Justin Tadlock

Day 11 of NaNoWriMo

A coffee cup sitting on a desk next to a blank sheet of paper with a pen on top of it.

I just wrapped up 1,726 words for the day. I produced this in a 35-minute writing sprint and a later 45-minute sprint. Not bad for Day 11 of National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo).

I’ve had two solid days in a row, which has given me hope that I may damn well finish this thing.

As a writer, you always have doubts. Half the initial battle is simply pushing those doubts aside and doing the work. Each day that you put in the work, you gain a bit more confidence that you’ll reach whatever goal you’re aiming for.

My manuscript is shit right now. But, it’s better shit than I had 11 days ago. First drafts are not meant to be Nobel-worthy prose. They’re brain dumps. You get the ideas out. You doubt yourself some more. Then, you put more words out.

Here’s my NaNoWriMo 2018 stats for the moment:

  • Total Words: 17,826
  • Words Remaining: 32,174
  • Average Words/Day: 1,620

NaNoWriMo is all about hitting the 50,000-word goal before the clock ticks 12 on December 1. Thirty days of dumping everything you can get onto the page.

More than that, it’s about building habits. I’m still struggling a bit with fitting things perfectly in my schedule. I’m getting better, but I still have a ways to go. I’ve written every day for 11 days now. That’s the big positive. Right now, I need to find the ideal time each day to write and stick to a schedule.

Over the last couple of days, I’ve started to find a bit more of a groove. I grew tired of the first character that I was following in my story. I found that I loved another character more. Then, I fell in love with a third character. It’s a good thing I’m writing in third person. I’ve hit a point where I can see some pieces coming together.

I have glaring plot holes. I’ve changed backstory from one chapter to another. But, I’m keeping my inner editor at bay. At the moment, it’s about telling the story. The other stuff can be addressed during the editing phase if/when I get there.

If there’s one piece of writing wisdom I’ve learned working on such a large project, it’s that I wish I would have made a basic outline of the story. Just having some idea of what should happen next would help me flow from scene to scene with less trouble. It’s something I’ll definitely do in future projects. I may try my hand at outlining some of the later stuff as I move along in this project.

Overall, I’m enjoying this challenge. Last week was tough after getting sick. There were certainly times when I thought of throwing in the towel, but I’m happy I pushed through. My energy levels have returned. I’m feeling much better. Tomorrow, I’m looking forward to sitting down once again and seeing where my story goes.