November is here! The influx of freshly shaved faces ready for Movember on my Facebook feed this morning only made it easier to get straight into writing without the usual distractions. Yes, NaNoWriMo has officially begun, and my first day this year has probably been my best yet.
I can’t quite remember how I did on this day two years ago, but I don’t think it was this successful. I’ve just decided I’ve done enough for today and my word count is 2834 – a number I’m really happy with. Wrimos need to average 1665 words a day to hit the 50k target, which I think would be easily doable without the distraction of having a job, but unfortunately I doubt my landlord would take a writing project as a legitimate reason not to pay the rent this month. With that in mind, my aim is to utilise weekends as much as possible. When I hit 1000 words, I thought ‘I could do another hour later on and that’s my day done!’, but why stop at the daily target?
It’s hard to see why at the beginning, but going above and beyond when the first day is a) a Saturday, and b) THE FIRST DAY, is a perfect reason to just write, write, write. The only reason I’ve stopped now is that I saw my productivity getting less and less. My first 1500 or so words came within a couple of hours, which is reassuring as I could set that amount of time aside to write each day and stay on target, theoretically, but as the evening has gone on, I got much slower. I don’t want writing to turn into something I have to do, rather than want to do, so I’ve stopped for the day in the hope that I feel just as enthusiastic again tomorrow, but on the days that I don’t feel this good, or that the words simply aren’t coming, I know I’ll have overcompensated in advance so won’t have to worry so much.
And that’s my best piece of advice from day one: Ignore daily targets, if you can write, write. Think of it as banking your words as insurance against a bad day later. There will be some.