NaNoWriMo The End Is In Sight

I’m now on 36,950 words and the end is in sight. I’ve been finding it a little bit easier this week. I was relieved to be able to catch up with my words last week because it would mean I could still meet my target while writing slightly less per day, but since that point I’ve actually been writing more. It feels better to be gaining on words rather than catching up. As well as that, it no longer feels like such a high goal to reach with just 13,050 words left to go. I remember it felt like I’d accomplished a lot just when I’d hit my first 10,000, but now I’m looking forward to reaching 40,000 because it’ll mean I just have that thin slice left to go. I’ve already written more than that so I know I can do it.

I think I’m also willing to put the extra time in when I know I’m going to be getting a break soon after. It’s like when I’ve previously done Game Jams, you’re happy to stay up late and work hard just for the few days, but over a larger stretch of time it would be exhausting. I made a Christmas Quiz for a party last year, only left it till last minute and so I had to pull some late nighters to get all of the programming, art work and questions done. It’s odd, as I don’t see myself as a person that copes well under pressure – I’m a bit of a worrier – , but then I’ve never regretted competing in these types of projects. I think you need a deadline sometimes to keep you on your toes, otherwise I put work off to another day.

As for NaNoWriMo, it feels more like a marathon to me and I usually find it’s better to try and pace them so I’ve gone for the steady, keep on track approach. I suppose in this case however, if you could write a lot at once you could potentially finish up early (apparently it’s possible to do the 50,000 in one week, but I don’t think I’d be capable of that myself.)

I saw through the forums that some people were able to get way ahead early on, writing around10,000 words over the space of one or two days. It may be due to my inexperience, but I’ve found it harder to write in such quantities without having breaks in-between. I find that I can come back refreshed and get a lot done quickly if I write in short bursts. I’ve also found that my best ideas come to me when I’m sleeping, travelling or in the shower – basically not sat at my computer – so in some ways I can be just as productive if not more so by not going at it constantly. I admit to being guilty of thinking that by cutting down on sleep I could get more done with my day, but that’s not always the case. There have been days where I have finished up early and could have probably written more, but instead I took the time to have a rest and recuperate before my next session. Give those ideas time to develop.

I think I’ve gotten faster at writing. I read on the NaNoWriMo blog that you should write what you feel, rather than thinking at this stage, and that is exactly what I’ve been doing more of. Just engaging with the scenes and letting the words flow. Sometimes I can’t always find the right words for what I want to communicate, so I just write a rough capture of it knowing that I can re-work it later. It’s better than getting stumped on the same sentence for too long and getting too stressed to think clearly. Since starting this month I’ve also kept up a habit of sitting at my laptop each day to write and it’s amazing what you can get done, even if you put just an hour towards it. I’ve also felt generally pretty good this month even though it has been challenging at times. When we look back, we tend to only remember the positives of participating in such events (that’s probably why I keep signing up to them,) such as making tiny achievements on a daily basis.

I think as a final motivating factor, while it’s easy to want to give up when you have so much stretching ahead of you, by this point it’d be a shame to fall at the final hurdle after putting so much effort in. I’ve been doubting myself throughout, but deep down I knew my stubbornness would keep prevailing. I knew that so long as I sat down at my laptop each day something would happen and I’d move closer to my goal. I’m also feeling more and more excited about my story as I go along.

Oh yeah, and my laptop hasn’t played up since that initial problem :).

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About wallcat

I have a strong passion for computing. In particular programming for which I am able to use a variety of languages including C++, Visual C#, Blitz Basic, Actionscript 2.0, Python and Lua. I also enjoy web-design and have some knowledge of HTML/CSS, PHP/SQL and Javascript. As well as programming I have a strong background in art and enjoy drawing in my spare time. When I’m not sat at my computer I like to keep fit by going to the gym or using my exercise ball.

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