Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Don't Try This at Home, Kids

Camp NaNoWriMo, Day 6
Yesterday, obviously, was Day 5
Yesterday I tried to do a 10K day to catch up. I didn't succeed, but I didn't fail miserably. I wrote a little over 7K words. The last and only other  time I tried a 10K day, I wrote about 8K words in a day.
I didn't like that day--when I wrote 8K words in less than 24 hours--and I remembered yesterday just why I didn't enjoy it.
1. It burns you out. The first time I tried it, which was during NaNoWriMo, I got writer's block for five days. I don't have writer's block now, but I'm not on top of things. My brain still feels a little bit like a slushy, so I have to take a break.
2. You write wrong. I know the whole point of NaNo is to get the words down, don't censor yourself, just put the bones down. I think there should be some excitement left, even if you know you're doing it all wrong, but there isn't for me when I try to write that much in one day. I just feel really crappy. I'm overwhelmed by my wrong words because I've written so many of them.
3. You move too fast. For me, a writer who takes three years to write her first novel, moving at such a rapid speed is terrifying. I feel like my pacing is all wrong, like my scenes are too short. Should I really be here already? Am I forgetting something? (Yes, even though I've got it all planned out, I still feel like I'm forgetting something. I probably am, because I didn't pause to contemplate it. I forgot some piece of vital information.) I don't like it.

10K days are obviously not for me. This is probably not the last time that I'll attempt one. I'll forget one day just how terrible they are to me, and try it again. I mean, hey, there are people who can write 20K words in a day. 10K shouldn't be that hard, then.

Someone please smack me if they catch me considering to put myself through this again.

There are a few good things about 10K days. Your word count goes way up. You get to those juicy scenes that you've been just dying to write. You learn discipline. On my first 10K day, I remember relying heavily on Write or Die, and ending up with a bunch of incorrect sentences or fragments full of typos. I don't know how many typos I made yesterday, but I didn't have to open Write or Die, as much of a wonderful program it is, once. That's something.

So today, campers are supposed to be at 10K. That puts 3K on my agenda for tonight. I'm not the best at math, but I think that's significantly less than 7K, so I'll probably be okay. How are you doing with your goals?


  1. You did amazingly well that day, Elle! I can't even contemplate writing 8000 words in a day, let alone 10,000! You deserve a medal. In fact, I have something for you. It's not a medal, but hopefully it'll be just as good -- it's an award. The Booker Award, to be exact. Full details are on my blog :)

    1. Thank you so much, Spell! It is just as good. I feel so honored.:D


I'd love to hear your thoughts!