I’m wrapping up NaNo 2019 this year with 60,761 words on an entirely new project that is not even close to finished. This is my fifth consecutive year participating, and my fifth win. (I’ve won in prior years as well, but for fun back in college, long before I adopted this pseudonym or had this blog or published anything for public consumption.)
I was ahead of the standard curve from the first day and built myself enough cushion early on to absorb the days when I didn’t have time to write at least 1,667 words. In fact, I planned that into my goals for the first time, this year: I set the goal of only 444 words on days I worked double shifts. That’s the minimum count to maintain a daily streak on 4thewords, which I’ve been using for six months now!
My daily word count ranged from 521 at the low end to 3,963 at the high end. While the new NaNoWriMo site has carried over past projects for basic lifetime totals, the daily stats for them are gone, but I’m 99% sure I broke the 4K/day barrier on past projects, so this one was not record setting. Nor is it my highest total word count (that was back in 2015 with What We Need to Decide when I hit 65K.) But I did write every day and update every day, and honestly, I think that might be a first. I usually miss at least one day somewhere along the way, but realistic and flexible daily goals helped a great deal when I was facing a lack of motivation to write.
So did bringing a journal to work, to allow me to squeeze out a few sentences here and there during down time.
I’ll be honest, from story perspective, this project is a mess. I’ve got a muddled and over-long beginning burdened with too much character introspection, a slow middle, then a huge gap of time I skipped over to get to the first culmination of the romance, where my two lovebirds finally admit something more than friendship is going on. Then I’ve got a few solid scenes following that, but no “final” conflict to threaten their happiness, and I certainly don’t have an ending.
The good thing? I’m fully aware of the flaws in this project, and I’m going to spend December filling in those gaps to finish the first draft.
This time last year, since I started my new project for Fictober, NaNo was about finishing it, so I was done by now. I wish I’d been able to do that again this year, because trying to finish a novel draft, even the first draft, around the holidays is not ideal timing for me. I’ve got mountains of cookies to bake! But I’m going to do it. I’m going to keep my same flexible daily goals depending on my word schedule. I’m going to keep updating my project on the NaNo site (assuming the new layout supports that, it did in years past); I’m going to keep myself accountable on my social media with the daily updates on Tumblr.
I am going to finish this project, dammit.
I’ll let you know towards the end of the year how it’s going, but NaNoWriMo itself is over, so that’s all for now!