Monday, November 28, 2011

Progress Report

Things have been a little quiet here on the blog lately. What have I been up to? Well, I've been busy cooking butter laced dishes for Thanksgiving, visiting with friends and loved ones in from out of town, and getting very, very far behind on my novel. 

Don't get me wrong though. I have been writing almost every day. I even got 3,000 words written on Thanksgiving day! I even kinda-sorta sorted out my boring plot. The thing is, starting basically on day 14 was a worse idea than I originally thought. Not only have I been struggling to get past that original (ginormous) hurdle, I have had to try to make up for the days I have missed here and there in the last couple weeks. 

The NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) website has some fun graphs and stats set up to help you monitor your progress. I say they are fun graphs...but they stopped being fun a while ago. I am still very far away from where I should be and there are precious few days left in November and the words per day number needed to finish on time is creeping higher and higher... So, what is the plan you ask?

Throw in the towel? Try again next year?

Nope. I'm not giving up. Not yet at least. 

As of this morning I had a whopping 20,000 words to write before midnight on Wednesday. (You know, just 2/5ths of the entire novel.) I am not deterred though. I'm still pre-tired and just as determined as ever to complete this unreadable piece of literature before the arbitrary deadline. 

I've dug deep into some of my old motivational and writing strategies and I'm proud to say that at the moment I'm already at 35,000 words--meaning 5000 words written today (a record for me this month). My eyes are tired of looking at a computer screen and I'm tired of sitting, but I am pressing on. 

Today's writing blitz strategies have included: 
  • Self-imposed word count requirements before I can eat/have another cup of coffee/get up to go to the bathroom. (So far nothing makes me write faster than really having to pee.)
  • Coffee. I just took the last sip of the fourth cup. 
  • A place away from my house with just enough movement to keep me from getting restless, but not distracted--Panera is today's winner! (And three cheers for Panera's bottomless coffee cup!)
  • Placing a singing quartet in my story. A quartet which likes to sing songs in their entirety. Lots of songs in their entirety. 
  • Lots of obscure details about Marco Polo (hooray for wikipedia!). 
  • A character that likes to read passages from the Lonely Planet. 
  • My patented combination of water/coffee/chocolate--it keeps you hydrated, caffeinated and happy!
Yeah. As you can see I have no shame. You can also see that you can stop asking me if you can read my novel when it's done--believe me, you won't want to. I don't care though, I am going to finish this thing! Even if my main character has to pull up a chair in the library and start reading passages from the encyclopedia. 

OK, I'm taking my last bathroom break and diving back into my story. Wish me luck and feel free to leave me suggestions for the next 15,000 words!

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