So some of you may remember that I was talking about nothing but nano back at the start of November and then somewhere mid-month I stopped talking about it completely. Here is the truth about my writing in November.
I started my current WIP in mid-September. I worked on in sporadically for about a month and had 30k words of a rough draft. In the last week of October, I decided to change the POV which meant I had to re-write the entire thing. Since November was right around the corner, I decided to call my WIP a nano project, even if it was beyond cheating.
By November 2nd, I’d rewritten everything I had written before and was frantically drafting new stuff. By November 7th, I was at 45k words. I was sure to blow the 50k words in a month number way out of the water. I was on fire. I was a writing machine.
Unfortunately, my body didn’t appreciate me spending every waking second typing. I sit at a computer for eight hours a day for my day job. And then I was coming home and spending another five or six hours at my laptop. And while the experience did give me huge word counts, it also gave me carpel tunnel. When I was at 48.5k words I decided to call it quits.
My rough draft wasn’t “done”. I expect the final version of this book to be somewhere between 60-70k words. But I had written the beginning, middle, and end. The holes in the story were all scenes that didn’t jump out at me as I was drafting so I skipped over them. I knew what sub plots were still under-developed, but my hands couldn’t handle the stress of pounding them into submission.
So halfway through November, I quit doing NaNo. I quit writing period. I had 48,600 words and two weeks to spare. I easily could have reached 50k words by the end of the month. I probably could have reached 65k words if I’d really tried. But my hand hurt a lot, and frantic typing seemed like a very very bad idea. So I passed my not quite completed rough draft off to one of my critique partners and promised myself I wouldn’t write anything until December.
I had an ergonomic specialist come in and reorganize my cubicle at work. I started wearing a wrist brace. And I asked my husband for a more ergonomic home office for Christmas. Spending four days not touching a computer keyboard over Thanksgiving left me pain free. But heading back to work the following Monday reassured me that typing is still uncomfortable.
But it is now December, and my self-imposed break from writing has come to an end. It’s time for me to go back and finish that rough draft for real. I like my current WIP, a lot. I think it is going to be a really good book by the time I’m done with it. But I’m not going to set any crazy goals for myself about how fast I write it. The book is already all written in my head, it has been for a while. And it will be fully written on my computer whenever I finish typing it. But I’m not going to push it. Because I want to write lots more books after this one. And shooting pains up my arm whenever I move my fingers isn’t the best way to achieve that goal.