Sunday, August 31, 2008

Mini-NaNoWriMo Wrap-up

As some readers may remember, I posted at the beginning of this month that I had joined a writing challenge with some of my writing colleagues. We set up a mini-NaNoWriMo with a goal of 800 words a day, or 5600 words a week. The challenge was set to run from the beginning of August through the end of the month.

So, how did I do?

First, I want to say that the process was extraordinarily educational in that I learned a lot about my own writing process. I learned what worked for me and what didn't. I developed a solid discipline that helped me write through distractions, health issues, and family demands. I discovered that I wrote better in shifts--dividing my 800-word goal up into two shifts of 400 words. And I learned to listen to what the story was trying to tell me.

I didn't write every day. In fact, I had a week and half during which I did no writing at all. Part of that time was lost to injuries from a serious fall, and part of the time was given up to help move my son into his college dorm room. And yet, despite these diversions, I feel that I did well.

I finished two chapters of my novel and wrote half of another one.
I wrote a column for Mike's Writing Newsletter.
I wrote two critical essays for my MFA program.

In all, I completed 12,966 words in four weeks for an average of 3242 words per week. It's not 5600 words a week, but it's not bad.

And I'm pleased, so pleased that I plan to set this for my daily goal next month as well. Tomorrow, I begin the edits on those chapters I finished. Then it's back to writing new words, new material. Yes!

Finally, I'd like to send my congratulations to all of my writing friends who participated in the challenge. Every one of you is a winner!

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