So it’s still the 6th day of NaNoWriMo, and right now my word count is at 20,381. This is good, but actually not quite where I was hoping to be by today.
This year, I decided on a different NaNoWriMo goal. Rather than aim for 50,000 words, what I’d really like to do is get the first draft of ELEMENTAL completed.
You know how a story idea can stick with you through years and years? That’s ELEMENTAL. And now that I’m finally putting this story into words on a page, I’m finding a real eagerness to just get the story down.
This eagerness is fanned by the fact that I don’t know how the story ends; I’m finding out as I write.
As Stephen King says in On Writing, make it your priority to just get your story down on paper first (I’m paraphrasing here, because, as always seems to happen, every time I want to quote from On Writing, I can’t find the book. Then, when I have no need of it for citation purposes anymore, up it pops – which usually happens to be when I dive in for a re-read …).
I found myself very excited this year as NaNoWriMo approached, and a large part of the excitement came from this desire to finally get the story down. To have a completed first draft.
My goal is to write 4,000 words a day. I met this goal on Days 1 and 2, but fell short on the other four days. Day 6 is not over yet, but I have a work deadline to complete, so I don’t think my word count will change today.
My intention was also to make writing my first priority by getting my writing done first, before doing anything else. I didn’t do this on days one to four, but did manage it yesterday and today. And yes, it’s much easier when I do my writing first!
I hesitated to post about this goal of mine, mainly because I wasn’t sure at all if it would be something I could actually do. Challenges are not fun if I feel they’re insurmountable. Now? Well, yes, I think I can meet this goal. I really do.
Of course, there’ve also been some NaNoWriMo bashing posts going around (most famously, this Salon.com post), but for me, that’s neither here nor there. I’m generally not deterred by the opinions of people who don’t know me.
I’ve always been a fast writer; that’s not going to change just because some people feel that all quickly written works are devoid of merit. All first drafts are rough; that’s the nature of a first draft (unless you’re Isaac Asimov, who often didn’t need to do a second draft).
Getting to the final draft that can be submitted? That’s what revisions are for. And alpha and beta readers. And more revisions.
But first, you’ve got to get the story down. Before you can do any of that, you need that first draft. And this month, that’s my goal.