#NaNoWriMo update- I crashed and burned . . . then rose from the ashes.

It's Monday and you know what that means? Any number of things really. The start of a new week, the coffee isn't quite hot enough, the car isn't quite warm enough, and your head isn't quite awake enough to return to work. But, you have little choice in the matter. Or at least that's what my Monday means. How was your weekend? Mine was spent catching up on NaNoWriMo. I had these great aspirations to start hot and burn bright right until the very end when I reached not 50,000 but 60,000 words. But my body had different plans for me. I wrote 600 words the first day, then got sick and ended up not writing anything else. On day two I managed to write just enough to be 800 words behind, which took every bit of energy I had in me and left me sleeping soundly. The third day I had my first writing get-together with my writing buddies, which has grown from my one writing buddy from the past, to 5 writing buddies from the past! I managed to get out over 3,000 words Saturday, catching me up completely and pulling me 1100 words into the lead! I greatly attribute this rise from the NaNoWriMo ashes to the sense of competition on camaraderie that having a writing group lends the whole experience.

I am not the only success story though. Most of us, besides J (I will refer to everyone just by the first name initial so that they know who they are and you don't :P) who has basically started and continued the way I wanted to and more, have had our own struggles. I checked his word count this morning and he's sitting at just over 16,000 words! But I will catch up! I will! (Probably not).

H is probably the busiest of us all and she started out good on the first day and then slowly fell behind. However, I think she made the greatest catch up of all yesterday when she punched out more than 4,000 words in one day.

B has been plodding along slowly and steadily, and hasn't given up yet. He rests at just below the daily word goal consistently  but he hasn't given up (and won't if we have anything to say about it). In my mind, he's the strongest of us all because even though he writes a little slower, hasn't won any speed races (more on that in a minute), and is just barely below par, he is still coming along. And we all know that the slow and steady win the race :)

E . . . Well I'm not sure how she's doing. She too has a very busy life with University and what-not, and hasn't been able to make it out to any of our writing sessions (of which there has been 2, and one cancelled). But I'm cheering for her and hoping that she too has an awesome NaNoWriMo success story in the end.

This little rundown just goes to show how different people write differently. I am fast, reach my goal, and call it a day before burning out. J writes fast and as much as possible to get as ahead as possible before he loses interest. H writes in large spurts when she has the time and B writes slow and steady. Everyone, even H who started out claiming she had no intention of reaching 50,000 words, is now determined to finish. And in that there is success already.

So what happens at these writing get-togethers? Well, last night four of us got together (plus some of our better halves) and we talked for a bit, then all plugged in a set of headphones, cranked up the tunes, and wrote for about 30 min straight. It's not an exact timing, basically when one of us needs to rest our furiously flying fingers somewhere around that time, may be a little less or more, we call for an all halt and an update on people's word count since the session began. We all compete, most of us quite closely. J and I are usually within 10 to 20 words of each other, but last night I came out on top every time (which is a slight boon to the fact that he is kicking my butt in overall word count). We did these mini speed races, 2 stops in all and a third in the end for a total of an hour and a half of writing. I think most of us reached our daily goal in that time, though some of us stayed longer and others went home with the intention of typing out another 600 words before bed. In the end we share things that surprise us, like characters running away with the story (which I've never experienced until now) and our basic outline to people who haven't heard it yet, then we all go our separate ways.

I don't know about the rest of the group, but I'm having a blast this NaNoWriMo. I've never had so much fun before doing it and I hope that this little group joins me again next year (and it sounds like they will).

I haven't made it to any official Write-Outs this year, but I have a pretty good core group that I'm enjoying writing with at every opportunity. I've basically informed my husband that November is all about NaNoWriMo, and that I'll see him on the other side. To my other friends: the same goes for you. It's not that I don't love you, it's that NaNoWriMo has taken over! haha

So that's the update on week one. As you can tell it's going well and I'm hoping it continues that way for everyone in my writing group. But there are still 25 days to go, which is a lot of time for things to go wrong  . . . or amazingly right.


(You can follow my progress by the little NaNoWriMo calendar to the right. Red is a bad day, yellow is okay, and green is great (reached minimum word count at least). No colours for going above and beyond. I am also adding a word count wars widget to the sidebar so you can see everyone's progress in the writing group).