This was my 12th year doing NaNoWriMo, my 4th as a Municipal Liaison.
If you’re unfamiliar, NaNo is a personal challenge to write 50,000 words over the course of November, a month with 30 days. The whole thing is managed by a nonprofit supporting youth literacy. They have a website, nanowrimo.org which explains the whole thing. In a nutshell, they provide tools and a structure to help anyone harness the power of peer pressure for the purpose of writing a novel (or anything else). There are no judges or arbiters, it’s all about enabling personal accomplishment.
I’ve won it all 12 years I’ve participated. Writing 50k in one month isn’t a challenge. I do that most months out of the year, as my release schedule will attest. I don’t participate because I need it, I do it because it’s fun.
As has become my habit, now that it’s over, I’m posting my graphs.
This year is a smidge different for those graphs, though.
You see, this year, the NaNo organization migrated to new website software. If you’ve ever experienced such a thing, the migration went about as well as you might expect. Which is to say that it was kind of a disaster.
For my part, the one thing that matters the most is the statistics. Everything seemed generally okay, aside from a lack of a few important functions we’d had with the old site software. For my part, everything was fine until Day 8.
On Day 8, the site randomly increased my wordcount on Day 5 by 999 words. At that point, the site had no way to correct such a mistake.
Some people might find this slightly annoying or perhaps even ridiculous.
I am not some people. I am a spreadsheet person. I like my numbers. As I look back on my life, I have lately come to the realization that I probably should’ve been an accountant. (It’s not too late, but also, it’s too late.)
This was exceedingly upsetting to me.
So I made my own spreadsheet with my own graphs. Take that, wonky database issues!
Later in the month, the site gained the necessary features to fix this mistake, which I obviously did as soon as possible. It later pulled some other numerical shenanigans which I also was able to fix.
But wait! Before I get to the graphs themselves, there’s more. This is the part where I’ve buried the lead because I’m a terrible person.
Last year, I crossed the 1,000,000 total words mark for all my NaNo projects combined.
This year, I apparently felt I needed to do something else spectacular. I hit a personal best wordcount of 204,697 words during November. This is a smidge over 50,000 words more than my previous best of 154,042. That’s one extra NaNo of more words.
These words belong to 4 projects, three of which will release in 2020. The fourth is a special secret project I’ll begin talking about next fall. Here are the graphs, though. I’ve got both the official site graphs and my personal ones.
I put the graphs in that order for those who like to compare apples to apples and oranges to oranges. People like me, basically.
On Day 8, I got my 50k. On Day 12, I finished Project 1. On Day 19, I finished Project 2, and on Day 25, I finished Project 3. Project 4 was not completed on Nov 30. I finished it up on Dec 1.
This is much more than I anticipated getting done during November. I’m not quite sure how this happened.
I can say that unlike previous years, I had three projects lined up and ready to go, plus a fair idea for a number of other projects. I had two good, solid choices for what to go with when I hit Project 4 on Day 25.
Also unlike recent years, I attended zero conventions. I lost no writing days to working shows. The one show I was intending to go to, I had to cancel because I thought I was coming down with a cold. It turned out to be either very mild or just the weather, which means it had minimal impact on my ability to write.
My personal graphs were exceedingly motivating. Purple stars made me work harder. Go figure.
I know I have a crushing schedule next year. For 2020, I already know about how many thousands of words I need to get written. The vast majority of it is associated with the special secret project for 2021. Because of this NaNo performance, I was able to decrease that necessary 2020 wordcount by two books. Knowing I was doing that kept me going.
And so, I’ve had a personal best NaNo.
If you celebrated Thanksgiving, I hope yours was good. Mine went swimmingly and involved several hours of writing. If you didn’t celebrate Thanksgiving, I hope you had a pleasant Thursday last week.
Next week, there will not be a Story of the Month. I did not experience a Christmas miracle for that. Alas. I’ll have other news, though!
If you’re anywhere near Puyallup, WA, on Saturday (12/7), I’ll be in the Clockwork Dragon booth at Victorian Country Christmas. Come experience the rare occurrence of me wearing a skirt (with my usual cargo shorts and Christmas socks socks underneath). And while you’re there, pick up a print copy of any of my books, which I’ll be happy to sign for you.