“The difference between the almost right word and the right word is really a large matter. ’tis the difference between the lightning bug and the lightning.” Mark Twain

What NaNo Did - A Goals/Progress Post

In case you don't know, NaNo is National Novel Writing Month - when a bunch of crazy people (including me - this year for the first time) attempt to write 50,000 words of a novel between November 1 and November 30. It runs every year, and ended last night. Click here for more info.

Going into it, I really didn't know what to expect. I didn't think it would be easy by any stretch, but I figured I'd be able to manage it - or at least come close.

So how did I do? Why don't we start with my November goals, taken from last month's goals/progress post?
  1. Keep up on the blogging I "need" to do (FaithWriters blog three times a week, Monday Manna, a2z, and my three group blog posts) minimum. Anything else is gravy. (some of this I've prewritten before November)
  2. Write 50,000 words in Handmaiden to a Princess (yes - typing that TOTALLY freaked me out!).
  3.  Do NOT read every blog on my google reader (this COULD be a goal that's hard to keep, believe it or not - but if I don't, there's NO way I can get the writing done I need to!).
Well, I did manage to keep up with my "required" blogging - and even managed one "gravy" post. So I'm pleased in that department. And as for #3? Also a success. With only a few exceptions, I only read the posts from my If I could only read ten blogs list - as is evident from the SEVEN HUNDRED AND EIGHTY-NINE posts from November that I deleted from my google reader so I could start fresh in December. (Can't wait to get back to reading my friends' posts again!)

And then there's goal #2. The one that freaked me out when I typed it. AND the one I did not meet.

In fact, I came just under 20,000 words short. Check out my word count for the month:

But I learned. A LOT. And I now have some pretty serious questions to ponder. They include, but are not limited to: ** I write best (or at least fastest!) when I am "competing" - whether it is against others or the clock.** I need to look at small goals (baby steps, yanno?) rather than larger ones. ** If I set big goals, I WILL get overwhelmed, and possibly freak out. (yeah - I know this one from experience) ** For me, writing a novel is very, VERY hard. A lot of things about it are completely contrary to my natural tendencies to write. ** My previous statement MAY mean I am not meant to be a novel writer. But it may not. Seeking God about this. ** Fifty thousand words in the month of November is possible - though not in any way easy - for me. (yeah, I know I didn't make it. But once I learned some of the other lessons, I realize that if I had used some of the strategies from the beginning, it likely would have been doable). ** I have a lot to learn about writing well. A LOT. ** I am a plotter with slight pantser tendencies. I should have plotted more beforehand. ** Open Office counts "open quotes" as a word on its own in its word count (hassle!)

And that's just the tip of the proverbial iceberg. It was definitely a good experience.

But what about December, you may ask? Well, here are my goals.
  • Three blog posts a week minimum
  • 10k in Handmaiden To A Princess
  • Start working on "reworking "Ailing Body, Nourished Soul 
  • Get back into my "usual" routine
It seems there may be something else - but that's what I'm sticking with. Thanks SO much for reading, and for your support! Onward I go!

Traveling Rough Roads With God's Strength


  1. I'm proud of you for getting that much done. I decided not to NaNo this year and now I feel like I should have tried. Oh well, there's always next year!

  2. Way to go! You did Nano month! Congrats :)

    I too need to revisit my writing goals and shine up the dusty disciplines that need to accompany...

    Thanks for sharing :)


  3. Learning who you are and how you work best is a big accomplishment! I think it was a very profitable month for you. ((hugs))

  4. I've never done Nano. Really need to try it one of these times. :-) Ah, the pressure! LOL But good job on all your goals!

  5. Jo, you did fantastic! 30k is great!! And learning what you did is FABULOUS!! Way to go, my friend!!


  6. Definitely, 30,000+ words is fantastic!
    Great job! Hugs!

  7. You did a phenomenal job, PLUS you learned about yourself. I'd say it was a stellar month.

  8. GREAT job, Jo! Of the six times I've done NaNo, I've only made 50K twice, but was a winner every time because I was doing my passion, writing fiction like crazy!

  9. You learned quite a bit about yourself and your writing. That makes it a great month and a terrific experience! I didn't even try this year. Only had fourteen days free in November. Can't write 50K words in fourteen days. :(

  10. Congratulations, Jo!!! 30,000 words on your novel PLUS the blogs you wrote SURELY added up to over 50,000. Either way, you're a winner in my book. (pun intended. snicker.)


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