Did You Reach Your NaNoWriMo Goal?

It’s November, which means that if you’re a fiction writer, it’s National Novel Writing Month for you. Given that the month is well underway, you may or may not be happy with your progress.

And that’s the problem with NaNoWriMo. How do you measure your progress other than just finishing the pursuit of the 50,000 word goal.

If you’re almost there, then good for you… but is it worth a damn? If simply finishing is your goal, then yeah, have a beer. Nothing wrong with that. Especially if you’ve learned something along the way.

Like, this novel-writing stuff is really, really hard.

But if your goal was to use the month to create something upon which you can build, both in terms of learning curve and raw material, then perhaps it’s better to stop right where you are. If you’ve realized that you’re okay with not reaching 50,000 words because just finishing wasn’t your only goal, then you can stop right now and be happy with the knowledge that you’ve not wasted your time.

Either way, Rome wasn’t built in a day, and your novel won’t be built in a month.

The Unspoken Goal Shared By All

Admit it or not, but pretty much everyone who begins the task of writing of a novel has the same ultimate objective in mind – to publish the damn thing. To create something of value, something that touches people, moves them, makes them laugh and cry and think.

Once you fess up to that unspoken goal, everything changes. It’s like parenting, which you should be serious about if you want to succeed. There are principles to observe, methods that work and common mistakes that don’t. There are proven ways to get there, and if you’re just making it up as you go along – both in terms of novel and parenting – you probably won’t succeed well.

And that’s a shame. Because your publishing dream (again, very much like being a parent) is a serious and worthy goal. Your process should be just as serious and worthy, too.

The Criteria Shared By All

At the end of the day, no matter what process employed to create it, a great story has certain elements and criteria. You can take the long road or the proven efficient path to discover them all – your call.

Inherent to this goal is one scary yet illuminating truth: everybody who submits a manuscript finishes. And just finishing doesn’t mean you’ll get published. There are thousands of completed manuscripts arriving at publishers every month, and only a fraction get a second read

Only a fraction of those get a contract.

So How Do You Get There?

I’m going to tell you. Right now, in fact.

There are pat, cliché answers to the question, “How do I get published?”. Answers so simple and obvious – yet true – that they become naïve and insultingly dismissive in nature. Because you already know them.

Just write a great story. Give us a cool character with depth and meaning and soul. Touch our hearts and minds. Do something fresh. Surprise us.

Yeah, you deserve a better answer than that, don’t you. Duh. Here’s another way to view it, to quantify it, and maybe, to finally wrap your exhausted literary mind around it:

There are six core competencies you need to master – not dabble in, but actually master at a professional level – before you can write a publishable novel. That’s as true as gravity, death and taxes. They are:

Concept… character… theme… story structure… scene execution… writing voice.

Virtually any aspect of the writing process and its ultimate product can be dumped into one of those six buckets.

Now, there is good news and bad news where that’s concerned. Established authors, those brand names that won’t go away even though you read their stuff and think, “Hey, I can do better than that…” These fortunate folks need only to be good at these things. All six of them. Good as in better than the average submitted manuscript.

Hear that clearly: good. They don’t need to be brilliant. They’re already on the roster. You’re not. It’s their name that sells the book. You need something more, because your name, at this point in your writing career, is worthless.

Michael Connelly could rewrite the Santa Monica phone book and it’d be a bestseller.

You, on the other hand, need to be otherworldly brilliant in at least two of those six core competencies to break into the business of being published.

Read that again.

Two. Any two will do. In some cases, if it’s brilliant enough and the other five are simply very good (no small order, that), one will even do the trick. Better to try for two big winners, though, as that’s a rare commodity and almost always results in a publishing contract.

Make no mistake, though. The remaining core competencies need to be really good, as good as anything you see published today. And make no mistake, creating something otherworldly brilliant is abundantly, absurdly, hard.

That’s why people with a manuscript, even really good writers, aren’t publishing their work.

The Secret to Breaking into the Business

You don’t need to write like John Updike or Joyce Carol Oates, and you don’t need concepts that make you think of Dan Brown. Unless you do have concepts that resemble those of Dan Brown, in which case that’s one of your two brilliant aces in the hole.

John Grisham hit it big with The Firm. A killer, totally cool concept. The other five elements… well, they were fine. His first novel, A Time to Kill, which was just as good or better in the view of critics, barely got attention. And the rest of his novels… again, good. It’s an opinion, but dare I say, Grisham isn’t quite up to brilliant.

And take Dan Brown. Had you heard of him before The Davinci Code? Nope. He hit on brilliance on two fronts with that novel: concept and theme. Character, not so much. His writing voice was just okay.

Brown has made $300 million to date – personally – by being astoundingly bold and brilliant in two out of the six core competencies.

Here’s a little insightful truth about getting published that explains this two-out-six principle. The folks who publish books aren’t looking for good. They see good every day. And they have plenty of good with their existing authors.

You, the unpublished author, need to show them something better than good, because they’re looking for the next home run.

Agents and publishers are looking for a book that becomes a whole reading experience and exceeds the sum of its parts. Something that rocks them to the core, material that they’ve never really seen before.

You have six ways, six core competencies, to leverage and give them that. If you can knock two of them out of the park while making sure the others are delivered at a level of quality that competes with those already-published authors, then you have a shot.

So as you review your NaNoWriMo manuscript, or your work in progress or perhaps the latest manuscript that came back to you in the mail, ask yourself some tough yet potentially life-changing questions:

Was there something about my story or my execution that was otherworldly brilliant? Off-the-charts original and compelling? Something, anything, that made it better than just good? That made the whole exceed the sum of its parts?

Maybe you’re selling yourself short. Just maybe you could do better. Whatcha think?

Post by James Chartrand

James Chartrand is an expert copywriter and the owner of Men with Pens and Damn Fine Words, the game-changing writing course for business owners. She loves the color blue, her kids, Nike sneakers and ice skating.

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  1. I like your idea of the six core competencies, that really brings it into focus. We have to realize that the odds are against us, and being otherworldly brilliant is really hard.

    I didn’t participate in Nanowrimo this year, but I have at least enjoyed writing for my very small audience on the web. I find it very satisfying.

    When I finally decide to get cracking on that novel. I’ll probably review those six elements you mentioned and decide which one I’m most likely to become otherworldly brilliant in instead of trying for all six at once. I tried the latter before. It hurt my brain.
    .-= Kenji Crosland´s last blog ..What Velcro Taught Me About Selling Ideas =-.

  2. I am currently at 78K+ on my NaNo novel, and aim to finish the first draft completely by end of this weekend. This was my first NaNo and I really enjoyed it. First two weeks were easy to focus, but last two weeks were a bit harder, because I kept getting distracted. But still, a productive experience.
    .-= Lost Wanderer´s last blog ..Night – A Book Review =-.

  3. Tracy (aka spiritwolf32) says:

    Doesn’t look like I am going to reach the word goal for nano this year either but my outlook on my novel has changed. I want to restructure the thing and make it better.

    I love my ideas and concept, in fact, most of my stories start with great ideas. I just have trouble getting those ideas out of my head and onto paper in story fashion. That can get really frustrating for me.

    But those six categories give me something to focus on if and when I finish a novel and I want to get published. This was just another great post.

  4. No, James, no! You can’t ask yet; I still have three days!

    :D

    Love the six core skills idea. They really come into play (for those who’ve finished their novels) in the second draft, when it’s time to start looking back at those thousands of words and deciding what needs to change.

    Yay for revision! If the tantalizing lure of editing isn’t motivation enough to make me finish my novel . . . anyway. Thanks for the wisdom, James.

  5. Nicole Brunet says:

    @Rose You actually still have four days. Don’t short yourself. ;)

    @James Good points all, and another splendid article on writing. I am going to have to refute your unspoken goal theory though, at least in regards to NaNoWriMo.

    I’ve been a NaNoWriMo participant for the past eight years, and by “participant” I mean I signed up and wrote a few words down. Before this year I would agree that somewhere in the back of my mind was the dream to write a publishable novel (after much editing, of course), and I think my average annual word count hovered right around 2,000 words, my max being in the 5K range. Um, yeah. Sad!

    This year, after having had several minor breakthroughs and successes with writing over at Escaping Reality (thank you once again) I went into NaNo with an entirely different mindset. I had three solid goals, none of which even dabbled with the thought of creating one publishable word. I was simply sketching on an unprepped canvas.

    These were my goals:

    1. Make a solid attempt to keep up with the word count goals (1,667 words per day).

    CHECK!

    2. Create one or two characters that I thought could become really interesting and run with them. Figure them out. Talk to them. Dig up their background stories. Really get to know them. One thing I’ve found tedious on ER is filling in Lizzy’s background, which I know is a key factor in figuring out what motivates her. The task was always just too daunting to me for some reason, and I wanted to explore that more with some new characters.

    CHECK!

    3. Learn something from the process. Up to now I’ve written mostly in a cooperative format, where I only have control over one character, and even then I don’t entirely control what happens to her. I wanted to try my hand at the “playing God” thing, and see how it felt.

    CHECK!!

    As I discussed with one of my NaNo writing buddies early on (hi Ed!), the least of my goals was the 50k (no, I will not reach that, but I’ll have put a really good dent in it), and not once was this experiment meant to be something novel worthy. At best I thought I might get one or two fleshed out characters and a few interesting scenes out of all this.

    And you know what? I had a blast! I learned a lot, and I accomplished what I set out to do. So with four days left and almost 27,000 words down, my answer is YES, I did reach my NaNoWriMo goals. Thanks for asking, cutie. :)

    I am a modern day Da Vinci, and NaNoWriMo is my sketchbook!
    .-= Nicole Brunet´s last blog ..NaNo: Day #1 =-.

  6. Not James! Not James! LARRY! Larry Brooks from Storyfix wrote this – and I lost the header and footer that said so.

    (Then I went off to cry that none of you loyal readers realized that this TOTALLY wasn’t my voice and style! I am unique – UNIQUE I say!!!)

    @ Nicole – Ahh, but see? This is where I DO think NaNoWriMo comes in handy – when it has NOTHING to do with hitting 50k words and publishable novel, and EVERYTHING to do with “alright, let’s finally get over this fear/hangup/whatever”.

    What I think (personally) isn’t too smart is the people who rip themselves up to SHREDS, emotionally, internally and thoroughly trying to hit that stupid 50k marker without any clue why. THAT’S not bright.

    @ Rose – Those six core skills really come into play in the FIRST draft. Because if they don’t, I think it’s just writing for nothing, no? What’s the point?

    @ Tracy – I tend to have the “well, I’ve had a ton of fun and this is great writing but there’s no purpose” problem, at which point I get bored and wander off, LOL… I think you and I have similiar obstacles, mm?

    @ Lost – Productive… sounds great! But productive without purpose isn’t really that productive, so I assume there was a goal you had in mind, yes? What was your particular goal or purpose in participating?

    @ Kenji – What gets me is that NaNoWriMo actually sets people up to write for nothing, essentially. I believe the stats were 150,000 people participated and less than 30 of those were published.

    Why not write an ebook and sell it? Why not devote all that effort and hours into creating something that gives more back, all the time? (I’d build a new business, for example.)

    Dunno. Seems… dunno. Eh? Your thoughts?

  7. Thanks James. I was off crying in the same keg of beer, since your readers seemed to appreciate this post.

    And, our styles are pretty close, buddy. That’s a good thing.

    Thought I’d take this opportunity to at least throw in a link here, where readers can learn more about the Six Core Competencies:

    I’m at http://www.storyfix.com.

    Thanks all. Glad this is helping, and it’ll serve you as you move forward, eithe with the next draft of your NaNoWriMo manuscript, or your next project.

    And FYI, this is the sixth entry in a series about the Six Core Competencies that I’ve written for James here on MWP. Check out the others for a full view of the subject.
    .-= Larry´s last blog ..Guest Post: Writing Mentor and Character Champion Bill Johnson =-.

  8. @ James

    This is why I’ve spent November doing work that was much closer to actually making money than writing a bad novel.

    I do, however, like the idea that just being able to finish a complete rough draft is a good first step to getting a good novel done.
    .-= Kenji Crosland´s last blog ..What Velcro Taught Me About Selling Ideas =-.

  9. This is a great post that really put things in perspective. It takes a lot to get published.

    I think I stick to writing for my blogs…
    .-= Bengt´s last blog ..Hans Rosling: Asia’s rise — how and when =-.

  10. Nicole Brunet says:

    @James I should have known there was a reason I scrolled back up to the header twice to make sure it said your name.

    @Larry 50,000 pardons, but blame James. ;) Make no mistake, I do so enjoy your articles. In hindsight this one does ring with your voice, and has some great info, as usual.
    .-= Nicole Brunet´s last blog ..NaNo: Day #1 =-.

  11. @ Nicole: I scrolled up twice too, then shrugged it off with a “Maybe James is have a mid-life crisis and moderately changed his style as a result.”

    So yay for no mid-life crisis! And I approve of your nanoing. I made the mistake of not making any personal goals when it came to Nano, and it looks like I might not get there at all (12k! Come on, Ro-Ro!)

    @ James: Yes, the six skills need to come into play in the first draft, but the truth is that if you spend your whole time focusing on Writing With These Qualities in Mind, your novel will come out stilted. The point of Nanowrimo is literary abandon–writing for the sake of writing and ambitions, grammar, self-editing, social pressures (and family) be damned!

    As Stephen King quoted in “On Writing,” you write the first draft of a story to tell it to yourself. The second, third, and fourth draft are for other people. If all six of those values come naturally and unconsciously, then use ‘em in the first draft, by all means. But as a goal for a first draft, they could be stifling.

    @Larry: Great article! It’s a compliment to you that James tried to pass it off as his own. ;)

  12. I view NaNoWriMo as the kick in the pants to get off my butt — the antidote to the One Day Syndrome (One day, I’ll do _____ ). That said, I decided to go with a story a friend and I plotted oh…16 years ago.

    So, the story has changed dramatically in writing it, but you know what, October 31st, I had nothing more than a list of characters and some sketches. Now, as I near the home stretch, I have 45K+ words of plot, story and character — my zero-eth draft.

    Then for my actual 1st draft, I’ll take into account Larry (and/or James’) tips. :-)

  13. @ D – Ah, now, there’s a purpose I agree with. “I’m not getting to this and putting it off. I need to be accountable so that I can finally finish it.” Yay! NaNoWriMo does exactly that. Good on you.

    @ Rose – If the point is literary abandon, then why is it not done anytime, without the rules, the 50k goal, the “must shut myself up and kill my life for a month,” the “go away everyone”… doesn’t make sense. You can’t get abandon through limitations and self-restrictions.

    And I did *not* (haughty sniff) try to pass off Larry’s work as mine… Sheesh!

    @ Nicole – Thank GOD someone recognizes my voice… !

    @ Bengt – Yes, and I think that’s part of the problem with NaNoWriMo. It dangles a nearly unreachable goal at people without telling them that it’s nearly unreachable.

    Now, I’m all for taking a chance, a risk, TRYING. Yes. I do that all the time myself. If we don’t try, we have nothing. But if someone implied that I might have a published book and then I find out I just wasted a month… I’d cry!

    @ Kenji – Aye, I agree with you there. I do like that NaNoWriMo’s high word count goal tends to have writers say, “Screw the editing…” which seems to be a HUGE problem with many people.

    They get all fevered. “Must edit, must edit…” NO! Don’t edit! Write! Love writing!

    @ Larry – Wait, what?! You have beer? Where the hell is MY beer?

  14. @Rose – thanks for your comments. I’d like to offer three perspectives, though, on how understanding and (especially) applying the Six Core Competencies isn’t/shouldn’t be stifling. Quite the contrary.

    First, these six things are the fundamental skills of storytelling. To “not worry about them” in a first draft is like playing a round of golf without a putter, or flying an airplane without landing gear. It’s just part of the deal.

    Your story won’t work until you DO integrate them into your story — no exceptions there — so why wait? And how could they then be stifling?

    Second, when Stephen King suggests we write our first drafts for ourselves, he isn’t remotely suggesting we ignore a few of these pesky fundamentals in the process. Any more than Tiger Woods would suggest you learn to play golf without a putter. King gets this, and I promise you, his first drafts have all six in play, as ours should.

    Third. any draft (especially the first), and any writing process, is a search for the optimal balance between these elements. Certainly, a first draft often (and usually does) come out with one or more of them lacking. But, to “not worry about them” (my quotes, not yours) is, again, the wrong approach. Indeed, the more you understand about how your story will execute these six factors is the degree to which the draft will succeed.

    If, in theory, you had all six in solid form before you wrote your novel, you wouldn’t need three or four or more drafts, as King suggests. Because, as I just noted, drafts are nothing more than a continuing search for these elements, and there’s absolutely no reason you can’t “find” them before you even write the first draft. You can. I know this — I’ve sold and published three novels that were, in essence, first drafts, because I did this preliminary “search and development” work beforehand. I published books 4 and 5 (out of my 5 sold novels) as what I called “edited” first drafts, meaning there was a bit more tweaking involved. But all five began their process, their search, with all full awareness of these six factors.

    I’ve never written a third draft. Not because I’m some freaking genius, but because this process WORKS.

    Stifling? Quite the contrary. Writing draft after draft after draft because there remain huge holes to fill… THAT’S stifling.

    And finally, when King says to “write with abandon,” again, that doesn’t mean “write without a clue what you should be writing.” It means try things, experiment, see what happens along the storytelling path.

    It’s like Tiger trying different clubs on different courses to see what best matches with the demands of that course. It has nothing to do with forgetting how to play the game in the first place.

    Too many writers make this mistake, this assumption. And they don’t publish until they figure it out.

    The Six Core Competencies don’t write the story for you, they are the tools with which you write the story. To begin any draft without understanding them, and then applying them during the process, isn’t justifiable as “abandon,” it’s just sentencing the story to a subsequent draft that corrects errors of omission or creative side-trips. Both of which are unnecessary. And both of which, by the way, King himself totally avoids because HE gets this stuff. From page 1 of draft 1, he’s already applying an understanding of these six fundamental factors. In fact, he gets them better than anyone, which is why he’s Stephen King… why would any of us not aspire to know what he knows?

    To not know what he knows is “stifling.”

    The sooner we all “get” it — and make no mistake, all published novels do demonstrate that the author gets it, not matter what their process — the sooner we’ll publish what we write.
    .-= Larry´s last blog ..Guest Post: Writing Mentor and Character Champion Bill Johnson =-.

  15. Tracy (aka spiritwolf32) says:

    @James – I’d say we do. I can open my mouth and tell a story off the top of my head. I used to do that with the kids. (Not my kids – Nieces and nephews and sisters and brothers etc…) I even had them believing in a guy who I could only talk to through candle light. It is awesome telling stories.

    But when it comes to writing it down, I can’t help but keep going back to check, saying “No that’s not right” “this is wrong” Then I constantly edit.

    It then becomes like a chore and I get bored with it. I have been working on the no editing thing, but old habits are hard to break.

  16. Wendi Kelly says:

    Ha James,

    I knew it was Larry from the get-go. Since I am a faithful Larry follower ( ever since his first guest appearance here) I knew where the six core competencies came from. Good stuff, and let me say to both of you that it has helped my writing a great deal. Thanks for for having him here James, Larry is a goldmind of writing information.

    I didn’t do NaNo this year and I’m glad, the self imposed guilt of not having time would have been no fun at all. But I do agree with Lizzy that a lot of folks do it for all kinds of reasons. For me last year, it was simply the discipline of showing up to the page each day. Never made the final word count but the habit stuck. For that I have been grateful.

  17. Just wandering by on a lazy Sunday afternoon. I’m not much of a fiction writer.
    I do appreciate good storytelling though.

    @Tracy, my grandfather was a great story teller too.

    He had me believing that he used to go whale hunting as a child in Poland (note: Poland is landlocked) and that he caught the whale that hangs in the Museum of Natural History in New York (second note: that whale is plastic).

    My point (and I do have one) is maybe you’d do better if you spoke the stories aloud (like you did for the kids) and recorded them, rather than writing.
    .-= Jodi Kaplan´s last blog ..Freebie Friday: Helping Others =-.

  18. Tracy (aka spiritwolf32) says:

    @ Jodi – That’s actually a great idea. I do record notes and ideas. I actually bought a mini recorder for that purpose, so that might work. Thanks for mentioning it.

    I have always loved telling stories to the kids. I love Halloween because of that. I have even had some older people believing in things. It’s great to see their reactions while your telling the stories.

    If I could get my writing to bring out those reactions in people, then that would be even more awesome.

  19. I have a completely different take on Nano. You see, November is my once a year foray into fiction. Mostly I prefer writing non-fiction. But I thrive on the comraderie and silliness inherent in Nano.

    What makes the whole thing so special is that it is fun – you come to realize that while writing is solitary, being a writer doesn’t have to be. There are other writers out there and you can connect. Some of my best friends I met through Nano.

    Anything that encourages creativity (even for its own sake) is wonderful and worth supporting. Not all writing must be done with profit in mind. In fact, I would go so far as to say that doing Nano (just for fun) has improved my non-Nano writing.

  20. @Mary – I do agree. Anything that encourages creativity is a good thing. But when it becomes a pressured, forced, guilt-inducing, family-shut-out kind of affair, then I have to say that the cons outweigh the pros.

    Or, perhaps the true problem is how the tool of NaNoWriMo is being used by its participants. I’m sure the creators of NaNoWriMo never wanted people to self-flagellate themselves to the extent that many participants do.

  21. I really enjoyed NaNo this year if only for one reason: I got involved with my home region this year. I went to write-ins, participated in the forums, and generally became more a part of the community. It was really encouraging to be in a group like that, and even when I wasn’t always sure if I could make the word count (especially after last week), they were there to cheer me on. It was a great experience, and it makes me look forward to next year even more.

    I like NaNo because it really forces you to write. You can’t run into writer’s block and let the story languish for weeks or months on end (which is a problem that I run into more often than I’d like to admit). You have to find some way around it. Sometimes it’s not the best way, and other times it takes your story in a new direction that you never expected.

    And, for whatever it’s worth, it’s really, really gratifying to see that little blue progress bar slowly inch its way to the right!

  22. I didn’t do NaNo this year, as I was editing my novel. Heh! I would love to do it next year, if the next one gets finished before November rolls around. I have a lot of research to do, so I’m not sure. It’s hard to research when you have a full-time job. Since I pretty much know what will happen in the sequel to the one I just finished, it might be fun to do that for NaNo and just bang it out.

    Thanks for the list of six things to master. I hope I did that but it is nice to have something to refer to. And thanks to Larry (post above) for clarifying their importance.

    Happy writing, everyone!

  23. Kathryn Pless says:

    I didn’t even come close to finishing this year, but I did write more than last year. It was fun, stressful and I learned a bit about my creative process. Thanks for a great article!

  24. @ Kathryn – Ahh, good on you for writing more. Boo on the stress but yay for the fun and learning!

    @ Hannah – There’s a good idea. Prepare throughout the year, get all your ducks in a row, and when next November comes, all you have to do is write freely. Sounds like a plan.

    @ Michelle – If there’s one thing I agree with, it’s that NaNo is a true procrastination buster. DO IT! GO! Yes. (Without going crazy over it, of course.) It has the sense of accountability that many people need to finally get things done.

    Cool about the community, too – how’d that all come about?

  25. @James – I think the big reason we had such a good community this year was our municipal liaison. She worked hard to make sure that there were write-ins set up every week at places that everybody could get to. When too many people couldn’t make Monday night write-ins, she held Friday night write-ins are her apartment. And she even set up a last-minute Saturday night write-in after Thanksgiving so those of us who couldn’t make the final Friday night write-in had another chance to go.

    So, yeah. A municipal liaison can make or break a community, I think.

  26. @Michelle – You tell that woman she was brilliant. If someone around here put together a write-in like that, I’d definitely be first in line to show up.

    (No, don’t look at me. I’m a player, not an organizer…!)

  27. I’d like to say that Yes! I completed NaNoWriMo. It was by no means easy, and the “novel” is by no means complete, but wow! at the beginning of November, it was really hard to imagine that I would actually do it. A lot of it has to do with mindset (and a wee bit of free time).

    @Larry — I noticed that your Twitter ID is @Storyfix not @Storyfixer
    .-= DWongster´s last blog ..NaNoWriMo: I Did It! 50K+ Words in a Month! =-.

  28. Hope it’s not too late to join in the great post. Very interesting to see your analysis of which key points make a saleable novel, liking that. It’s never the same for anyone, so why torture ourselves?

    I found myself veering off in another direction at the beginning of NaNo, so I went with it, and as a result was thrilled with what came out. It wasn’t a novel but my blog took on a personality of its own – like a teenager who refuses to be or do what their parent thinks is best – my writing found its own voice in its own way, and became something that sincerely surprised me. (polite proud parent applause here)

    NaNo’s mass momentum and group goal setting are astounding. I’ll never underestimate that again.

    Thanks for the booster on where to go from here with the WIPs.
    .-= HowDidYouGetThere´s last blog ..Interview with AJ Healy, Tommy Storm & the Galactic Knights =-.

  29. @HowDid – (That name reminds me of Howdy-Do… lol)

    It’s never to late to join in the discussion. I think it’s interesting how how ended up changing your blog because of NaNoWriMo – tell me more about that, I’m curious.

  30. Hi James: Thanks, just didn’t want to plug! But more than happy to explain, it really surprised me. I had every intention, and was in fact looking forward, to shoving my WIP2 past its 10,000 word quagmire. Thought my challenge would be my inner editor.

    But, things changed. A dear friend died about a week before NaNo, so I was extremely busy all month helping her husband and young daughter.

    This made me even more keen to know more about people, which is the focus of my blog – interviewing people on how they got to where they are. You know, the things that don’t come up in conversation, our glories that either seem mundane to ourselves, or that we’re too shy to mention.

    So, since my blog’s theme is Ordinary People in Out of the Ordinary Lives, and since I no longer had the momentum to work on my WIP 2, I went with what was nagging me — I changed my NaNoWriMo goal to blog weekly instead of 2x monthly, and set myself a goal to collect 25 Interviewees (Guest Stars) to schedule for weekly posting.

    Not Easy since most people really don’t think what they do is out of the ordinary!

    I ended up Posting 5 in November, getting 29 commitments, & 13 more queried.

    My real Ah-Ha moment came when I realized that since my writing voice had taken on a persona of its own, I was writing a sitcom of sorts, channelling my inner I Love Lucy!

    I started referring to it as: “The Internet’s 1st Blog-Com Part Blog, Part Sitcom”

    Again, Sorry for all this plugging but its what came out of NaNo for me, my 1st time —

    I’m now booking into April, and posting 2x weekly instead of once, and even have rotating themes: fashion, music, writing, and other.

    To sum up, Before NaNo I was apologetic about it, but now I’m confidently e-mailing complete strangers, thanks to NaNo’s group Goal setting and the massive momentum surrounding it.

    By the way – James — are you game for a go??

    All the best, Kristi
    .-= HowDidYouGetThere´s last blog ..Interview with AJ Healy, Tommy Storm & the Galactic Knights =-.

  31. @Kristi – That sounds awesome. Sometimes it’s the worst in life that helps us find what really matters to us and then do something about it. I’m glad that the sad event turned into something positive for you, and for many people.

    And I’m always game for a go. :)

  32. Teresa Dawn says:

    I don’t know, I didn’t make a goal to finish a novel, just to add 50,000 words to one I was writing…I know it’s not the “official” rules, but it was my goal… I wrote a LOT but whether I finished or not is yet to be debated… I still write with paper and pen and have not yet counted the words.

Trackbacks

  1. Getting Your Bad Self Published in 2010 says:

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  3. […] Men With Pens – Did You Reach YourNaNoWriMo Goal? […]

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