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November wrap-up

I’m winding up National Novel Writing Month with 16427 words. I realize that isn’t anywhere near 50k, but I’m pleased. I met my goal for the month, which was to write every day (except for the two days I was running a weaving symposium and knew in advance I wouldn’t have time), and to get myself back into a sustainable writing schedule. I have trouble with “binge writing” where I write a zillion words in a short time then none for a while. This doesn’t work long-term simply because it’s so hard to get back into the project if it’s been sitting for a while. My objective was to write a bit every day, even if only a hundred words after work (and I’ve frequently been so tired that even that was a challenge), and write more on weekends when I had larger blocks of time and energy.

I did that too: I wrote 7000 words over the Thanksgiving weekend. Some of the best parts of this book have been written at the kitchen table at the farmhouse. No internet, most of my responsibilities left at home.

That 7000 words put me well past the half-way mark on Paper Magic. I’ve written half a novel!

I’ve written many more words on a single project before, but they’ve never been half a novel, just a bunch of words. This time I have an outline, and a plan, and the words are organized into chapters and have a purpose for existing. Very exciting, really, even if you have to take my word for it.

I was looking back at some of the medium early bits tonight. My writing skills have definitely improved, because I can see how badly they suck! Well, I knew this needed a complete rewrite.

I’m hoping to have a complete draft by early January, with more good bits and a lot of words written at the farmhouse kitchen table over Christmas. I have an outline, and know how everything is likely to come together. At this point, it’s all a matter of butt in chair.

Congrats to everyone who made 50k words in November. Don’t stop – finish and revise your masterpiece!


  1. Dr. Phil says:

    I personally think that if you do NaNoMo you shouldn’t feel back to not make the 50K — you’re not a “failure” if you’ve done some writing. (grin)

    Dr. Phil

  2. Eric says:

    What Dr. Phil said! And good job: I’ve been struggling just to finish a damn short story with a third as many words, and considering it an achievement to get 600 done at a spell.

  3. Sarah says:

    Oh, not at all! I’m very pleased with what I’ve accomplished, and that I’ve set up what appears to be a sustainable level of effort.

  4. Sarah says:

    Eric, on work days 600 words is about the absolute maximum that I can write, and it’s often less than that. But I’ve been trying to write something every day, both for the incremental progress and to keep it fresh in my mind. One hundred words is a manageable amount regardless of how tired I am (usually), and that guarantees that I’ve at least thought about the current project.

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