The intellectual equivalent of a ham sandwich.

8,000 Short

My great NaNoWriMo experiment is over! The grand result, 42,000 words written in 30 days. Well, 28 days. I started a day late and I didn’t even try on the last day.

I came home to Arizona to see my family for Thanksgiving and I had to do 4,500 words a day in order to finish. Day 1? No problem! Done during the airport wait and flight! Day 2 … uh oh. Day 3 … worse. Day 4, absolutely nothing.

Despite my failure to reach the goal I am really happy I tried this. It was fun, everyone was very encouraging (I only made it to one writing event but I’m glad I went). And most importantly, it forced me to write. Even on days when I wasn’t feeling it at all I sometimes turned out material that I felt ok with. I am confident that for every 10 sentences I write, 9 are drivel. It’s only logical then for me to write a whole lot of sentences. Also, I’m pretty happy with the story I’m writing.

Bragging note: I thought of the story idea on November 1. On the 31st I thought and thought, and boom, November 1 it came to me! I didn’t start writing that day, which brings me to my next topic:

Lessons Learned/Tips for Future Self/Others

  • Sometimes I would think, “I need to do 2,000 words today … But I don’t think I can do that … I’ll make it up tomorrow.” Don’t do that! Instead write every day, even if it’s just 500 words. If I had done 500 words on the days I did 0 … That would’ve been smart.
  • If you go to a writing event, and someone tells you their plot and it sounds like humor to you, DON’T say that assumption out loud. It may lead to this hypothetical person saying, “actually it’s not humorous at all” in a very serious way. And then you have silence. Whoops.
  • Sketch out the outline as you can, and then don’t worry about it so much. I began to be frustrated that I was realizing later parts I would like to add in, make a note and move on.
  • If a part is not coming to you, make a note and move on to write the next part (this was difficult for me).


I fully plan to try this again next year, and in the meantime I will finish up the book I have started!

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