You Won NaNoWriMo. (Now what?)

So, I won NaNoWriMo. I wrote over 50,000 words in less than 30 days. In fact, true to my word, I’m still writing, even though I crossed the 50,000 word “finish” line on Thanksgiving (and boy was I thankful!).  I’ve earned every Badge available on the NaNoWriMo website except for the last one, which doesn’t seem to be available to “earn” yet — and involves something having to do with revisions. Presumably, that will become available on December 1… I’ll keep you posted as I continue to write in the meantime.

won

The problem is, my novel, Idle Hands, is longer than 50,000 words. In fact, if you look at my outline below, you’ll see that I was supposed to write the major event (in the center) below, where Fen kills Jacob on the cruise ship, on November 15-18.

plot

 

But here it is, November 29th, and Fenderson has only JUST admitted to Brad that he killed Jacob, and even so, it’s not entirely clear whether or not he’s telling the truth.   So I’m just over 60% of the way done with my novel.  Will I have the fortitude to keep writing 2000 words a day until it’s done? Probably not. But will I have the fortitude to keep writing some amount of words every day until it’s done (as I suggested with Wednesday’s post)?  I certainly hope so.

At least writing my novel is going better than my OTHER 30-day goal of losing 20 pounds…

Here are my NaNoWriMo stats for November 28:

Average Per Day 1860
Words Written Today 1927
Target Word Count 50,000
Target ~ Words/Day 1,667
Total Words Written 52,085 WINNER
Words Remaining 1,455
Current Day 28
Days Remaining 3
At this rate, you’ll finish 27-Nov
Words/Day to finish on time 0

Winning National Novel Writing Month and Saving $200

I did it! I wrote over 50,000 words in under 30 days for National Novel Writing Month. When I validated my word count, I was lucky enough to witness this video from the NaNoWriMo crew:

 

Along with the following words of recognition:

You, brave authorial knight, have officially slayed 50K during NaNoWriMo 2014. Now, claim your dragon’s cave worth of treasure!

And the following certificate:

certificate

 

And a picture of a t-shirt (which I have to buy if I want one, and I would… but, I’m sorry to say, it’s just not very appealing):

shirt

And some winner’s “web badges”.

badges

In addition, some “winners-only” codes for offers from the NaNoWriMo sponsors will be available to me soon, which I discussed in an earlier post.  A better offer comes by way of a non-NaNoWriMo sponsor (they told us they were ‘full’ when we offered to give them money), where you can get a FREE Amazon Extreme Marketing Package when you start publishing your book with Outskirts Press.  This marketing package includes a free Amazon Kindle edition of your book once it is published, submission of your book to Amazon’s “Search Inside the Book” program, an Amazon cover enhancement for your Amazon listing, and a free copy of my bestselling and award-winning book Sell Your Book on Amazon.  And all our publishing packages always include between 3 – 10 free copies of your book (which is better than 2, right?). All the details of this offer, including the necessary promotion code, can be found here: http://outskirtspress.com/promotion.html.  Hey, look at that: you don’t even have to get to the “Winners” page on NaNoWriMo to get this offer!

Or…. if you prefer saving money instead of receiving free stuff, today also happens to be Black Friday (what great timing!), so if you order your Diamond or Pearl full-color publishing package today only, you can save an instant 20% (that’s an average savings of over $200) on the cost of your all-inclusive, full-service book publishing. Simply enter the promotion code: 20DSCT2014 into your shopping cart at check-out.

I’m sure I’ll be seeing the rest of my mentorees and writing buddies on the NaNoWriMo site crossing the finish line soon.  Way to go, fellow WriMo’s!

 My NaNoWriMo stats for yesterday, November 27:

Average Per Day 1857
Words Written Today 1613
Target Word Count 50,000
Target ~ Words/Day 1,667
Total Words Written 50,158  WINNER
Words Remaining 0
Current Day 27
Days Remaining 4
At this rate, you’ll finish 27-Nov
Words/Day to finish on time 0

 

I’m THANKFUL for writing 50,000 words in one month

Happy Thanksgiving.

We’re down to the last few days of National Novel Writing Month. When I began this adventure over a month ago, I set out to earn all the “Participation” and “Writing” badges on the NaNoWriMo website, and one of the Participation Badges required adding “Buddies” to my account, so I could interact with them, and find motivation in their success.  Another Participation Badge required that I post to the forums, which I did, by offering to be a “virtual mentor” for other WriMo’s as they joined me on this writing journey.  In fact, those two badges went hand in hand because as I interacted with WriMo’s I was mentoring, I naturally added them to my Buddy list, so I could watch their progress.

Out of all my “Buddies” on the NaNoWriMo site, two of them are official “Winners” as of yesterday afternoon.  That means they have validated their official word counts with NaNoWriMo and their word count has met or exceeded 50,000 words.

I hope to join them sometime today, by “carving” out time away from the turkey to reach the 50,000 word goal and then validate my word counts.  I have less than 1,500 words to go, so my confidence is high that I’m going to become a NaNoWriMo winner on Thanksgiving day (and hence the headline to this posting — just some extra motivation for yours truly).

Some of my other buddies and mentorees still have some work to do, with word counts ranging from 27,000 – 46,000.  Join me in urging them to cross that finish line with me in the next couple of days!

Here are my NaNoWriMo stats for yesterday, November 26:

Average Per Day 1867
Words Written Today 1642
Target Word Count 50,000
Target ~ Words/Day 1,667
Total Words Written 48,545
Words Remaining 1,455
Current Day 26
Days Remaining 5
At this rate, you’ll finish 27-Nov
Words/Day to finish on time 291

An hour of writing a day

As we endure the final stretch of NaNoWriMo where half a million writers from around the globe challenge themselves to write 50,000 words in 30 days, I’d like to offer some words of motivation, if not inspiration.  It’s been difficult for me to find the time and the energy to write more of my novel, Idle Hands, every day of the month.  I’m happy to report that out of the whole month, I only skipped one day entirely (and it was a bear dragging myself out of the “word hole” that resulted from that lapse).  Even on days where I REALLY didn’t feel like writing, I at least kicked in 400-800 words.

And here’s what I discovered:  I was extremely disappointed in myself the whole day (and the following day) when I skipped writing entirely.  That’s 48 hours of disappointment that could have been averted with one single hour of creativity.  Talk about a positive return on your investment!  One hour of time invested for 48 hours of satisfaction.  And even if you can’t always contribute an entire hour of time,  as these monthly stats have shown, every word counts. Every word contributes to your final goal of finishing that book.  Even if you only put in 100, or 200, or 500… that’s more words than you had yesterday.  More words than you had the day before that.  Books are not infinite. They have a beginning, a middle, and an ending. If you always find a way to contribute SOME words to your book every day, there will come a day when you finish it.

And those days when you write your book, you’ll feel better about your craft, and your writing career. You’ll find that those hours of satisfaction and accomplishment are longer than the time you spent writing.   And that beats the 48 hours of feeling bad for NOT putting in a single hour.

Here are my NaNoWriMo stats for yesterday, November 25:

Average Per Day 1876
Words Written Today 2423
Target Word Count 50,000
Target ~ Words/Day 1,667
Total Words Written 46,903
Words Remaining 3,097
Current Day 25
Days Remaining 6
At this rate, you’ll finish Nov 27
Words/Day to finish on time 517

50,000 words, here I come!

It’s going to be a busy week: Work.  Thanksgiving. Black Friday. Family traditions (shopping, eating, decorating, etc).

And writing.

Lots and lots of writing to finish up 50,000 words to Idle Hands.  Even though I have through next Sunday, my personal goal is to reach 50,000 words by Friday.  I’m mainly doing this because the “confirmation” instructions sent out by NaNoWriMo have alluded to the fact that their word-count might differ from my own when I undergo the process of validating.  I’m not quite sure why it would be different, but I don’t want to be caught off guard on the night of the 30th by suddenly realizing I have 1000-2000 words more to write in order to reach the 50,000 word milestone.    Luck favors the prepared, as they say, so I plan to validate my word count with NaNoWriMo on Friday, just in case I need the weekend to make up any differential between their “official” word count and my own.

And speaking of which, here are my NaNoWriMo stats for November 24:

Average Per Day 1853
Words Written Today 2046
Target Word Count 50,000
Target ~ Words/Day 1,667
Total Words Written 44480
Words Remaining 5,520
Current Day 24
Days Remaining 7
At this rate, you’ll finish November 27
Words/Day to finish on time 789

The Month of Living Dangerously

In the month of November I’ve been trying to write 50,000 words to a novel AND lose 20 pounds to my waistline. What was I thinking??! I was thinking I’d take a break from writing (and blogging about writing) and starving myself, to create a disturbing poster in which I replace Mel Gibson’s face with mine.  Talk about a bad idea! What was I thinking??!

poster

Here are my Stats for NaNoWriMo for November 23:

Average Per Day 1844
Words Written Today 1768
Target Word Count 50,000
Target ~ Words/Day 1,667
Total Words Written 42,434
Words Remaining 7,566
Current Day 23
Days Remaining 8
At this rate, you’ll finish November 28
Words/Day to finish on time 946

Writing a book is proving EASIER than losing weight. I’ve lost 13 pounds so far, and have a week to go.  That’s 1000 words and 1 pound each day.

I have a feeling I’m going to cross the 50,000 word finish line before I cross the 20 pound finish line, especially with Thanksgiving approaching.

What was I thinking??!

 

 

Winning word-count confirmation begins today at NaNoWriMo

“Winners” begin being crowned today on the NaNoWriMo website for successfully writing 50,000 words in … 20 days (10 days faster than required!). If you’re one of those overly-ambitious few, first of all, congratulations; that’s impressive! And secondly, reaching 50,000 is no reason to stop writing. I know I’m sounding like a broken record (do people even know what a “record” is anymore? ) by constantly repeating that we should all keep writing after 50,000 words, but I’m mostly doing that to encourage me to continue writing once I reach 50,000. I know it’s going to be hard since Idle Hands is on pace to be about 90,000 words,  50,000 words just isn’t going to cut it.  And like I said the other day, but it bears repeating again– one doesn’t publish 50,000 words.  One publishes a book.   And once you finish your book, where should you publish it?  Well, I’m glad you asked. Tomorrow we’ll talk about comparing the top self-publishing firms in an analytic way.

In order for NaNoWriMo to accept your word count you need to cut and paste your manuscript into their word-count validator.  Sounds easy enough, but I’m surprised so many writers are so willing to give their hard work to an organization without a second thought.  Perhaps I speak from experience, but some of the writers I’ve worked with exhibit hesitancy about sharing their work;  and that’s even AFTER a contract has been signed expressly protecting them and their copyrights.  No such agreement exists on the National Novel Writing website (at least, not what that I’ve seen, or agreed to).

I personally don’t have those reservations, because I know how official US copyright “works”, but if a certain percentage of our writers have expressed that concern (and that number is lower than the 500,000 writers NaNoWriMo claims to be participating in this year’s adventure), it surprises me that this isn’t more of an “issue” for National Novel Writing Month and its organizers, too.

It’s clear that it has come up from time to time because on their forums, they provide a link to another website that “scrambles” your manuscript for the specific purpose of only providing your word count to NaNoWriMo, rather than a book that makes any sense.  But that’s just robbing Peter to pay Paul — or, in this case, giving your manuscript to 3rd-party Website X in order to scramble it for NaNoWriMo.  Frankly, I’m surprised that’s even a suggested solution since an author who is worried about such things (which I already said I am not) is probably more likely to trust NaNoWriMo than some nameless third-party “scrambler” website.

Anyway…. here are my NaNoWriMo stats for yesterday, November 19:

Average Per Day 1854
Words Written Today 2231
Target Word Count 50,000
Target ~ Words/Day 1,667
Total Words Written 35242
Words Remaining 14,758
Current Day 19
Days Remaining 12
At this rate, you’ll finish Nov 27
Words/Day to finish on time 1,230

My estimated day of completion moved one day sooner, to November 27th.  Of course, now the goal is to to keep it there, or at the very least, prevent it from moving later than the final deadline again…