This is a guest post by Jaclyn Aurore, author of several novels and short stories published by Morning Rain Publishing. We’ve asked her to write weekly posts for the month of November, talking about her ‘National Novel Writing Month‘, AKA NaNo, experience. She agreed only on the condition that these posts would count towards her word quota.
Alright, so this is the fourth and final week of NaNo. It’s now or never. But never say never!
Jennifer has already finished. She did so many word sprints, her fingers must be tired. Her goal was to finish early so that she could spend the last week with her sister, having “off screen” time. So she won! Her final word count was 50,666 and she has no intention of opening her novel to write any more until at least December. So that’s it.
Now it’s down to me and Ms. Joanne. Well, let’s talk about me first, shall we? I haven’t quit, but I’m wondering if I should.
After discussing with a few people, I totally realized what my problem is. (Time for another Jaclyn Aurore anecdote, I’m afraid.) The thing is, when I write, I edit. I edit as I go because I find it so much easier at the end of the book to do an overall edit, if it’s already been scrubbed. If I’m halfway through the story and I don’t like where it’s going, I’ll turn back the pages to where I did like the story and edit, edit, edit. It’s a lot of rewrites, cuts, and do-overs, but in the end, I’m happy with the final product.
Well National Novel Writing Month is all about getting over your writers’ block and writing, writing, writing! 50,000 is the end goal for anyone who is not in school.
For high school students attempting the challenge, their word count is lower (25,000) because they have homework that takes precedence. I’d say anyone who has homework should have a lower end goal, so I’ll give Jo a bye.
But I don’t have a bye. I may have 3 jobs, 2 kids, 2 dogs, and a fish to take care of, and I’m the only licensed driver in the house, so I have to chauffer said kids, dogs, and fish (okay, not the fish, but the hubby) around, while working my three jobs… but I don’t have a bye. I knew what I had when I committed to the NaNo Quest and still I challenged myself to complete it successfully. So come hell or high water, I will reach 50,000 words. Blogging increases my word count so every time I tangent or segue, I’m doing it carelessly but intentionally. (Insert a winky face here, maybe insert two for kicks teehee).
But I digress, naturally. Because I know how I am when I endeavor to write books, I choose not to write full length novels when I NaNo. Instead, I write a series of short stories – and that’s how the birth of Britney Fairweather came about. So short stories aren’t always a bad idea!
Here’s where I bring things full circle. I feel awesome and productive for the first two and a half weeks of November. Every day I wake up at 5am and begin my writing rampage until 7am when I close down the laptop and put on my Mama hat as I get the kids ready for school. For the last two weeks, however, I’m not as motivated… if at all. My alarm is still set for 5am, and I still pull my cozy warm body out of the blankets to begin my cold long day, but as soon as I sit down at the computer, I find other things to do.
Only after talking to people did I realize why. The truth is that I’m so productive for the first half of November, writing a dozen or more short stories, that come mid-month, I’m either out of stories, or out of desire to write them. I feel like I’ve already accomplished so much, and yet, I’m barely at the 35k mark.
I have four days to write 15k. It’s totally doable and I’m determined, but man, I need to find that early month mojo.
I’ll write another blog post sometime next week to talk about the final word count… that’s all I can do. Wish me luck!
And while we’re at it, let’s wish Jo some luck too – she didn’t even give her final word count for the week – but she did say she hit the 10k mark. Which means, she’s in the same boat as I am – we’ll each have to do a 15k word marathon this weekend, or else…
About the author: Jaclyn Aurore is the author of The Starsville Saga (Starting Over, Standing Up, Giving In, Hanging On, Leaving Behind), short story Letters and Illusions, and has recently published the stand alone fantasy, My Life Without Me, as well as several of Britney Fairweather’s Tall Tales with MRP.
Among the other hats she wears, her favourite are that of ‘wife’ and ‘mother’.
When she’s not hanging out with her Mary Kay girlfriends in Ontario, Canada, Jaclyn can be found at Williams Coffee Pub, caffeinated beverage in hand, working on her next novel. You can learn more about Jaclyn on her website and her Facebook Page.