NaNoWriMo Day 3: So Far, So Good

After two days of writing (this post is only titled “Day 3” because I’m posting at 1:30 am), I stand at 7,557 words. There should be a widget on the right sidebar showing a little graph with my progress, but the NaNoWriMo server is apparently so busy that it’s not loading widgets. Oh well.

My first day was my most prolific. On Sunday, I started writing at noon and finished at about 1 am with a hair over 5,000 words. There were various distractions in there, like going to the gym and to Mom’s house for dinner, but by and large, it was writing. (Only one other time in my life have I been that prolific in a single day, and that was when I was writing Ranma 1/2 fanfiction, so it doesn’t really count.)

Today I started writing around 10 pm and finished after about 3 hours with my word count at 7,557. The words are not coming easy: by and large I type a paragraph or two at a time, get distracted, then five or ten minutes later come back and type another paragraph or two. Each paragraph is about 100 words, so all I have to do is repeat this cycle of distraction a couple dozen times and by then I’m sitting at 2500 words for the day, which is my own personal goal.

Maybe my own example is a little extreme, but by and large, this is a theme I hear from professional writers, at cons, in books, and on podcasts: sure, you occasionally get those organic moments where the story just flows out of you, but mostly, it’s staring at the computer screen and bleeding from your forehead. In cases where that happens to me, I wipe up the blood and remember what Kevin J. Anderson said during a panel at Dragon*Con:

If your muse doesn’t show up, start without her.

I should print that out and tape it to my wall, particularly during this month, where word count reigns supreme.

This does, of course, mean, that chunks of the novel will probably not be all that good, but that’s why it’s a first draft. I can always go back and revise in December. For now, though, I just have to keep writing. Get 50,000 words to win for NaNoWriMo, and get a reasonable first draft of a novel to win for myself.

So far, so good.