NaNoWriMo progress

National Novel Writing Month is upon us. The official challenge is 1,700 words a day for 30 days, leading up to a 50,000 word first draft.

I’m playing it a little differently. I want to get back on the horse and make writing a daily habit. My target, at least for the first week or two, is going to be writing something every day.

So here it is.

Week One

  • NOV 01 three hundred eighty-two words.
  • NOV 02 one thousand, five hundred fifty-two words.
  • NOV 03 two hundred fourteen words.
  • NOV 04 five hundred seventy-six words.
  • NOV 05 two hundred eighty-one words.
  • NOV 06 four hundred forty-six words.
  • NOV 07 zero words.

One zero day, but that’s all right. One thing I have learned—despite my best efforts to not learn it—is that punishing yourself isn’t useful. It will impede future progress, which will inspire more self-punishment, and then you’re on the treadmill. Burning a lot of energy and traveling nowhere. So we move on, to:

Week Two

  • NOV 08 nine hundred forty-nine words.
  • NOV 09 four hundred forty-four words.
  • NOV 10 six hundred eighty-six words.
  • NOV 11 one hundred fifty words.
  • NOV 12 three hundred thirty-six words.
  • NOV 13 five hundred thirty-two words.
  • NOV 14 three hundred sixty-nine words.

No zero days. It’s not the pickle, it’s the brine: The act of completion becomes self-perpetuating. I’ve even gotten words in during lunch breaks once or twice, instead of waiting until the end of the day. The schedule at home is unpredictable enough that it’s hard to get quality work done that late. Up next is increasing the word count and making more active use of down time.

And we progress, to:

Week Three

  • NOV 15 three hundred nineteen words.
  • NOV 16 zero words.
  • NOV 17 zero words.
  • NOV 18 eight hundred sixty-four words.
  • NOV 19 one hundred eighty-six words.
  • NOV 20 zero words.
  • NOV 21 zero words.

A handful of zero days—and since this is written after the fact, there’s zero days to come, thanks to a debilitating illness that hit the whole family. It eighty-sixed our travel plans, too. Jerry Seinfeld talks about his “Don’t break the chain” method, and I alluded to it above, with “completion becomes self-sustaining.” Which in hindsight was both arrogant and pretentious.

I am not coming close to fifty thousand words, and at this rate, I’ll be lucky to hit fifteen thousand words. It’s hard to tell myself I’m not really competing in NaNoWriMo when this is the most I’ve officially participated in it, but I have to reinforce it, for my own sake: Just got to get back on the horse.

Week Four

  • NOV 22 zero words.
  • NOV 23 zero words.
  • NOV 25 seventy words.
  • NOV 26 zero words.
  • NOV 27 zero words.
  • NOV 28 zero words.
  • NOV 29 zero words.

Week Five

  • NOV 30 zero words.

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