Monday, November 16, 2009


Jenita started this week with the question that plagues every writer: how do you evaluate your progress?

I tried to answer this question many times throughout this week.  I found I couldn't come up with one.  Maybe at the beginning of the month, I would've proudly had a response for you, but right now, at the middle, I got nothing.  I don't know what I'm doing.  If progress is feeling good about what you've written, I don't think I've progressed since Week One.  I'm not going to define progress as that, because I would feel like I'm wasting my November.  Instead, I'm going to consider progress as my word count.  It's a pretty lame way of measuring it, but even if I haven't accomplished anything else, I can at least say I've written more than I ever have before in fifteen days.  And that is:

25065 / 50000 words. 50% done!

I'm counting on the fact that I'm going to feel better about what I've written in December. Maybe.  I haven't gone back and read any of it, so what seems bad on one day only continues looming in my head as a bigger and bigger nightmare as time passes.  By the time one week has gone by, I am pretty much convinced that everything I've written is the most appalling thing to ever be put on paper.  My personal (and professional) career as a writer is over.  And I know that they say this happens to every writer during NaNoWriMo, that everybody flails hopelessly during the middle, yet somehow I am egotistical and dramatic enough to believe that my situation is UNIQUE and SPESHUL-er than everybody else's.  That is to say, my middle is the worst middle that has ever been put in any novel since God invented the written word.

So it's probably not the greatest time to ask me about progress.  Although, Maureen Johnson's pep talk has made me feel marginally better about it.

Some people, unlike myself, have made tangible progress.  For example: Elana Johnson, who has a wonderful blog, is a wonderful person, and no doubt a wonderful writer (I DON'T HAVE A THESAURUS ON HAND OKAY, IT'S 2 AM, BUT BE CREATIVE AND INSERT SOME POSITIVE ADJECTIVES OF YOUR OWN), has scored an agent.  Which is wonderful because hopefully one day soon, she'll have her wonderful book in a wonderful bookstore, so we can all buy it with our wonderful money.  Let's all wish her the best of luck.  Man, this has been a great year, apparently, for Lisa and Laura, Sarah (with a chance), and now Elana.  That's progress, guys.  I'm going to call that progress.  


  1. Hoorah for progress! And don't worry too much about the first draft. I think you'll surprise yourself. So much of writing is turning off your brain and just letting the words flow.

  2. Dude, 25,000 words is a LOT of progress! Congrats on that. And for me, it's always the end that makes me lose momentum. So just get past the middle and you're golden. :)

    (And thanks!)

  3. Um, you have 24,000 words more than I do. OWN IT! :) Seriously, that's so awesome.

    Do you go back and read what you've written as you go along? Sometimes it really helps to resist the urge and not read back. That always leaves me drowning in self-doubt and "omigoshIshouldjustquitwhatamIdoing."

  4. I'm going to be redundant and ditto Sarah up there with the whole "um, you have 24,000 words more than I do. OWN IT!" because seriously, that's a lot of wordage. When I did NaNo last year, I think I made it something over 25,000 for the entire month, and I think I was just amazed by the fact I'd managed more words in a month than I thought I could.

    So, your progress totally pwns my progress. :) Just remember, part of NaNo is not having any idea what the frell is going on and hoping for the best. I wish comment wordage counted towards NaNo wordcount...