NaNoWriMo: Week Four

Well, tomorrow we kick off the fourth and final week of NaNoWriMo. By the end of week two, I was flying high. My story was flowing, the words were tamed, I was the captain of my destiny. I had what I’ve coined my “Focus” – that combination of organization, train of thought, and action that come together when things are going well.

Then we had week three. I can literally pinpoint the time – it was just after a 3pm meeting on Tuesday last week, at roughly 3:30, that the plague erupted in my head. Maybe it was because of Kumoricon the weekend before (and why I missed a blog post, eek), and this was con crud. Or maybe it was just a bad head cold and would have happened regardless. Either way, 3:30 Tuesday I went from “hey!” to a sickly jerk.

Needless to say, for three days, I didn’t write. I whined a lot. There was a fog in my brain. Much tissue was used.

Late Thursday I started feeling better, and by Friday all I had left were the sniffles. At first, I felt daunted. I was behind by three days. How could I catch up? And then I realized, I could, because I had always baked extra time into my word goals. I just hadn’t planned on that time being used like this.

To “achieve” the 50k of NaNoWriMo, you need to write at least 1,666 words a day for 30 days. But I had been tracking closer to 2,000 words a day. I actually had a little overhead. I was still behind after three days, but I wasn’t egregiously behind. So starting Friday, I wrote.

7,377 words later, I am caught up with the average NaNo participant. I passed the 40k mark today, and have no reason to believe that I won’t finish, maybe even a little early. A little. Like, minutes.

And what happens after NaNo? Because the novel will be at 50k, but it won’t be “done.” Oh, no. I estimate this will be about the 70k mark based on how much is left to say/write, and where I am in the plot currently. So the writing will continue. What will change is the pacing (a little). I said at the start that the pace of NaNo was unmaintainable – as soon as I hit that 50k, I will be dialing it down to a 750 words a day goal (the three page goal). I may go over, I may adjust that number over time, but that’s what I’d like to aim for. Enough writing to keep the juices flowing without the pressure to produce words at any cost.

And that’s where I am at the start of week four! See you on the other side of the 50k marker.

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