Whew! I’m still catching up with “normal” things in the aftermath of NaNoWriMo. I claimed my official win on the last day of November (though I’m pretty sure I hit the 50,000 mark on the 19th). The month confirmed several things about my writing habits.
I’m motivated by concrete goals. You know those old-school sticker charts where little kids would earn a gold star for meeting their goal? Yeah, those still work for me. Earning badges on the NaNoWriMo site helped me push myself. Even when I was so tired, my eyes were crossing, I hammered out those last few hundred words to reach 10,000 … and 25,000 … and 50,000.
I’m good at short bursts. Word sprints are my friends, and group sprints are friendly competition. I’ve already mentioned that word sprints are already a part of my writing routine. Using the NaNoWriMo site’s word sprint timer, I was able to keep my word count climbing. I found that I could usually get 600+ words in a 20-minute sprint. But strangely enough, I could crank out 350+ words in an 8-minute sprint. So doing more short sprints actually increased my overall output. (Weird, huh?)
I’m comfortable with ebb and flow. From the beginning, I planned to take a slow-and-steady approach. After all, I had other writing to do in addition to Tad’s story. And so some days, I only clocked in with 350 or 500 words. But my daily average for NaNoWriMo was 2,000 words because I set aside my Saturdays for a big push. (Something I plan to keep up.) Those days, I used word sprints to write 7,000+ words.
I’m a big fan of daily. The badge I most wanted to obtain was the one for adding to my word count 30 days in a row. Daily habits speak of a way of life, and I’m definitely happiest when I’m up early, quietly tapping away at the next story … and the next story … and the next.
[My NaNoWriMo Badges]
What about you? Did NaNoWriMo teach you anything about yourself?