Note: this is a repost because this author is Fast Drafting AGAIN 🙂 Hope you enjoy.
Sometimes, no matter how self-disciplined you are, things just don’t work out. Take NaNoWriMo 2017 for me. Having successfully completed 50,000 words during NaNoWriMo 2016, I was eager to do it again. 2016 had given me Draft Zero of what will become, eventually, “Bits of Violet”, my second novel. And since I pride myself on my self-discipline and superior time management skills (not my humility), I fully anticipated 2017 would be no different.
While 2016 had been busy –work, family, Thanksgiving, (the usual suspects) –2017 threw me a curve ball, and I did NOT hit it out of the park. It turns out, when you are planning a move, interstate, and are looking for a new job, three hours a day to write becomes a factual impossibility. Sad, but true.
Come January 2018. I was still licking my wounds from NaNo, decidedly NOT unpacking, and facing the truth: I had no job. And while my writing may make me a living, someday, the $2.22 I earned in 2017 was not going to pay for even a skinny latte, much less any bills.
What do I do? Apply for more jobs, network more, line up some consulting gigs? No. I respond to an email on the SWFRW loop enlisting other romance writers in southwest FL to participate in Fast Trackers. Basically, NaNo on steroids. 20 pages a day, for two weeks, which equated to over 5700 words per day for me. Three times the amount of daily writing I did during NaNoWriMo.
Shout outs to the amazing women who participated in this marathon: Cheryl, Evelyn, Jeri, Lynn, Linda, Me ;-), Midge and Muffy! We pulled together a Facebook messenger group, aptly named Badass Fast Trackers, and messaged incessantly. There were constant words of encouragement, funny gifs, and lots of romance writer humor (when in doubt – write a sex scene).
I have a completed 2018 Draft Zero, thanks to those BadAss Fast Trackers, and a hope that four or five drafts from now, there may be a third novel in there somewhere.
For those of you who are considering NaNo, Fast Track or something similar, here are a few words of advice from a few of us who participated. You’ll notice they may seem inconsistent –that’s because everyone has their own personal work habits. Remember, these points came from people who did actually finish, so you may find them helpful.
- Make it a priority – I wrote first, job hunted second.
- Don’t beat yourself up – if you fall short one day, pick yourself back up and write again the next day.
- Don’t wait until the end. It is a daily thing. Aim for that word count EVERY day. See bullet two about not beating yourself up if you miss it – but do pick yourself back up and write again the next day (are you catching a theme, here?). For those of you not familiar with business world geekdom –check out “Great By Choice” by Jim Collins (of “Good to Great” fame) –there is a chapter entitled “20 Mile March” that explains why keeping to your daily goal can be so important.
- Don’t edit yourself or worry about the quality of the content. This was a big theme for us. We all had days when we felt like what we were writing was junk, but we constantly reminded one another we could go back and fix things when it was all over. Just keep writing! (I hear Dory swimming in the back of my head)
Here’s to a productive and prolific 2018!