My NaNoWriMo Start: Stay Calm

NanowrimoSo I got started writing a novel for NaNoWriMo yesterday. The White Arrow is underway! It exciting to have the third book of The Bow of Hart Saga in progress . How did I do, well look over to my sidebar and you’ll see that I wrote almost 1,800 words on the first day!

But that was not without some challenges from the start. I got up later than I wanted and we had an unexpected visitor for much of the day in the form of a dog wandering our busy street. We got a call about a German Shepherd being loose in the area since we have 2 and someone though it might be ours. We thought it was someone else’s but it wasn’t. So we took the dog and set out finding the owners. It turns out this young dog is a serial escape artist and eventually got in touch with the owner through friends in the area who recognized the dog over social media and all ended well.

There were other needed activities that needed attention by that time since I was behind. Yet I finally made myself sit down and do the writing and I’m glad I did since I was starting to get anxious I was going to have a big donut for the day. I also had a headache by the time I started but I pushed through and got it done.

But I realized a few days ago there are two ways to look at this month of writing:

1. I can stress about each day of writing and probably be far less productive as a whole or

2. I can stay calm, take a deep breath and realize that there’s nothing to lose here.

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WritingHonestly, anything that I do for the month will be more than what I had to start November. Sure I’d like to meet the challenge and get in at least 50,000 words but making myself frantic in the process is no good at all. Instead, I want to avoid missing days and maximize my efforts. Unless I really feel that I need to press on past a daily goal – say I’m really feeling creative and have a lot to write in my mind – then I want to reach the goal and put it away for the day. It’s better to relax some than get burnt-out.

So rather than see the whole challenge as a looming mass of work, I want to view the month as a daily discipline. Producing content while balancing my day is more prudent than panicking to the extent I don’t even want to write. That’s not the purpose of the month. Instead, I’m working daily to produce a draft that didn’t exist previously. That’s a better goal regardless of the outcome.

BOD FinalAnd hey, I still got the work in today. I hope to continue with similar progress if not a bit more tomorrow. It’s a start and a good one. I’ll update next Monday and my word count will remain displayed here. I’ll also share some of my experiences working with Scrivener on this challenge.

Please share your thoughts and ideas in the comments section. Sign up for my Archer’s Aim Digest mailing list to receive the forthcoming edition of my newsletter with announcements about upcoming releases and events. You’ll be the first to have news about my books, especially some free offers this summer related to the upcoming release of The Bow of Destiny, the first novel of The Bow of Hart Saga. Speaking of which, it is now on extended sale for $2.99 (reg. price $4.99) at Amazon – Kindle. Additionally, I have FREE book, What Is Needed is available at Barnes & Noble, Kobo, iBooks and Smashwords & Amazon.

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  1. I am entering into my second day of NaNoWriMo and I am already feeling a little fragile. I really needed to read the feelings you expressed and it has helped a lot. Thanks for the pep talk and good luck on your challenge.

    1. Glad it helped – I may need the same pep-talk several times myself! Thanks for taking time to read and comment today since it’s a busy time.

  2. Well done for getting started PH – I’m still pondering my NaNo project but am determined to make a proper start after lunch today and at least start the sifting process for the anthology I’m putting together. I may even do the title page! 😀

  3. Excellent advice. This should not be looked upon as a dreaded deadline that some jackbooted boss is threatening you about. I also need to avoid thinking of it as a race. I see others posting about meeting 50,000 words in 10 days and hoping to do it faster this year! I could easily be wrong, but that doesn’t seem like it embraces the spirit of NaNoWriMo. If words and stories matter, then the creative process matters as well.

    Your blog sums up my feelings: “Unless I really feel that I need to press on past a daily goal – say I’m really feeling creative and have a lot to write in my mind – then I want to reach the goal and put it away for the day. It’s better to relax some than get burnt-out.”

    Me, too. I made 2285 and put it down. And slept very well.

    1. That’s right – it’s about building a positive writing habit. If I get going some days and really get down lots of words great – but everyday is different. I tend to think that high word counts can be attained but only for a short number of days. The mind plays tricks on you so you start thinking more about the statistical results than the book. Thanks for the comment today and the reblog!

    1. Good for you, Kim. Thanks for the rebloog too. I’m trying to get earlier starts but there’s so much to do in the morning.

  4. I’m on day 5 and while I’m on target, feeling a bit burnt out. Not sure I’ll keep this pace up over the weekend, but let’s see …

  5. Great post! I agree with the sentiments – it is half over and I am at about 9000 but that’s 9000 more than on the 1st day…

    1. Exactly, my month has been nothing but roadblocks. November is a busy month – not sure why they choose this one for this challenge when others might be better.

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