NaNo Loco: Week 2

I am reporting live from what many people call the small hours. It’s the very dead center of National Novel Writing Month 2011. For now, I’ve finished writing until after I get some sleep. Well, save for a report to my beloved reading constituency. Cetus Finalis is coming along nicely, the story is finding elements in its themes that I did not quite predict, which is the sort of thing I love about writing. I can even foresee what I’ll be revisiting during post holiday rewrites.

Meanwhile, In Accounting…

NaNo Word Count Goal: 50,000 words in 30 days, constituting a complete novel (not 50g’s of hoo ha).

My current statistics for the first week (11/8/11 – 11/15/11)

Word Count: 21,358

Average Words Per Day: 1,423

Percentage of NaNo goal completed: 43%

Percentage of NaNo time spent: 50%

According to pure math, I should be at 25,000 words. For some impure, naughty math, read on. Despite having more shifts at work during week 2 than I did during week 1, I wrote more during week 2 than week 1, in less time. The rise in my daily word average tells me that I am speeding up, and that I caught up a little to last week, picking up steam like I predicted, but not as much steam as I wanted. I think I’m going to keep getting faster as the narrative hits its stride past the midway point. As I continue being little bit more productive each week, then 50,000 words will be no problem.

Dead Center

I’m learning to look at NaNo as an experience with more than one goal. The 50,000 word goal is a good one because it means there’s tangible work being done. But oher qualitative factors come into play also, goals that are processes rather than achievements, like the enhanced discussions I’m having with my songwriting friends about creativity, or the extra Internet buzz going around about NaNoWriMo giving my blog some charge, or the fact that productivity engenders inspiration, so I’ve gotten great ideas for articles that I’ve sketched out for later. Working on the same project every day is really starting to seep into my mind and make me feel like I’m hovering between worlds. I’m less accountable for my trains of thought, and when I miss one, I just wait on the platform for the next one.

A Little Help From My Friends

The outpouring of support for my endeavor is a real morale booster. To everyone out there that’s been egging me on and wishing me luck, “Thank yoU!” I’ve also had the occasion to get together with writer friends of mine and work together, the asynchronous tap dance of fingers on keyboards. The activity levels are high and everything starts ricocheting delightfully, ideas everywhere, coffee and morning sunshine working their magic. I’m having a good run for my first NaNo. Back to work. See you next week.

Thanks for reading,


About Suhail Rafidi

Suhail Rafidi is a novelist and educator whose works explore the destiny of human values in a technological landscape. You can find him on Twitter, too, @shelldive.
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3 Responses to NaNo Loco: Week 2

  1. I really aplaude all the work you and others make on behalf of NaNo. However, can I just confirm that this is not merely a numbers driven endeavor? I mean, it’s great to have daily targets and all. I think the trick to writing a book truly is working on it a little bit every day. That’s what NaNoWiMo proves year after year. However, whether one works 15 minutes a day (as I did because of my work schedule) or a bigger chunk of the day trying to hit that 1.6k daily average, one should feel satisfied by the momentum that is created from consistency.

    The ultimate goal for NaNo is not just to hit 50k, but also to write something good, and interesting. I’m sure that’s your goal as well. However, I would be very curious to see if you feel the drive to hit the numbers plays (any sort of) tug-of-war with the quality of your story.

    In any event, good luck and all the best on getting to the finish line in two weeks.

  2. Saul, your comment gave me pause for thought, because I do catch the drive to pump out words trying to take precedence over the more meaningful injunction of writing a quality tale. That’s why I don’t mind being a little bit behind schedule, because I feel the novel has benefited from it.

    The consistency of creation is a very big lesson of this project, definitely, like you said one of the most important achievements is simply doing a little bit every day. I’m learning that inspiration doesn’t come along and make me start working. I start working and inspiration takes interest and stops in to see what’s coming along. The inspiration does not start the work, it comes if I keep working.

  3. Pingback: Nano Loco: Week 3 (The Excerpt!) | My Writes

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