Happy December, friends! And to everyone who celebrated the end of November by laying low, reading, decorating for Winter, or continuing to plug away on your work in progress – congratulations on getting to the end of National Novel Writing Month 2020!
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Since my Week 4 Update just three days ago, I wrote 7,236 words to propel me all the way to 50,000 words (plus a little more) by the end of November 30th. I wrote a few scenes that I apparently had a lot of motivation for because writing in the past two days came pretty easy—and that’s always something to celebrate.
Speaking of celebrating: my final word count for National Novel Writing Month 2020 is 50,856. This is almost exactly double the amount of words I wrote in 2019, and 431 more words than I wrote in 2018, the first time I reached 50,000. I’m thrilled to have completed this challenge, and to have a new personal November word count record.
If you’ve followed my daily updates on Twitter, you already know that my progress has had its highs and lows. As far as the most words written in a day, that record belongs to November 29th with 4,622 words. 504 words is the least (November 14th), closely followed by my November 28th word count of 509 and a few other days when I wrote more than that but less than 600 words.
Even with a few more lows than I predicted, I did accomplish a big goal I set at the beginning of November, which was to write every day. I never truly doubted that I could make it to 50,000 words, but I’m not a great self-motivator and easily give in to my procrastination tendencies (AKA: I’m not going to write tonight, I’ll get up early to write twice as much tomorrow). I’m still quite a procrastinator, but am proud of myself for sticking to that goal and getting words down on a page every single day.
I haven’t divulged much about my story [on purpose], so I will be mainly repeating what I’ve already said about it. My idea for this story was inspired by the Maid Maleen fairy tale, and while that is still the core of my WIP, I’m excited to say that I think I’ve really made it my own—hopefully, anyway, now that I have written over 100,000 words for it. 😉
One thing about my process that I altered going into this round of NaNoWriMo was, generally, the fact that I had a process at all. In what I call “the first year”—2018—I was starting from scratch. I’m not a big proponent of outlines, and so I just dove in to whatever I felt like writing each day. Last year I was going through a significant job change and I mostly blame that for not having the focus necessary for my story, but not doing any planning had a lot to do with how much I wrote too. I expected to have the same drive, the same spark I had in 2018, but it just wasn’t there. I was too concerned with not crossing any threads or unintentionally re-writing scenes I had already worked out, because I did not plan ahead. This year, I remembered that lesson and created a plan ahead of time. I printed out every page from both years and read through them, making notes and jotting down plot points, scenes, and characters, and making a rough timeline. It was far easier to refer back to certain details and move my story forward while strengthening the already-started foundation. I think about this as both an enlightening lesson and a “DUH” lesson.
For my story, an untangling of minor scenes and the timeline. The timeline is a mess.
For my reading, actual reading. I have long abandoned my 2020 Reading Challenge, but I’m still very invested in my Fall TBR so I’m going to focus on those books.
For my blog, I’m going to spend a lot of time this month going through back end edits, and I want to give my blog a facelift for 2021. One it has desperately needed since my whole hosting debacle last year.
And for my self, I am getting more and more worried about finding a job, and to compound that uneasy feeling it hit me yesterday that at this time last year I was loving a new job and workplace that cut my position (and about 54 others) in February. Little did I know back then how tumultuous 2020 was really going to be. But as I weed through the job market in Maine I’m going to work harder at completing some copywriting courses to increase my skills and give myself a glimmer of a future (I was a copywriter and content creator for five years before the job that cut me). If my tone sounds bleak, it is, but that’s just how I’ve felt for most of the year. The start of a new month and the upcoming arrival of a new year both have me feeling a little more hopeful.
I kind of made that last part less about NaNoWriMo so I think it’s time to end this post. If you have been following my progress and encouraging me this month, thank you!! And if you participated in National Novel Writing Month, share you progress below or point me in the direction of a wrap-up blog post you’ve written. I’d love to see what goals you made, how you progressed, and where you think you’ll take your writing next.
Cheers to more imagining, writing, and creating!