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National Novel Writing Month: Week 1

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Google Images

Words to date: 17,818
Words to go: 32,182
Days to go: 23

The first week of NaNoWriMo is off to a great start! I’m ahead of where I need to be in order to reach 50,000 words by November 30, and I feel great. Maybe I’m still in the honeymoon phase, coveting my writing time and skipping social outings in order to work on my novel, but I’m loving it. I hear that one can get burned out easily by week two or three, so I’m storing up extra words for a day that I just can’t bring myself to write. Right now it feels awesome and natural, something I definitely could do all day every day instead of teaching — but my day will come for that in due time.

NaNoWriMo is traditionally fictional writing, but I’ve decided to write about my time in Arizona. My experiences and lessons and journey have been in my mind and forming a story for quite a while, so it’s time to get it out of my head and onto paper. I’m not alone in my memoir writing, and I’ve picked up some great tips in the forums for not having my novel come out sounding like a collection of journal entries. When I was thinking about writing about Arizona I wasn’t even sure I had enough to write about to reach 50,000 words; however, at the moment I’m more than fifty pages in and I’ve only just arrived at the ranch– so I guess length is not really going to be a problem.

After one week of participating in NaNoWriMo, I have picked up a few important tips for writing your novel in thirty days:

Don’t edit: This is hard for most people, myself included. I find myself wanting to start at the beginning of my novel and rewrite and rearrange the whole thing; however, that would take away from this stage of the actual writing process — getting words on paper. They may be crappy and horribly nondescript words, but at least they’re on paper and I can edit them when this month is over. When I get stuck on a word or paragraph, struggling to find the perfect way of describing something, I have to remind myself to move on after a minute or two and just deal with it later.

Have a routine and set a daily word goal: I’ve been shooting for around 2,000 words a day during the weekdays, and I usually get about half of that done in the morning and the rest in the evening after work. Each weekend is different regarding my schedule, but this Saturday I’m going to Tongyeong, the next island over, to meet with other people participating in NaNoWriMo for a Writeathon. We’re meeting at a coffee shop, and I’m excited to be around people all doing the same thing and trying to reach the same goal. With all of the creative energy flowing in the same space I’m hoping that it will create some extra inspiration and get my words flowing. I’m setting a goal to reach 25,000 words by Sunday night, so bring on the coffee!

Get off the internet: Seriously. The internet is the biggest time-sucker / word count killer around. Just stay away.

And with that advice, off I go. How is everyone else doing with their novels?


I have circumnavigated the globe, I have lived overseas, and now I'm back in America about to marry my beautiful fiance, Renee. Follow our adventures in travel, getting healthier with Plexus and starting a brand new life.

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