NaNo in Hindsight & Where To Go From Here

Today, while at a customer's doing what is "the day job", there was this guy who had printed out motivational slogans and had them up the wall all around his desk. I couldn't judge. People do whatever they need to do in order to get through the day.

Today, while at a customer’s doing what is “the day job”, there was this guy who had printed out motivational slogans and had them up the wall all around his desk. I couldn’t judge. People do whatever they need to do in order to get through the day. One in particular has stayed with me. It said:

A goal without a plan is just a wish.

And that’s true. With NaNoWriMo over and already seeming a very long time ago, it’s only all driving home the fact that I seem to be pretty much incapable of planning.

Looking back on NaNo, was it worth it? I spent 30 days freaking out at anyone and anything that wasn’t to do with writing. It was all I could think about. Was it stressful? Hell, yes. I can only imagine what it must be like for people who need to force out x number of articles/short stories/novels professionally, and I do not envy them. Well, I do, but for entirely different reasons.

NaNo Final Word Count (Scrivener)
Validated (NaNo Validator ate 30 of my words!)

In the end, my progress was pretty standard:

That almost looks like progress!

The two dips were periods mid-weeks that I just had too much going on to really want to do anything. I did manage to catch up, though; and really, that’s what matters.

Using NaNoLyser, I can see the days where I was most productive, too.

NaNo Progress By Day Super-jazzy Pie Chart

Whether it was just the way I was working for the month, I’m not sure, but those figures don’t surprise me all that much. As you can see, Monday was a poor turnout all around, which is fair, isn’t it? It’s Monday, for God’s sake, you don’t want to do anything on a Monday. And by Wednesday the work week has well and truly kicked in and sucked out the majority of your life and soul, so clearly no writing can take place. By the time Friday rolls around, you’re inches away from drinking yourself into a coma, and as entertaining as drunken prose are, you can only do a handful of scenes before you fall asleep on your keyboard.

So…yes, that’s all very colourful and pretty and yay to me for getting to 50,000 words (50,029 if you want to get technical) without killing someone. Go me.

The sad part, and it is a sad part, is that from the very beginning, I knew that I would not write this story this month. By which I mean I knew I wouldn’t finish it. Couldn’t. Not if only for the fact that I physically fit all the scenes into 50,000 words, unless every scene was less than 500 words. But I will not be beaten. I will get this book written if it kills me.

But I have a plan. Oh yes, that’s right. An actual plan as well. Which means that my goal to finished the aforementioned book is not merely a wish (you see what I did there rounding back to my opening randomness? Yeah, I thought you might.).

My plan is essentially simple. Looking at my Scrivener document as it stands, even after bringing in the old draft scribbles (which, by the way, have bumped my post NaNo count to 67,000 words), I currently have 30 unwritten scenes within the story. If each scene averages around 1,000 words, that will be an average of 30,000 additional words required to complete this draft.

I am setting myself another 30 days in which to do it (I took out yesterday as a planning phase). Which technically means that I am going to be 1,000 words or 1 scene behind in an hour and ten minutes. It also means that I’m going to be spending potentially another month freaking out needlessly about word counts and whatnot, but hey ho, stress in some capacity is good for you. Right?

I am armed with Scrivener and Write or Die. Bring it on.