Writing

My NaNo Strategy: Week 1

The first week of NaNoWriMo has passed, and the only emotion I seem to have is burnout. I have kept up with each day’s word count by the skin of my teeth (until yesterday), and as I play catch-up today, I decided to procrastinate by starting a series of weekly blog posts, posted each Sunday, that reflect on the week before during the month of NaNoWriMo. However, I have 1,500 words left to finish today in order to reach the day’s word count goal. Thus, I will not continue this post until I have reached 500 words.

There we go; 1,000 words left. Now I will continue my procrastination of writing more words by writing more words.

The enthusiasm of my first NaNoWriMo propelled me into the first five days of the month. November began on a weekend, so starting the routine was difficult. But as soon as I started, each day was a breeze, and I thought to myself, “Wow! I can really do this! This month will be a piece of Funfetti cake!”

But then came Day 8; or as I like to call it, yesterday.

I had an event to go to three hours away. The event was fun and there was food and cake and celebration; with only 500 total words written during the day. Fast forward to today, and I suddenly had to catch up by writing 2,767 words (I think; I’m using English major math!). I’m over halfway done now, but earlier today I wondered how I was going to keep up with the word count goal if I had to continue catching up throughout the month.

And that’s when I realized that I cannot let myself fall behind. If I did, I know I personally would  not be able to continue, and I hate quitting. I always have the drive in me to finish what I start. It’s pesky, but I get stuff done and I meet goals despite my own personal doubt. So, I reflected on the past week and the various strategies I used to get me through the past eight days to meet the magic 1,667.

  • Varying mediums. Taking advantage of today’s technology is a helpful tool for me. Sticking to one writing outlet can get monotonous and make the act of writing strenuous over time. I like to change what I’m looking at as I write; every 500 words or so, I switch from typing on my computer to handwriting in my journal, or to texting the words on my phone. The change of medium keeps the act of writing fresh, and reminds me of a video game as I create “Save Points” for myself.
  • Different vantage points. Throughout today, I have written on a computer with the door to the room at my side; in my journal with my back to the door while sitting on the bed; and on the floor with the journal in my lap. These different angles of the room keep my mind freshened and attention focused.
  • Multiple positions. When people are having trouble sleeping, they will try different sleeping positions. If I am having trouble reaching the word count goal, I change my writing position. Most of the time I sit cross-legged, and sometimes I stretch my legs out in front of me on the floor. If I am really getting into the story, I will sit on the balls of my feet and squat, like L from Death Note.
  • Small rewards. Earlier in this blog post, I told myself that I could not continue writing this post until I wrote 500 words. This morning when I woke up, I told myself that I could not go to the bathroom until I wrote 767 words. After that, I told myself I couldn’t eat breakfast until another 500 words. By rewarding myself with something I needed to do, like feeding my rumbling stomach or going to the bathroom, I tended to write faster with the goal in mind. Other times, the rewards are not as urgent; the other night, I told myself that once I wrote 500 words, I would binge-watch New Girl. On that note, I will not continue this post until I reach another 500 words.

And…done. Let’s continue, shall we?

Upon the closing of Week One of NaNoWriMo, all I can really think about is how much I miss reading and playing video games. I have so many books I want to read in hardcover, paperback, Kindle, and on my iPhone Kindle and iBooks apps; not to mention scanned manga online. And there are at least five video games that are calling out to me to finish them. Remember that need of mine to finish everything I start? Yeah, this is the part where it gets pesky.

Maybe I’ll use the same tactics in the same routine next week, or maybe I’ll develop different strategies. Either way, I look forward to the adventure that awaits me during Week Two.

I will now refrain from clicking the Publish button for this post until I write another 500 words. If you are reading this post, then I have reached my word count goal for the day and am officially caught up. Until tomorrow.

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3 thoughts on “My NaNo Strategy: Week 1

  1. These are all really good tactics! I’m suffering from the same thing, Amanda—”oh, I’ll just catch up tomorrow,” I say to myself, and then tomorrow comes and I realize just how much I have to catch up on! (I had even set my goal at 2500 words/day instead of 1667, just so I could get to 75k by the end of the month instead of 50k… AAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA is what I have to say to that now.)

    Good luck!! Keep those legs limber!

    Like

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