NaNoWriMo Day 6: 25K

There’s no point hiding this fact, given that it’s on the NaNoWriMo site at the moment: I reached 25K tonight. Here’s the email the organisers sent when I updated my word count:

25K-Progress-Email

Isn’t it glorious?

I’ll admit, I’m more than a little bit tired at this point, but there’s a very good reason for that: I’m also working full-time. This is, specifically, why I’m so happy to have reached this point in the novel after only 6 days. While attempting to write a good book in a short period of time, I’ve also been testing the theory that I actually do have enough time to write a lot every week, if I just made myself.

See, it’s too easy to make excuses. I spent the last few months doing that, as if working full-time was going to stop me doing anything on weekdays. But do you want to know what I was doing a lot, that wasn’t helping? Playing stupid games on my phone.

Yep, that bad.

So, I uninstalled them. Simple. I don’t miss them. I have one more on my phone that’s a fun one to play every now and then – one of those games where you find objects in a given amount of time. I’m keeping it because there are practical benefits to training yourself to find small objects in a messy area. I haven’t played it all month, but I have it just in case I have a spare few minutes and a modicum of interest in playing it.

But I digress: 25K. That’s important. I wrote 10K on Sunday, but then I had to face a whole week of work, while attempting to write at the same time. I set myself a goal, to reach this word count before the next NaNoWriMo meet-up in Dublin, on Day 7. Five days, 15K. Simple, right?

The tiredness in me would hate you for suggesting that. It’s not simple, but it is manageable. And you know what else I did this week? I watched television shows. Flash, Arrow, Supergirl, The Big Bang Theory, Supernatural – all on weekdays. I kept up with most of my favourite shows (unfortunately, not Once Upon a Time, because my brother’s Netflix account had been signed out!) while working and writing a lot.

I didn’t think that would be possible, but it is.

I found that a repeating playlist of songs helped, while forcing myself to stay up and write to reach a word count goal unless I physically couldn’t keep my eyes open anymore. This was the case last night, and if not for a complete lack of a social life thus far this week, I wouldn’t have made it this far.

But I did procrastinate with Cinema Sins videos on Wednesday before writing, so I ended up having to stay up later than intended, which had knock-on effects on Thursday. So that’s my bad.

A reward system helps, of course. The NaNoWriMo badges are a nice touch, but they won’t always do the job. I’m considering the meet-ups my reward for writing so much. Getting to meet other writers is such a joy, and difficult to manage when everyone seems to already have a writing group, or expresses no interest in forming one. (Who knows, I might manage to convince a few people to start one after this month!)

It took a lot of perseverance, but here I am at the half-way point after less than a week. My goal: “win” NaNoWriMo by next Thursday, ahead of a busy few days. It might be a bit mental, but I can’t wait to get started on the second half of the word count goal. Just, you know, after a little bit sleep.

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About Paul Carroll

Paul Carroll is a writer, born, raised and still living in Dublin. By day he's a student and bookseller, by night he writes fiction and uses social media.
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