NaNoWriMo 2020 Update

So we’re a little more than half way through the month! I hope your NaNo is going well. Here’s a little update on mine.

Before I get into it, I want to say that I’m sharing this update because I want to engage with you, not because i want to compare. Remember that my experience is just mine and yours is just yours and neither is better or more valid or more right than any other. We’re each on our own paths.

Ok? Ok. Ok!

So as of today 11/19 I have written 36,459 words. The Nano site is saying i should get to 50k by the 26th but I’m not really worried about that. I really wanted to get into Nano and a new project because I wanted to try to set some new routines for myself. Get up and use my scheduled time to write. Rebuild the discipline I used to have and look for things that help me to write :). So far this is going really well.

I wake up most days and write from about 6:10AM to about 7AM (that’s when I start work) and then depending on how much I got done I will do more writing later in the day. I’ve mostly done this with sprints, though in the last few days I’ve also been doing Writer’s Hour which is essentially a group of writers from across the world meeting and writing together for 50 minutes. I think I like it because writing with others makes me feel more accountable. Yes, I may get distracted by the links I left open from last night but then I glance at the zoom and see everyone else is working and I turn back to scrivener.

The other thing I learned (well really re-learned) is that I can’t write to podcasts. Well I can, but my words just don’t flow as easily. I need music. The music can have words but I’ve also found its better for me to listen to music that i have heard a bunch of times. Then it falls away into the background where as new music (or music I haven’t listened to in a while) tends to stand in the foreground. I’m dancing more! I’m singing along! Where did those five minutes go?

Another thing that I have found is helpful is thinking through the next scene at some point the day before. This is the part of writing that is the hardest to quantify and makes me feel like I’m not really working but I’ve found is the most critical to getting in flow. I don’t write an outline when I begin, and I told ya’ll I was cheating a little bit with this because I’ve written a similar story before (though I went off the deep end, don’t look at me like that), do looking a little bit a head helps me understand what comes next. It’s literally a scene or two. Anymore than that and I find I have a hard time actually writing the bit that needs to come next. And if I underthink it, I can usually figure out what should come next live but having nothing to start with is just more of a struggle. For me this sort of pre-planning/headlighting isn’t just thinking about the scene or the set up, its sort of play acting the scene with myself? Figuring out what needs to be said etc. It feels a little bit like a little kid playing with her dolls but when I’ve done it I find that I fall into flow.

And hunny, flow is the goal.

That moment when you forget about the clock and your fingers are just moving across the keyboard and you’re in your world. Flow is a beautiful place that makes all the other bullshit worth it.


I hope to be back there soon.

So tell me, how is NaNo going for you? What are you learning about your writing process? Are you finding flow? Share with me please!