually managed to squeeze in enough writing sessions in the mornings, while taking breaks, before bed, after running, while showering (do not dismiss the power of a good shower for brainstorming), and all the in-betweens to reach 50k. Of Blood and Pearls is now begun.

About a week ago, I really thought it was over. I felt drained and tired and was having a hard time catching up after returning from the conference. Despite the best of intentions, I wasn’t feeling very positive, and was ready to settle for whatever word count I managed to swing. Somehow, I kept at it and found myself getting back into a flow, putting out between 1800 and 2200 words a day (the extra word goal really helped in the long run). I reached 50, 232 words when I finished Chapter 14. That was yesterday. I still have about another 3 chapters to go, if I manage to stick to my outline, so that should be about another 10 – 15,000 words for this draft. I’m going to scale back to about 1000 words a day (I need to get out of my chair again) and aim to finish the about mid-way through December. Then it’s onto more drafting for Anúna (which now has a tentative title of sorts).

Now, to catch up on every I put off during November. Ta.

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NaNoWriMo 2015

NaNo-2015-Participant-BannerJust making it official. I will be participating in this year’s NaNoWriMo. I will aim for 50k, even if it feels impossible. I will write the best first draft I can. And I will find the time to do it despite the odds.

I am tired and burned out, but I need this. Who’s with me?

changing things up, trying a new method, and the return of first drafting!

More and more, I’m finding that my best work gets done when I can sit at the computer for an extended period of time. When first drafting, I can write just about anywhere, at any time, not so with rewriting and editing (hence the extended period of time between drafts). I’ve been working on weekends and squeezing in about thirty minutes a day in the evenings after work, dishes, washing up, and all the other steps involved in the business of life. It’s worked, for the most part, but as I reach the climax of the story, there’s a speed to the writing that I just can’t get if I’m snatching thirty minutes here and there. During the last two weeks, I’ve completed most of my writing on the weekends. In a day-long binge to be exact. It’s allowed me to get into the story in a way that I just can’t manage during short sessions… So I’m going to do something radical (for me): I’m going to finish the next few chapters during weekend sessions and concentrate on other aspects of my writing during the week. Despite putting in fewer days, I’ll actually be putting in more hours and getting the same amount of work done (let’s face it, 30 minutes, 5 days a week equals 2.5 hours a week, whereas a good binge is between 5 and 8 hours and generally equals a chapter or two a weekend). It’s just another one of those things I’ve learned about myself during the last two years of working on this project.

On the flip side, I’m drafting the preliminary outline for the “sea story” and I’m not using Scrivener… I’m using Evernote. Yes, you read that right, I’m using an app to draft the next story. Why? Because I need a portable program and I can’t install Scrivener on a chromebook or iPad, so my ability to work anywhere is hampered by the need for to haul my laptop around. Like I said, I can draft anywhere, and I like being able to set up shop wherever I go. Evernote lets me organize my notes by folders to keep them tidy, and then copy and paste the final content into Scrivener when the time is right. Added perk, I can use my phone to store story snippets straight into Evernote whenever inspiration strikes, rather than struggling to dig out my notepad from the depths of my bag, or send myself an email that I promptly forget to open.

Change is good, especially if it means being able to up my productivity without sacrificing quality.