NaNoWriMo 2015 Redux

I-have-not-failed---Edison by Inspiyr, on Flickr
Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 2.0 Generic License   by  Inspiyr 

Let me start out by saying that, from the stated goal of NaNoWriMo, I failed. I wrote just over 20,000 words, which is my least successful NaNoWriMo run since 2007.

HOWEVER.

And it’s a big ‘however,’ as you can see by the font and bold and . . . SEE WHAT I DID THERE?

Anyway . . . I wrote 20,000 words that I do not hate. This is something that I’m still having a problem believing. I haven’t liked anything I’ve written for a long time, aside from some flash pieces. So the fact that I have this foundation to work with is heartening, so I don’t really consider this a loss so much as a good start.

Now, I just have to keep my momentum going. I have characters, a plot, clues I have to drop, lead-ins for the next two books to subtly hint at . . . and now I just need to put butt in chair, hands on keyboard, and follow through. Which is easier when you sit down and don’t hate what you’re writing. Hence the lack of posts on this blog over the last . . . long time.

For added incentive, I sort of have to get this to a point I like before too long. I am going to Paradise Lost VI in San Antonio, TX, in April, 2016. In the critique track. So I have to have, you know . . . a thing to critique. I think it’s something like the first x chapters or the first x,000 words, plus a synopsis. I think I have enough that I could conceivably do the synopsis now, and maybe even use that as the outline for writing the rest of the novel.

Me? Do an outline? I’d be practically unrecognizable!

A while back, I posted something about J. K. Rowling’s method for plotting the Harry Potter series. After I posted that, I played around with the format until I landed on something I could maintain. I have a spreadsheet with columns for all my plot lines and rows for days/chapters. It was surprisingly easy to lay out several linear plot lines. I’ve known what has to happen in my story for a long time. It’s all that wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey stuff where you have to smush them together into something coherent that was the issue. Because I kept trying to do that on the fly. I’ve been a pantser for as long as I’ve been writing. This whole ‘planning’ schtick is . . . hard.

There are twenty-one work days in December (plus four weekends and a two-day work holiday). Of those twenty-one, I will be at the office for only eleven. This means that for roughly two thirds of December, I will be at home. With nothing to do. Except write. If, that is, I can avoid the time-sucks that are Facebook and Twitter. And Codex. And Goodreads. And Reddit. And YouTube. And podcasts.

I may have a . . . slight problem.

Maybe what I’m leading up to is to take a month off social media to work on actual things that matter to me, or so I keep telling myself.

In other news, by the way, I have been submitting one story for publication. I’m currently waiting on a rejection from its fourth market so I can send it on to the fifth one. The waiting is the hardest part, because some markets have wait times measured in months. And this is a humorous, science fiction, flash piece. The number of markets is quite limited. :) I have other pieces I’m working on to get ready for submission, and will start those as soon as I think they’re done. And then have one or two people look them over to make sure there’s nothing else I can cut.

I could set an actual goal for December, if I put my mind to it. Something like . . . let’s say, getting two — no, three — more stories (of any length) ready for submission before 31 December.

There! I did it! I set a goal. An actual goal! And it’s a SMART goal, I think.

Which, of course, gives me the perfect opportunity to put a progress meter up for the actual writing of my novel, and for the SMART goal.

No, it’s not an elaborate form of procrastination. Really.


  1. This is not me being a pessimist. This is me being realistic. :) I’m not at the level in my writing where stories get accepted more than rejected, yet. Because I don’t write and submit as much as I should.
  2. Specific (3). Measurable (stories ready for submission). Achievable (it’s a stretch, but I can do it). Relevant (to my personal goals; duh). Time-bound (by December 31st, 2015).
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4 Responses to “NaNoWriMo 2015 Redux”
  1. Sounds to me like this has been your most successful NaNoWriMo because it will lead to much more. April will be here soon. I need to submit some short stories but the rejections become disheartening.
    Talya Tate Boerner recently posted…Gracie Lee’s Instagram Party!My Profile

  2. Beth Tanner says:

    Sounds like a noble set of goals – and perhaps some good discipline on the social media front!

    I am taking two weeks off around Christmas and trying to do much the same if you want to write-in or have some ‘day off accountability’ or sommat.

    • I hope so. The first step is to figure out which three stories of mine are “closest” to being ready to submit. I have so many in various stages of “finished.”

      And sure, having a day-off-accountability-buddy would be great. :)
      Gary Henderson recently posted…NaNoWriMo 2015 ReduxMy Profile

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