Hello! Today I wanted to give you guys an update on how my first week of NaNoWriMo 2021 is going. On Monday, I left you guts with the question: Am I Doing NaNoWriMo?
And I honestly did not know until about 10pm on Monday (1st November), if I was going to take part in NaNoWriMo or not. I then decided that I love the energy from other writers during November/NaNo, so I ultimately decided it would be good for me to take part. And it would help me get out of a writing slump that I have been refusing to admit that I am in. However, in my Am I Doing NaNoWriMo? post, I spoke a little bit about not knowing what project to work on – my Rapunzel Retelling or my Mermaid project.
A little bit of back story and context… My Rapunzel Retelling was the first novel that I ever finished and I drafted it very quickly between January and March of this year. The final word count for that draft ended up being 80,769 words. We were in Lockdown 3.0 at that point, so I had a lot of time on my hands and I was able to kind of get a feel for what my days could look like if I was a full time writer. And I have to say I loved it so much.
After finishing that draft, I wanted to take a break before starting edits/rewriting the entire draft. Luckily for me, the next month was April, which of course is one of the months for Camp NaNoWriMo. I had a bit of trouble initially with Camp NaNo April. I started off working on a contemporary project that was no longer something I was interested in, so I switched gears and started working on my Mermaid Project. I only worked on my Mermaid Project for 13 days, but I ended up with a healthy word count of 23,870.
Then in May, I decided to return to my Rapunzel Retelling, instead of continuing my Mermaid Project, and that was where things got difficult for me. Up until this point in 2021, I had been smashing my word count goals and I was really motivated. After years of telling people I was a writer, and I have a goal of being published and an ultimate dream of being a full time author, I finally felt like I was actively pursuing it. Before this, it had been roughly five years since I had worked on my own novels, instead of short stories or poetry pieces that were for university. I finally felt excited about my writing again instead of down and having to worry about deadlines and a grade.
However, things soon quickly fell apart. I had to begin juggling returning to work and writing after being in lockdown for so long. And then finding a balance between a social life and writing, and then blogging, and then reading, and then my health and mental health, and then I had to face some technology issues and ultimately the words stopped being written. I have been continuously beating myself up over this rewrite of my Rapunzel Retelling. I feel like progress is slow. Very slow. I am struggling to return to the page for consecutive days in a row. Since starting the rewrite in May, I’ve probably only written 3 or 4 days in a row, before taking a month away from the project and before I was actively making an effort every day to return to the page.
Between May and October I have written 33,451 words. Whilst this is a lot of words, it is not as many as I had hoped/what I want. My initial goal was to get 100k before the end of October. I then extended this goal to the end of the year, but that is also not looking likely either. It is incredibly frustrating when I know I love the characters and the story that I am telling, but I cannot find motivation for the project.
So, with NaNoWriMo here, I thought that maybe I would return to my Rapunzel Retelling and get 50k words towards the rewrite. But, the month before, I could not stop thinking about my Mermaid Project either. The two projects were warring it out in my head, with neither one being a clear winner. At this point, I was still not fully committing to NaNoWriMo. The biggest reason for my hesitation was work – I work in retail and in a card shop at that, so this time of year is our busiest time. So on top of picking up a lot of extra shifts, I wasn’t sure if I could handle writing.
I then started thinking about it properly, and thought that NaNoWriMo might be just the thing I need to to help me form a better writing schedule alongside work. So, after work on 1st November, I decided to sit down in front of my computer and pull up the NaNoWriMo page. But then I was faced with my other problem: Which project? Ultimately, I decided the best way to do it, was to sit down at my computer and see what I gravitate towards.
And that was my very long explanation of saying that I have chosen to work on my Mermaid Project during NaNoWriMo 2021. I figured that I have been working on my Rapunzel Retelling for months with very little progress, and that it was time for some time away from those characters and that plot, so that I can return to it at a later date when I feel more inspired and more in tune with the story. I also needed to get myself out of my writing slump, so that when I am working on the rewrite for the Rapunzel Retelling, it is at my best.
So far, this is working. I am currently rewriting what I did have for my Mermaid Project from April, and really fleshing out what I had and adding some more and then my plan is to continue on until the end of the draft, which will take me until the end of the year and likely into the new year. I have definitely regained my excitement about writing
I know I have already included a lot of numbers, but I am going to list off a bunch more, I am sorry. But, I wanted to compare my progress from last year to this year so far. Last year, I used NaNoWriMo to get myself out of a four year writing slump and it really is how I got back into writing and what helped me regain my motivation back. But, I was not used to writing. And I definitely was not used to writing a lot of words in one day, and I am curious how I was doing at this stage in the month.
I did not win last year, but I did get 34,615 words. I was down about this at the time, however, looking back on it I am so proud of myself. Considering I had not written for myself or worked on my own novels for four years, that is a lot of words to achieve.
I am going to compare the first six days, because I am currently writing this post after finishing my writing day on the 6th (well actually I started this post at midnight on the 7th, and we are now looking at 1am, but I have not written anything towards NaNo yet on the 7th).
- 1st – 1,703
- 2nd – 2,392
- 3rd – 925
- 4th – 0
- 5th – 2,009
- 6th – 2,999
- 1st – 1,694
- 2nd – 4,592
- 3rd – 1,854
- 4th – 382
- 5th – 100
- 6th – 2,622
I am definitely ahead this year, however, I was still on track this time last year! The NaNo goal for the end of day 6 is 10,002. That is definitely a surprise that I was still on track at the end of week one last year, and pretty good considering. I haven’t yet had any 0 word count days this year, however, I have had two low word count days. On the 4th November, I wrote those 382 words on my lunch break whilst at work and then on the 5th November, I spent my day off sorting clothes in my room out, so those 100 words were just notes that I had jotted down that would later become scenes.
I think my method right now is working for me, which is allowing myself to have lower word count days if I need to, but then making sure I have higher word count days later on. I do work part time, so my days on and off are always scattered, however I am quite impressed that I have still managed to reach the word count goal even on days that I have worked this week.
I’m sorry this post has been such a long and rambling post, I am going to end it here, but I thought it would be good to share and also good for me to have this here so I can look back on at a later date.
I am needing some buddies on the NaNoWriMo website, so please add me if you want: Kira Jeanette.
Are you taking part? If so, how did your first week go?