NaNoWriMo: A Habit of Writing and What’s Next

Editor’s Note: Seth texted me at 1:33 p.m. Mountain Time on November 30 with the good news: “I just hit 50k”

This has been an experience I never thought myself capable of, and yet here I am, having written fifty-thousand words in thirty days. In that sense, I’ve succeeded.

But according to my outline, the first draft of my novel includes a prologue and seventeen chapters, of which I have written the prologue and ten chapters. Fifty thousand words, and I’m not quite two-thirds of the way through my draft.

As impressive a goal as fifty thousand words is, I thought it would allow plenty of space for a complete draft, and I was surprised to find I was wrong.

Cindy Pauwel, Ohio-based author of Forty & Out and Burned Bridges, agrees. “50,000 is way too short for a novel unless you’re writing for maybe middle grade,” she said at a writer’s conference in 2018.  “To have a good book, you need to have more time with it than just pumping it out in 30 days and shoving it out into the world.”

Pauwel also quoted the Dayton-based author Katrina Kittle as saying, “You can always fix a manuscript but you can’t fix it until the words are down.” So in 2019, I have some more writing to do.

I’ve built a habit of writing through NaNoWriMo, and I’ve decided that given my circumstances and other projects, and I can sustain a pace of 15,000 words a month from here on out. Since it’s much more difficult to write without a hard progress bar in place, I’ll be using this to track my progress and stay motivated:

15,000 words breaks down to 500 a day, about the length of the average newspaper article. Days I’ve met my goal will show up in green.  Once I finish the last 30 or 40 thousand words, it’s off to an editor for the next step in this process.

The GNAP Cast LogoThat’s not the only thing I have going, though. After NaNoWriMo, my focus will shift to my other creative platform, the GNAPcast, in preparation for the January 2019 launch of our second season.  There are a lot of creative and marketing decisions involved in that which I’m responsible for, but I honestly can’t wait to begin sharing our brand of geeky, weekly entertainment. Who knows? Maybe I’ll even see some of you over on our Podbean channel.

If you’d like to keep up with the different things I’ve got going on, check out my Twitter and Instagram pages, @seaofinkmedia and sea_of_ink_media_, respectively. I try to keep them as updated as possible with what I’m up to.

Happy New Year, and thanks for coming along with me on NaNoWriMo 2018!

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