When Mindy and I talked about a possible post on my blog tour for Dolphin Girl, I immediately had two ideas. The first would be on the importance of critique partners. Mindy has been one of my partners for a long time. We’ve beta read for each other and she’s been an important contributor on a couple of my novels. The second option was a NaNo post. Every year, Mindy enthusiastically tackles this project. She’s tried to persuade me many, many, many times. So this year when I decided to dip a toe into the pool that is NaNoWriMo, I knew Mindy was part of the reason.
Now. You might wonder, “Why did she say dip a toe?”
Because, like Jane, the main character in Dolphin Girl, I bend and twist the rules. Here. This will give you an idea of the extent of my rebellion: I pulled out a partially written manuscript that I had a burning desire to finish. I didn’t upload word counts. I didn’t tweet progress. Or talk to other participants. Yeah, I know, I basically didn’t really do NaNo. It may go down in history as the most lame effort ever.
Here’s more proof. This is what a typical day looked like:
4:00 am (I’m an early riser) Make coffee, check e-mail, see if Santa’s Elves sold any copies of my book while I was sleeping (they do sometimes) look at a few sentences about what I was supposed to write today, re-read some of the other stuff I wrote. Write a paragraph or two. Tweak, tweak, tweak.
5:00 Have my third cup of coffee, toss in some half and half. Get some serious dialogue going between the main character and her love interest. Oh yeah, that’s it baby. Then, I get stuck because I can’t figure out what one of them is going to say to the other one. Pull up Twitter and figure out if I need to tweet about my blog tour.
6:00 Wake up everyone else in the house. Have another cup of coffee. Get the jitters. Check a few more things. Whatcha’ Reading Now?, my blog, Verlas, Facebook. Get a really strong paragraph down with the setting and some descriptive details. Nice.
7:00 Get most of family out of the house. Laundry, dishes, vacuum, clean bathroom, shower. Check e-mail again.
10:00 – Exercise.
11:00 – Look at the bowl of Halloween candy. Salivate. Resist. Okay, take a mini-Twix bar. But it’s only a mini. Write a little action. Figure out what the character was supposed to say at 5:30. Do something for WRN? Write blog posts for Dolphin Girl, contact reviewers/bloggers. Visit Goodreads and other sites.
Noon – Eat lunch. Think about what I have not accomplished today and worry that I might be ADHD. Decide to go on the Internet and research ADHD while eating lunch. I’m not – hurray!—but the research is really interesting. Turns out the good news is: I just procrastinate.
1:00 -- Decide I can not procrastinate anymore. In exactly one hour I have to leave to go pick up one of my children. I get my groove on and whip out about 700 words.
2:00 – 6:00 -- Family stuff, errands, more house stuff, etc. Also more email checking, Amazon rank checking, etc.
6:00 – A sports practice. Read or maybe just imagine scenes that my characters might take part in. While I daydream about my wip for NaNo, I totally zone out. It scares the other parents on my kids’ sports teams. When a scene strikes me, I jot a few things down in my notebook. Sing a lot of songs along with the radio. My singing scares the other parents even more.
8:00 – Home. Make a few notes about the writing for tomorrow. Check my productivity/word count. OMG! How did I manage to get 1,000 words! It’s a freaking miracle!
9:00 plus – Just veg, maybe watch a reality TV show.
Like I said: Lame! But here’s the thing, even though this is not the way I imagine that NaNo should work, I still finished the first draft, which is pretty incredible. Especially if you read that schedule.
So, guess what? Next year I’m going to do it again. And who knows? I might even follow the rules.
Thanks for stopping by, Shel. Huge congrats on the release of your debut novel, Dolphin Girl, and for being a first time NaNoWriMo participant and winner. I loved Dolphin Girl from the first time I met Jane, and can't wait to hear all about your newest manuscript!
How did all of you do with your November goals?