I was planning to give an update closer to the midway point, but I've begun to reassess my plans for the months and so here I am.
So, how much have I written? Well, despite my heigh word count numbers on the NaNoWriMo site, new words written amount to only 5,066. That makes me about 15,000 words behind schedule if I want to get to 65,000 by November 30th (I started with 15,000 on the page for this WIP).
The best thing about the month so far has been writing every day. As it's been 12 days and I've only put 5,000 new words on the page you can guess just how slow my drafting process has been. I'm not feeling disappointed, though. I've always known that my writing pace is practically glacial. I craft sentences with painstaking care, the thesaurus and the Oxford English Dictionary always open tabs so I can choose the perfect words. Of course I know this is still only a draft and I don't expect to produce a finished product after all of this word-by-word attention. Usually, however, my 'first' draft is a pretty good starting place. My writing process is such that I can be fairly confident that the 'first' draft contains some genuinely good writing, and in fact my revision process is much less intensive as a result.
Thinking about how I write, or at least how I write now as a professional, and coming to understand my own personal craft has been one of the most instructive parts of my journey over the past year. When I was 16 I could write 50,000 words in 30 days no problem because that's where I was in process of becoming a writer - I was only just beginning to learn what I could do with words. I'm at a different point in my writing journey new, and that's a good thing. Of course I know I've not reached the finish line. I don't even think any published writers will say that they've learned everything there is to learn about how to write. Every day I spend with words I'm figuring out what works for me as a writer and what works for my story.
As it is, my painstaking process for crafting sentences doesn't necessarily mean I couldn't write 50,000 words in a month. Currently I've only been able to devote 1-2 hours a day to writing. This has been a great success for me, though. That's much more than I was writing last month. But with my current pace, the limited time has meant my word count has remained stunted in comparison to the daily goals. I'm still hopeful, though. And NaNoWriMo has still be a great positive force in my life over the past two weeks (just about). I've been writing every day and thinking about my story every day and that has been invaluable. Now that I've allowed myself to give substantial attention to this story, I've found the characters and the world to be coming alive. My outline notebook has been filling up quite a bit over the past few weeks as the ideas keep flowing.
Given the realities of my daily life this month, I know I may not be able to catch up but that doesn't mean I'm going to give up. I'm excited to keep writing and I'm planning to keep pushing ahead with this story for as long as it holds me in its grasp - hopefully continuing on after November comes to a close until I reach the end. I won't be tying myself to the 1,667 word daily goal, though. I'm going to push myself to write as much as I can each day, and we'll see how far I can get by November 30th.
Follow my progress: Writer Profile
Are you taking part in NaNoWriMo this year? If you are, let me know how You're feeling now that we're almost halfway through. And I'm always available to offer some support if you're looking for writing buddies.