My Real NaNoWriMo Goal

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.

14 thoughts on “My Real NaNoWriMo Goal

  1. Jemi Fraser

    Awesome!! I’ve got about half of what you have and I’m thrilled with it. :)

    I’m the same with challenges I don’t think I can meet. They really bring me down and then it’s hard to climb back up. Much better to set a goal I have a shot at reaching. I love NaNo for this reason. I couldn’t do this every month, but once a year, it’s a blast!

    Good luck!
    .-= Jemi Fraser´s last blog ..Yikes! =-.

    Reply
  2. Kim

    This is a great goal, Belle! And I love the name of your story. I can’t wait to read it someday. :)

    And, I completely agree with you that it really doesn’t matter how long your first draft takes to write. It’s almost always a rough draft, and I’m pretty sure taking six months to write it instead of one or two isn’t going to change that.
    .-= Kim´s last blog ..Winding Up and Winding Down =-.

    Reply
  3. Steve Kubien

    Well look at you being all prolific and stuff. Good for you. I write my blog about woodturning but I certainly do NOT consider myself a writer. I don’t have the discipline for it. I am in awe.

    As for the slug Ms. Miller, who the heck is she and what has she done for the betterment of our world? Glad I don’t have to sit across from her while I eat my Cheerios.

    Reply
  4. Cathryn Grant

    Getting the story down … that’s what’s so great about NaNo. I had to pass this year because I’m deep in final edits, but I got 2/3 of a novel last year and was able to finish a first draft by spring.

    I wish you the best. I feel confident you’ll meet your goals because I know how fast you write and how focused you are.
    .-= Cathryn Grant´s last blog ..Podcast- An Undesirable Roommate =-.

    Reply
  5. Becka (StickyNoteStory)

    My husband is one of those NaNo-naysayers, so I’ve grown a thick skin over the years when it comes to those types. I just point out the positives of NaNo, and then they usually still decide that it’s “stupid” and I move on with writing. Because guess what? I’ve written several books and they have (usually) written none. So who are they to say, you know?

    Good luck with your goal! I’m finding this year’s story to be particularly challenging.
    .-= Becka (StickyNoteStory)´s last blog ..NaNoWriMo Day 11 =-.

    Reply
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