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  • Writer's pictureIan

10K Out of the Way!!

It has been a whirlwind of a week since I started the NaNoWriMo 50,000-word novel challenge. Ok, whirlwind is not the correct word. I basically have been attached to my laptop every waking moment (other than work, where you know, I’m attached to my computer, writing) for the past week. I think the correct word is…


My life for the past week has been counting words, striving to hit daily goals, trying to develop a somewhat coherent story that will be enjoyable to read, all the while still being a father and a husband.

It hasn’t been easy.

Andy Weir, New York Times best-selling author of The Martian and Artemis, says this about writing.

“You have to accept that you’re not going to be blazing away in a creative euphoria all the time. In fact, you’ll almost never be in that state. Usually, it’s a slog. So make your peace with the fact that it is a slog, but that you’re working toward a goal. Writing isn’t like playing music, where the act itself is rewarding. It’s more like gardening, where the work is hard and unpleasant, but the result is beautiful.”

Having gone through 1/5th of the challenge already, I emphatically agree.

It’s hard, very hard in fact. Physically, my wrists are starting to hurt, my back aches, and sleep is becoming less effective at relieving my exhaustion. Mentally, I wrack my brain trying to find even the simplest words to illustrate the thoughts I am trying to convey on paper. When I am not writing my story, I am thinking about it. “Does what I am writing make sense, is it garbage, is it original, will I finish on time, or at all?”

And so on, and so forth ad nauseum.

But it isn’t all doom and gloom. Despite it all, I am still having fun doing this. I am excited to compete this novel, not because I can finally be done with it, but because I can finally get something substantial out that tells a story I wanted to tell. It will be a major accomplishment, and I can’t wait for it to happen.

Speaking of accomplishments. Here are my stats as of this morning (I will have already added to the total after publishing this post).

A couple things to note about this. The way the math works, it calculates everything based on the updated word count you enter, meaning that if you were to look at the morning, before updating, the math assumes you have written zero words for the day, and adjusts the math accordingly. As you can imagine this tends to lower averages and exaggerate other statistics. So, keep in mind all the stats seen above reflect the assumption that I will ONLY write 460 words today. Rest assured, there will be much more today.

The other is the slope of the graph on the right. This is the par graph. If I hit the line each day, I am considered “on-track” to meet the 50,000-word goal. While it looks like I am very behind, keep in mind that I started two days late; shift the bars to the left two days, and it is pretty close to lining up.

But yes, I am very behind.


I have some pretty cool co-workers. When they found out I cracked 10,000 words. I got this. (Just to ease worried minds, it is a magnet holding up the sign, not an apostrophe S.)

Thanks to you all for the encouragement! I will need all of it to get to the end.

See you all at 20k!

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