My NaNoFiMo

As you may recall, I didn't attempt NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) this year, although I did set a goal to finish the first draft of my novel, which was already started, by the end of November. I felt like I was fading down the home stretch and wanted to challenge myself to complete the first draft. Tagging along on the coat-tails of NaNoWriMo, I dubbed my fictional endeavor NaNoFiMo, as in National Novel Finishing Month. Since I don't keep a writing log or journal, I decided to document my results here, so I can look back at this post, once I forget the details.

My goal for November was 1,000 words a day, and although I fell short of 30,000 words for the month, and didn't finish the first draft by my self-imposed deadline, I did come close. For the month, I wrote 24,912 words (830 words per day), which is 5,088 words shy of my goal. I know it seems like I'm fixating on the numbers (I'm a bit of a statistics nerd), but I'm also looking at the results as a way to measure my progress and forecast a realistic writing schedule going forward.

The bust in my goal was expecting to write every day for 30 consecutive days. I ended up not writing anything on seven days in November. I blame part of the failure on my oversight of a birthday and a national holiday (as well as an exceptionally good month for my Spartan Football and Basketball teams). The upside is that for the 23 days in November that I did write, I beat my goal of 1,000 words per day (1,083 wpd, for you numbers freaks).

So what's the lesson I learned? I enjoyed challenging myself, and didn't set a goal so high that it turned writing into drudgery (which I fear a full NaNoWriMo would have). I also found the upper limits of my current productivity level and came close to finishing the first draft. The 5,088 words I fell short still wouldn't have been enough to finish the first draft, since, as of now, I estimate I still need at least 10,000 more words to finish.

Based on the data, I hope to finish the first draft by the end of the year. Since December will be a busier month for me with vacation and holiday travel, a 10,000-word month seems like a challenging, yet achievable goal. In a month from now, we'll see how I fared.

The first draft of Warlock & Wyrm sits at 78,773 words, with 26 out of 31 chapters completed. Now, on to December!