Suck it, Trebek! (aka NaNoWriMo on my own terms)

4 November 2010

It’s only day four and I’m already depressed.  Over something so trivial as word count.  You don’t win anything for hitting 50,000.  I just want the bragging rights — and the 50% off Scrivener.  I’m almost 4000 words behind just to “break even” with the word goals thus far — and then have to complete a minimum of 1667 words each day following.

It’s making me feel like a failure already.  I’m compulsively updating my word count every hour.  Then I go and check my stats.  Then I see how far behind I am.  Really, NaNoWriMo, telling me I’m 3 days behind schedule is going to encourage me?  50,000 words is freaking daunting.  Damn near insane to do it in a month.

“Set realistic goals that you’re prepared to pursue. 30,000 words in a month is reasonable. 50,000 is pushing it. 120,000 words is almost impossible – and when you fail to meet it, you’ll feel bad about yourself.” (via)

So starting today I’m doing NaNo on my own terms.  Because before, while I was actually writing, I felt good about my self.  Awesome — shiny even.  But then those stupid word goals kept bringing me down.  I’ll still update them, but word count is not my goal.  Starting today, this is what I’m working towards:

  • To write for a minimum of one hour every week day; three hours for one day on the weekend, and then at least an hour and half the other for the month of November.
    (I have a life, a lot of my time is spent at work, I should not be ashamed of that.)
  • My story does not end on November 30th.  Just because it started as NaNoWriMo doesn’t mean that’s where it’s staying.
  • To write a cohesive story that I’m proud of.
    (And I have been thus far.)

And that last bit is probably the most important.  I’ve been proud of my story.  It’s a complete rough draft, but I like where it’s going — even more so I love the process.  A lot of that is thanks to the free trial of Scrivener.  My mind isn’t linear.  The idea of writing 50,000 linearly makes me want to gag.  With Scrivener, I’ve been able to write scene by scene.  If I want to jump from part 1 to part 3, I can.  And it’s all organized so it makes it easier to do just that.  I never thought I’d like any of those gimmicky novel writing software programs… but folks, I sort of love this one.  That’s why I want that 50% reward so freaking bad.  (20% off isn’t bad, but I could use the 50%.)

By the end of the month I plan to have a pretty damn good story started.  I might even have one that’s ready to be workshopped.  (Another goal: this story will be workshopped by someone.)  All of this regardless of word count.  I realize that it’s just a goal set up by the organizers and I don’t have to reach it — NaNo’s all about having fun with other writers… but the only way I’m going to finish this is on my terms.

*Just in case you were wondering where this title came from:

This post is 525 words in case you were wondering.

  • Mollie Peterson

    Hey, remember me? Yeaaaah I lurk your blog occasionally. 🙂 Don’t be depressed! Remember that beyond some discount, this whole challenge is supposed to be a fun thing for you. And think about all of the idiots who do it. That helped me when I was learning how to drive a manual car…. it actually helps me in a lot of situations. I just try to imagine all of the people not as smart/awesome/talented as me who have accomplished whatever I’m struggling with… then I BEAT THOSE INFERIOR LIFE-FORMS!!! 🙂 Suck on that!

    And, truly, I’m worried about you because you said “it’s only day for” haha. Take a break; eat a cupcake!

    • Erini

      frak. off to edit and insert a “u”….

      I think part of what makes me okay straying from this crazy 30-days 50,000 words thing is that a lot of what people are writing is crap. A lot is padded for word count. My last goal in that list is definitely the most important to me. I’ve written good stories before, and I’m not going to stop just because I want to write something longer.

      But yes, this is all about having fun. I haven’t written for a while, so it feels good to do so again.

      … and are you still in Oregon?? Were you in Oregon?? Why do I think you were in Oregon??

      • Mollie Peterson

        I’m in Oregon 🙂 It’s where I’m from and basically pretty kickass. haha, good memory

  • In the end what matters is using this as a tool to encourage you to be creative. Who cares if it’s done in December instead of November if it means you get something done that you’re proud of.

    • Erini

      true. but I still want that discount! 😉

  • makes me want to drink alchoholic beverages

    • Erini

      this was found in my spam folder… but well.. it made me giggle, thus it got approved.

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