NaNo Week 1 Update // I Wrote 40k in a Week (!!!!) + My Thoughts on My Book

by - 4:32 PM

*crawls to computer and bangs head on keyboard fifty times* Hopefully that produced a coherent blog post.

AHEM. Hello, peoples! I'm baaaaack. Yep, I haven't been the most consistent blogger lately (who am I kidding? I've never been consistent) because of a little something called NaNoWriMo. Which you guys have heard me scream about so much that you're probably sick of it.

Well, tough luck. Because that's all you're going to hear about for the next month. *cackles*

ANYWAY. *pushes insanity aside for a few seconds* I HAVE MADE IT THROUGH THE FIRST WEEK ALIVE...mostly. My sanity, on the other hand...well, it kind of died a few days before NaNo started. #oopsies

SO. I'm going to do something completely original (in other words, I stole it from a bunch of other bloggers) and show you what each day looked like so far.

(A new aesthetic for my book because why not? XD)

// NaNo Eve //

8:00 pm. Oh, let's try some plotting. *pulls out notebook and computer* *gets distracted by emails* OKAY, FOCUS MARY, FOCUS. You can totally do some last-minute plotting which you literally just started yesterday. You're doing good.

9:00 pm. *bangs head on wall* Ughhhhh, why is nothing happening? I literally have nothing. *cries in a corner*

9:30 pm.  Ah, yes! *holds up page triumphantly* I three sentences written. *proceeds to lament existence*

11 pm. *types out frantic message to my writing group about why my book is a failure* *continues attempting to plot*

11:30 pm. IT'S ALMOST NANO. WHAT AM I GOING TO DO??? *scribbles down some gibberish and calls it plotting*

11:45 pm. Okay, I totally have time. Fifteen minutes is enough time to plot. *dies*

11:55 pm. I ACTUALLY HAVE SOMETHING ON PAPER. *realizes it's all just gibberish* Hehe.


12 am. *screams* NaNo is here! LET'S DO A WORD WAR. *begins to pull up Word document*

12:02 am. document isn't pulling up. WHYYY MEEEEE. *frantically clicks on document again*

12:05 am. Ahhhh, it's finally up! I AM SAVED. *proceeds to panic because I need to write*

 1 am. *blinks at computer screen* 1,500 words. YAY! *collapses in bed*

// Day 1 //


I got up early (like 7:30--that's early for me. XD) and wrote for most of the morning. I took a break for food (and cocoa <3) and then finished around lunchtime with over 5k.

I wasn't even tired so I kept going. After a break in the afternoon to do some productive things (at least, that's what I thought I would be doing *cough*), I hit the keyboard again and pounded out 2k.

My brain was about as useful as a pencil without an eraser at this point, but then I got the brilliant idea to try for 10k. After all, I wasn't exactly dead yet.

Hahahahaha...yeah, I was basically dying at this point, but I crawled back to my laptop and sprinted crazily with my buddies. Right when I thought I would happened. I HAD REACHED 10K. LIKE WHAT EVEN HAPPENED???

*goes to bed in shock*

// Day 2 //

I thought I would take it easy now. I mean, I just wrote 10k so I would undoubtedly be exhausted and barely write the minimum word count.

SURPRISE, SURPRISE. I woke up feeling refreshed and ready to hit the words. So I wrote 1k that morning and then decided I had to do other things. "Well, maybe I'll get in 1k tonight," I told myself.

*busts out over 3k* All right then. That works, too.

// Day 3 //

*has distant aspirations to reach 20k* Nah, that will never happen.

*does a bunch of sprints* *stares at word count* Oh look, I just hit 21k.

// Day 4 //

By this time, I've realized the fact that I'm not slowing down. So I set the goal for 25k. It was high enough that I had to push myself yet not crazy enough that it would wipe me out.

I did a bunch of sprints again (because that's literally 99% of the words I write, apparently) and then somehow came out with 1,000 more words than I planned. *nods numbly*

// Day 5 //

I woke up on Saturday feeling energized again. SERIOUSLY, MARY?! You just wrote 26k. 

I had work to do so I didn't get started until about 4 pm. The goal for the weekend was to reach 40k so I just had to get 6 or 7k today.

*starts writing* Ughhhh, my words are awful. *facepalm*

*barely makes it to 30k* I AM DEAD. SOMEONE PLEASE TAKE CARE OF THE BODY. *crawls back to computer and types 3,000 more words* *crawls to bed*

// Day 6 //

It was Sunday so I had church all morning (plus a speech to deliver--blegh). When I got back, I ate lunch and spent two hours howling at my speech that I needed to upload

"NOTHING IS WORKING. I think I killed Percival with all the writing I've done." (My computer's name is Percival.) *finally gets speech uploaded* "Yesh! Now I can write!"

*spends an hour and a half making an aesthetic for my book and listening to Christmas music* "Oh no! It's 5:30 already!" *frantically demands that my writing pals word war with me.*

After many hours of writing and moaning, I made it to 40k. MY GOAL WAS CONQUERED. *promptly dies*


Yes, that's right. I WROTE 40K IN SIX FREAKIN' DAYS. I honestly don't know how I'm alive at all. (Actually, I do. Candy basically saved me. XD)

Overall, though, despite the amount of words I've written, I'm feeling a bit discouraged. You might be thinking, "Whaaaaat?! But you have 40k! HOW ARE YOU NOT HAPPY WITH THAT?"

I am extremely happy with the fact that I've written so much in so little time. I think it's pushed me past what I ever thought possible. When I agreed to do the 5k1day event my friend Abi was hosting, I thought it would be impossible. No way could I ever write 5,000 words in one day. BUT I DID. And not only that, I went and doubled that amount. I thought I would be too tired to think coherently the rest of the week, but I somehow wrote 30k more. This whole experience has made me a faster writer and proven that I can actually write a novel.

And yet...I feel like my story is just...horrible.

As much as I tried to outline before NaNo, I ended up walking into November with barely any idea where my story was headed. It started out fine. My characters were fun, and I loved being back in the same familiar settings. Sure, the plot and pacing were kind of off, but those would iron themselves out later, right?


It got worse and worse as the week went on. Finally, on Friday night, the doubts solidified in my mind: my story was awful.

As much as I tried to convince myself that I could fix my book during the editing process, I couldn't shake the fact that my book just wasn't coming along. No one would want to read it. It was so monotonous and boring, and the pacing was all over the place.

I ignored this most of the weekend and did a bunch of sprints so I could reach 40k. Once I reached that milestone, however, I remembered how much I really didn't like the way my book was turning out. Were all 40,000 words I wrote...junk? Had I just wasted all that time?

I still don't know what I'm trying to say here. I guess I'm just really frustrated with myself right now. I'm not in love with my book, and I know I should be.

So with that being said, I've decided to attempt to outline as much of the rest of the book as I can. I'm not sure if that's going to help at all, but I feel like I really need to boost my confidence about my story. Maybe by having a more concrete layout for it, I will be able to find my love for my book once again.

Ahem. That ended on a rather grim note. XD My feelings about my book aren't entirely negative, though, don't worry. I still love my characters and occasionally feel my passion for my book return. I think I just need to take a day or two to rest, refocus, and try to plan out the rest of it.


Well. HOW GOES IT? To all you NaNoers, how are your stories coming along? Are you loving your book or are you just not feeling it? What has been your favorite part about NaNo so far? TELL ME ALL THE THINGS. *bangs gavel*

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  1. I demand to read your book when you finish it. Just think of it as payment for reminding you to function. XD

  2. Haha, I agree with Chloe. I want to read it! :)
    And I totally feel you when NaNo started. I froze for a ssecond before I started writing.
    It's so amazing you wrote that much! I am just struggling with actually getting on my document but I have enough words to give me a couple days off.
    Hope the outlining goes well!

  3. Wow, I wish I could focus as well as you; once I start writing I get into it after about 45 minutes but then a little after that I just get tired of it so I spend some time on YouTube...and then on Pinterest...which promptly grabs hold of me and drags me down into its entertaining depths. So I'm just scraping by on my word count.

    So great job with being dedicated, and even if you don't feel that great about your story hopefully other people will enjoy it! (At least, that's the philosophy I'm using with mine, because I am not really loving it right now either.)

    As for my favorite part about NaNo, it's definitely the feeling of doing something meaningful.

  4. MARY. 40,000 WORDS. HOW.

    And your story is not junk! Even if its not the best, it's a learning experience, right? I mean, YOU WROTE FORTY THOUSAND IN A WEEK. Dude, you're doing awesome.

    And yes, totally take a rest. You're way ahead anyway! ;)


  6. Gurl. You is amazing XD

    But yeah, I know where you're coming from. Yesterday, right before I started writing, I froze and said, "Oh my gosh where am I going with this what am I going to do?"
    And i literally ALMOST FREAKED OUT.

    AND THEN I HAD A MAJOR "AHHHH NO ONE IS EVER GOING TO LIKE MY BOOK" but then I realized that this is only my first novel and that honestly there WILL be people out there that like it if I ever publish it (like all my lovely blogger friends who have volunteered to alpha or beta read)

    But then I came up with something else to write and that's where it's going right now. Still not sure if I have enough ideas to make it all the way to 50k, which is about 26k away rn...

    Anyway, good luck Mary!!! (jsyk I actually love everything that I've read of your story so far :D)

  7. MARY. You. Are. Doing. AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!! Every time I see your word count rocket up I do a little mental squeal. I'M SO PROUD OF YOU! I mean, 10k in one DAY. *flaaaails* I've never been able to accomplish that. I'm always SO. CLOSE. 9k is my record, but I can never seem to push to 10k. One day. ONE DAY.

    But GIRL. You're writing so much every single day! And you sound like me, expecting to be exhausted and then waking up refreshed and ready to pound out the words. I declare our bodies became superhero bodies during November. Because I never seem to be NEARLY as tired as I SHOULD be during NaNo. Any other month if I kept this schedule of not going to bed until like 1 every night (*cough, cough*) and then still getting up at decent hours I'd be deeead. But nope, I'm raring to go each morning! It's just something about NaNo. I LOVE IT. (Or maybe we're just so fueled on caffeine and living so deeply in our stories we don't even realize we're actually zombies...)

    Anyways. MARY. YOU WROTE 40k WORDS IN 6 DAYS. AAAAAAHHHHHHH!!!!!!! *throws glitter everywhere*

    I'm sooo sorry you're feeling discouraged with your story though! D: I know that feeling. But don't let it get to you! Usually when we're spending THIS much time writing, we FEEL like our stories are monstrosities, but they really aren't that bad. And besides, this is the first draft! It's SUPPOSED to be messy. You're just exploring the story. I saw a tumblr quote on pinterest where someone said "every first draft is perfect because all it has to do is exist." That really rung with me. It's so true! You have NOT wasted any time. Not at all. Just write, explore your story, embrace the messy craziness. All your story needs to do right now is exist.

    But, with that said, stopping to do some planning sounds like a lovely idea. The stories I have a road map for always end up going way smoother and quicker, even though I do love pantsing also. So you just do what YOU need for your story.

    And keeping being awesome! Because, girl, you are totally AWESOME!!!

  8. Ugh! I totally understand how you feel - my novel looks like absolute junk right about now...

    I don't know how you guys do it! Also congratulations!!! 40k = whut even, you be awesome, girl!!!

    Anyway, everyone's like, "It doesn't have to sound good! Just put words on paper!" So I try to do that and it just... DOES NOT WORK for some reason... I jump around trying to be fast and I hate every bit of it. Then I slow down and write scenes I like and I feel like capture the heart of the characters and story.

    WHAT IS WRONG WITH MEEEE???? Why can everyomne else do this and I can't????

  9. That's amazing that you wrote so much in so little time! You can always iron out your story later. Don't feel discouraged. I have 17K by this time. You're much faster than me. I know I'll have to do a lot of editing, but all first drafts are like that. :)


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