Tag Archives: writing

November – by Stoffel feat. Coffee Joe and the NaNos

NaNo has come and passed /
the innocent can never last /
wake me up /
when November ends

Like those authors / they’ve all passed /
thirty days has gone so fast /
wake me up /
when November ends

There goes my brain again /
offering useless thoughts /
Prob’ly some coffee stains /
will go in my word count

Fatigue may bring you far /
inhibitions won’t make a star /
wake me up /
when November ends

Boy, that was special.

Uh, wait, that was not a continuation of the song rip-off. That has ceased. Is there a punctuation mark for cessation of silly ramblings?

I think the common parlance would be:

< /nonsense>

November is over, and I kinda sorta participated in NaNoWriMo.

Guess what?

I’m a loser three years running.

Can’t say what it is. Maybe it’s the pressure that does not help my process, maybe it is fatigue that builds up after a week of (relatively) high word count upon the story.

I don’t feel like a loser, not really. In the past NaNos, I did come out a bit worse for wear and kicking myself. This year? I rocked the writing casbah.

Every day in November, all thirty of ’em, I put in a solid word count on my story. Since my six months of consistent daily writing (!!!) has been a bit of a strain, I often allowed myself to take a day off from the project and write a blog post or plot out some ideas I had for a different stories on paper. I counted those words, because they were still work and meant I was still being productive, but this month I challenged myself to stick to the story for thirty days.

My November word count clocked in at just above thirty thousand, a very respectable number considering I had no idea what the hell I was writing. I’ve heard about those writers who ramble on and on when they are not sure what to write next (heck, I have read more than a couple novels where said rambling survived the editing process) but that is not me.

I need a target. I need to know where I’m going.

Secondary challenge achieved: try to survive a month of ‘pantsing’ it.

The first week was pretty easy because I did come up with a fair amount of content to cover and smashed out almost half of what I got for the month. The following weeks were… less impressive, but I kept moving the story forward with blind ambition and a lot of cranky mutters from my main character.

A third challenge popped up and I like where it is going. My friend Will decided to jump on the NaNo bandwagon and prompted me to join him in live writing sessions. Several days this month, we connected in a video Google Hangout, shot the breeze for a bit longer than we ought to, then got to work for set writing ‘sprints.’

Did I mention that Will actually pulled off the full 50,000 words for November?


Anyway, the third challenge is to write during the day, rather than force myself to stay up late to hit my word goal. While I enjoy the relative peace and solitude of the darker hours, I don’t like having a screwed up sleep schedule. (Full disclosure: I am writing this post in the wee hours of the morning. Good habit not fully engaged.)

Even a few days when I did not have a ‘writing play date’ with my geographically inconvenient friend, I wrote during the day. This helped me survive the holidays (including my wife’s and my own birthdays) without losing my consistency streak.

Long story short, this has been my most successful November as a writer, and probably as a person in general, in recent memory.

I am enjoying the writing and look forward to talking my brain into getting more work done, more consistently.

Up next: continuing this story, and breaking out the red pen for the manuscript I wrapped at the end of October.


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