Sunday, 4 December 2016

A Busy November
A few weeks ago, I announced with confidence to the world - well, to the readers of this blog, anyway! - that I'd been preparing for NaNoWriMo 2016 and was ready to write 50,000 of a brand new novel. Did I achieve my goal? I'm sorry to say that I fell way short. I wrote 15,352 words, in fact. In terms of word count, it could be considered as a big fail.

But was it? Isn't writing more than word count? I think so! November turned out to be a very busy month with meetings, visits and two weekends away. As a 'bottle-half full' girl, I decided to look back on the positives. Out of the thirty days in the month, I didn't write on eighteen days. Therefore, writing almost 15.5k words on the remaining twelve wasn't too bad, was it?

The month started well and the planning I'd done throughout October helped me start writing novel two with flying colours. I was enjoying getting to know my characters and I was transported to the sunny climes of Greece where the story was set. 

Then I received a much appreciated email with suggestions for edits and changes to my first novel, with the offer to read the final draft when I'd finished. The words of each new scene or re-write were added to my word count but much of the time I was substituting words or amending scenes which didn't add any more to the total. Even though my focus changed unexpectedly during NaNo, I still think it was a very valuable few weeks. Novel number one is hopefully much sharper and I shall return to my second novel in the new year.


Are you a NaNoWriMo 2016 winner? If so, huge congratulations! I can remember the feeling when I achieved my goal two years ago. If you didn't, what positives can you draw from participating? I'd love to read your comments. 

On the short story front, this week I was pleased to learn that my entry, 'The Bag Lady', was shortlisted in the Erewash Open Short Story Competition. 

Thank you for reading my blog. You may also follow me on Twitter @JanBayLit and on Jan Baynham Writer Facebook page.

12 comments:

  1. 15000 words in a month is really good, Jan. In any other month, you'd be feeling like a winner, surely? Plus, I think you were right to work on those edits for the other piece, if you had someone who wanted to read it once done.

    I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with NaNoWriMo. I love that it helps build a daily writing routine, I hate the competitive word count posts/tweets and the idea of winning or losing, so this year, I did a Stealth NaNo. I didn't log on to the official site, and I just wrote, not telling many people that I was doing it. It worked for me, and I reached the 50k total.

    I think you have to do what works for you, don't think about winning or losing, and take every word added to the wip as progress.

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    1. Congratulations on writing so much in November, Kath. I think your comment about NaNo helping to build a daily writing routine is what attracts me. I know that I've made a good start on novel two and am more than pleased about that. Thanks for your encouraging comments.

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  2. As you know, Jan, I don't do NaNo & I think one of my reasons for not fancying it is the competitive nature of it. The only person I ever compete with as a writer is myself & even then, I would never use the word 'fail' under any circumstances.

    'Not writing' is a thing, the same as 'writing' is a thing & not completing Nano is simply something you didn't so. You haven't failed anything!

    If taking part has helped with your current story then it's a win! xXx

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    1. Thanks, Carol. I'm pleased with the start I've made and know that the planning I did in October will help me when I get back to writing novel two. I appreciate you popping by to leave a comment.

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  3. I love that you have a half full bottle, not just a glass!

    Although I didn't actually do NaNo, just my own short story version and didn't write quite as much as I'd hoped, I did produce quite a lot of new work, so I reckon that makes me a winner.

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    1. Yes, definitely, Patsy. Well done. Thank you for commenting.

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  4. 15,000 words in a month is a fantastic achievement, Jan. Maybe you are remembering your big success last year when you romped home with a magnificent 50,000, but I think there is far more to NaNo than that. I think that what matters is that everyone writes as much as they can in spite of all their other commitments, and clearly this is what you have done, so - congratulations!

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    1. Thank you, Sue. I so agree with you that NaNo is much more than the word count. I'm in a better position now with both novels than I was before the start of NaNo and that's got to be good. Thank you for your supportive comments as always.

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  5. I too failed to reach the 50,000 target, Jan, but your post has made me look at that in a new way. Nano gave me the kick I needed to keep writing instead of constantly stopping to edit or do a bit of research. It enabled me to get a lot more of the story down, so perhaps it wasn't a failure after all. Thank you :)

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    1. I'm pleased you look at the writing you achieved last month in a more positive light, Karen. Well done on the writing you did do. Thank you so much for popping by to leave a comment.

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  6. Sounds to me like you had a very successful month! Who wouldn't put their NaNo novel aside to work on one that's attracted helpful attention? (Publisher? Agent? Very exciting!)
    I didn't do NaNo this year, but when I did I wasn't trying to compete with anyone. I just found it a fun way to generate new ideas and scribble down very rough first drafts.
    At least you have 15,000 words to get you off to a flying start when you begin 'properly' writing your second novel.

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    1. I agree with your comment re- competitions with anyone else. I look at NaNo as competing only with myself and my habit of procrastinating rather than getting on with the writing! Thank you for dropping by.

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