Yay, I made it to the finish line, stuck a feather in my cap and called my first draft almost passable reading. 50,461 words! I reach the 50,000 word count on November 30. And still I was working on the draft that night at Writer’s Atelier, which also made for some fun and ending the celebration with wine.
Thanks to Writer’s Atelier in Orlando and its founder Racquel Henry for their support and providing a great environment to work. If you get a chance, stop by to say hello and check out their workshops.
So now what? Now what, indeed.
I will continue writing the manuscript, hopefully in time for the January/February 2016 NaNoWriMo “Now What?” revision months. However, February seems like a more feasible time for me to revise the manuscript. Before last November, I had an existing project with already 7,000 words. According to revised NaNoWriMo rules, participants are allowed to bring in an existing manuscript. However those words won’t count in November, but only the ones typed during the event. And as I mentioned before, I typed out an additional 50,461 words last November, bringing the grand total of the manuscript to 57,461.
My intention was that starting in December, I would as looking to add about 30,000 more words to the first draft, in the middle of Christmas preparations and … well, life in general. I’m using a website called Pacemaker (www.pacemaker.press), which allows the user to customize their project goals according to format (e.g. manuscript, dissertation) and how to stay on track in achieving that goal (e.g. word count, chapter). There are also adjustable details in customizing this calendar, such as the amount of workload on specific days and dates, and charting the daily progress of the plan as a table, a graph, or a calendar.
I admit, I struggled with continuing my NaNoWriMo first draft once NaNoWriMo 2015 wrapped, not because I didn’t feel the drive the event gave me, but because I felt burnt out from it! I envisioned my manuscript to have 90,000 words in total, meaning I would have to add 33,000 more to the project between December 1 and December 31, but I noticed my burnout. After a week into December of producing a few more thousand words, I shelved the project.
Now, I reset the deadline for completing the NaNoWrimo 2015 first draft, giving myself a new start date of December 26 and a deadline of January 31, 2016. That means I have 37 days to get 28,000 words on paper (actually, computer screen), which means 757 words per day. So far, so good I’m doing. At least 757 words is more manageable than 1,667 every day.
And on that note, Happy New Year!
Teresa Edmond-Sargeant is an Orlando, FL-based journalist, author, poet and editor. A former staff writer in North Jersey, Edmond-Sargeant won two NJ Press Association Awards and is now a reporter for The Apopka Chief, a community newspaper in Central Florida. She is the author of a poetry book “How Fate’s Confusion Connects” and three Amazon Kindle short story ebooks: “Eve the First,: A Fairy Tale Revision,” “Ethical Strains” and “An Estella Exclusive”.