Today marks the final day of NaNoWriMo 2019, and, boy, did I lose hard this year. I set out with plans to write 50,000 words during November, which would have put me dangerously close to finishing my historical romance novel. I kept good pace through the first week, but, unfortunately, that was the end of my NaNo journey this year.
Life happened. Though I am disappointed, I can’t be too unhappy with the outcome because I’ve been busy…buying a house! I can’t wait to finally be finished with renting, and I really can’t wait to have an official office space to write in!
So, it wasn’t a complete loss of November. I did put over 11,000 new words on the page, and I like to believe that having an actual office space will increase my productivity in the future. Hopefully I will be moved in to the new home by the end of the year. So very exciting!
And wowza! How did we make it to the end of 2019 so quickly? I’m very much looking forward to 2020 for many reasons. I have many writing goals for the next year. The house hunt was somewhat unexpected, and I thought perhaps I might give myself an unofficial redo for completing my next 39,000 words in December. But…December seems like it will be just as busy as—if not more busy than—November. I have an alternative, much better, and more exciting plan, however.
I’m a HUGE fan of The Misfit’s Guide to Writing Indie Romance Podcast, hosted by two indie romance authors, Eliza Peake and Adrienne Bell. Adrienne recently announced a fun project she has started called ‘My Year to Write Hella Words’ for 2020. The idea is to pick a word count goal for the year and to write your idea of “hella” words. You can become an active part of the movement by requesting to join the Hella Slack channel for support from fellow Hella writers. (I really just love saying “Hella”—can’t you tell?)
My Hella goal is to write 200,000 words for 2020. I arrived at that goal per Adrienne’s Hella Blog advice. Adrienne arrived at her own Hella goal by considering a specific goal for her own writing process (for me it means writing 4,000 words total every Thursday through Sunday). That means I have an approximate 8,000 word cushion for when life will inevitably get in the way. (I.e. settling into new house!)
And I also arrived at that goal, per Adrienne’s blog advice, by considering my completed-novels goal for the year. I know I want to complete this historical romance and its series’ counterparts (somehow I think this is turning into a trilogy). Accounting for the words I still need to write for historical trilogy book one (44,000ish) and what I’m estimating to be the word counts for books two and three (approximately 65,000 words a piece, give or take), the remaining word count allows me just about enough additional work to mostly finish another contemporary romance work in progress which I started a couple of years ago.
That’s it. That’s my grand plan for redemption. This novel will get written. Other novels will get written. I’ll feel better about myself and my ability to stick to a schedule in order to accomplish my goals. In between my writing, I’ll be editing. My editing goals and plans are a little looser in structure. Right now, I plan to edit for a couple of hours on Mondays. I’m hoping to under-promise and over-deliver, when it comes to revisions.
I’d also like to apologize to you all for my lack of participation this month. I promised NaNoWriMo-related content, and I failed to deliver. I hope you’ll forgive me, and that you’ll plan to join me for ‘My Year to Write Hella Words‘ in 2020!
To all of you NaNo winners and losers, if you’ve gotten any words down this month, I want to congratulate you! Even if you just outlined your novel in preparation for a November that you never actually participated in—congrats! You’re that much closer to novel realization. Don’t let a NaNoWriMo loss get you down, because you shouldn’t just be writing your story in November anyway.
I’m going to make another New Year’s resolution to be better at this blogging thing. Since I’m letting myself continue this mini-break from writing my novel into December, you can expect a weekly blog post from me instead. Next week, I’ll be covering P.O.V. sequels. Love them? Hate them? Are there special circumstances in which they work best? We’ll talk all about ‘em next week.
How did you all do with your NaNoWriMo project this year? I’d love to hear all about your projects, experiences, wins, and losses in the comments below!