Just in case you've been wondering what I'm up to, here's the final report on "How I Spent My April."
Yes, despite a pledge never to do one of these marathons again, I decided that I needed to do something drastic to jumpstart my next book. April writing camp seemed promising because they let us set our own goals this time. Mine started out at 35,000 words. Here's what my day by day progress looked like:
If you look closely, you'll see that I actually wrote every day, except for the weekend of April 18-19, when I was away managing a two day meeting of the non-profit I'm responsible for. Today I topped out at 37,244 words, although there are two days left in the month. Actually I'm in such a writing rut now that I'll probably go right on for the next two days and try to hit the 40,000 word mark.
Do I recommend this approach? Yes and no. This time, it worked for me, and I'm looking at the first 40% or so of my next book. Even better, when I read over what I've churned out, it sounds pretty good. I learned a lot along the way. My characters took over and changed the story a bit. They also changed the title about half way through.
Part of the secret is that NaNoWriMo [That's National Novel Writing Month] encourages you to sit down and pound out the words without overthinking it too much. You're not supposed to worry about spelling or typos. All those corrections come later. It's the ideas that are important. I really have trouble ignoring my typos, particularly because the letter T on my keyboard sticks and I keep leaving that letter out. Still, it's been a fun exercise, and now I'm energized and ready to go on with the rest of the story.
Curious about what that story is? Well, maybe I'll give you a glimpse of it in the next couple of days. Then I'm off on vacation for a week, which may bring this whole motivation thing to a crashing halt. If it does, though, I'll know what to do about it. There's always another NaNoWriMo.