Friday, December 21, 2012

How I won NaNoWriMo in Five Days

Okay, I didn't actually win in five days. Not five total days. But, that was basically where it was won and nearly lost for me. Let me tell you how I did it.

First, the backstory

See, this was my seventh year competing in NaNoWriMo. Only one other year had I ever not finished, and that year has always weighed heavily on me. I've always regretted giving up. So, when I headed into this year, I knew that I was in it to win it.

I got off to a good start with nearly 7,000 words the first day. This tapered off the next six days as I had to work a TON, leaving me with only 16,000 words – just above where I was supposed to be.

The problem

After the first week, I went on vacation to visit the boyfriend, whom I hadn't seen in three-plus months. Where I had full intentions of writing. As you can imagine, they totally went awry. I enjoyed my time off from writing. I enjoyed it a lot. I enjoyed it so much that the 200 words I wrote that week turned into another piddly 4,000 the next week.

You realize that left me with about 20,000 words total heading into week four. WEEK FOUR, PEOPLE!

Well after that, I knew I had to get my butt into gear. In it to win it, remember? So I hunkered down and got my little butt to work.

The final week

It started with an all-night write-in. I thank my lovely Phoenix ML for swooping down in the nick of time with that one. 

Sunday (six days left): After work on Saturday, I headed to a Denny's half-way through the write-in. At 1 a.m. I started writing, and I didn't stop until 7 a.m. I managed 7,000 words. After a few hours of sleep, I managed another 2,000 before work and another 1,000 at work bringing my total to 10,200 that day. That took my total to 30,200.

Monday (five days left): Managed another 3,000 before and slightly after work. Total=33,200.

Tuesday (four days left): Had a great day with another 5,000 words between writing after midnight before I went to sleep and before work that day. It was fantastic. Total=38,200.

Wednesday (three days left): Another 3,200 this day. I really wanted more that, but it was all I managed. Total: 41,400. It felt really fantastic to have broken the 10k-left line however.

Thursday (two days left): My day off. I had Friday off too, but at this point I had this idea in my mind that I could finish. If only I could finish today, then I could take off Friday and not have to do any writing whatsoever. So I pushed. I wrote and I wrote all day long. And then I went to a write-in where I wrote and I wrote some more. By the end of the write-in (when the place we were at was shutting down) I was only 200 words away from winning. I went home, plugged in my computer and got to typing. Less than an hour later, I'd finished. A total of 8,900 words. Finishing total=50,309

How I did it

So that's my story. But how did I do it, you ask? Easy. I just did. I didn't let myself make any excuses. I didn't let myself slack off. And because of that, I wrote just more than 30,000 in five days. While yes, I did have the luxury of an all-night write-in, I did have that extra day too. 



But anyway... I'll talk about that Friday that I had off soon. In the meantime, tell me about your November! Did you do NaNo? If so, how did you do? Or if you've done it before, have you ever come from this far behind to win it? Please let me know in the comments!