NaNoWriMo Day 11: Update and Lessons Learnt

Word Count: 14,562 (I’m behind!). Here’s the video…with text below.

I had this request from @sheetalMakhan on Twitter “Hi! In ur next vid, if poss could u pls share a bit more about how u save ur work & do wordcount (daily?) etc :0)”, so here goes. (Please feel free to email / tweet me more questions!)

  • I have been writing on the train on my Dell Mini 9 Netbook, just onto Wordpad (basic typing only). Then I put the saved doc on a USB key and add it to my master file on my big Laptop at home. I don’t delete anything, I have just been writing without fear!
  • I have also now printed what I have done – not to edit, but rather to read and fill in the gaps. I know the whole story now, but not the details. I guess I have written the outline that I should have done before November!
  • Re actually doing my word count, it has certainly not been daily! I have sporadic bursts more than anything. I am also suffering this week as I am moving house and it is draining energy and time (and don’t forget the day job!). But basically I just type away merrily, whatever comes into my head. As mentioned before, I am treating this as a “really crappy first draft” (see Anne Lamott ‘Bird by Bird‘ for more on this – great book!). No one will see what I write this month, as I intend to rewrite, research and improve this over the coming months and make it a viable thriller novel.
  • I have also lost track of characters and timelines this week. This post by Scott Westerfeld on Meta-Docs has really helped me as it shows that established authors also have this problem unless a separate document is kept.

Back in a few days with some more updates. How’s your NaNoWriMo going?

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  1. says


    Thanks so much for answering my question about saving & word count! Your tips & advice are very helpful, inspiring and motivating. I’m so happy I ‘found’ you online :-) All the best with your NaNoWriMo and with settling into your new home at the same time! Looking forward to further updates.

  2. says

    Good update! I’d probably have to write up a rough outline before November, otherwise my novel would go nowhere. But I guess that’s part of what NaNoWriMo is all about.

    That really stinks that you’re moving houses this month. Moving is stressful enough, but participating in NaNoWriMo must make it even more stressful.

    Keep at it, sounds like you’re making definite progress!

  3. Grant McDuling says

    Hi Jo,

    The train is a greatly under-utilised resource. I completed my BA degree with majors in Communications and History on the train! As writers, we must make use of every available chunk of time, especially during our creative times of the day – times we travel to and from the office. Fortunately, I now no longer have to travel as I write full-time from my home office.

  4. says

    Thanks for your feedback and support guys – I appreciate it :) Even if I don’t “win” Nanowrimo with 50,000 words I am happy to be focusing on a new writing project. I will continue to work on the novel into next year, so we’ll see where it goes!

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