Writing Wednesday – E-mail is EVIL!

We’re now halfway through the second week of PerNoFiMo (Personal Novel Finishing Month), or as it’s better known to other writers, NaNoWriMo.  So far, I’ve written around 11K words, more than halfway to my minimum goal of 20K, so I’m very pleased. I’ve discovered that I can churn out between 1200 and 1800 words without much problem, so long as I follow a few rules.

First, just write, don’t re-write and don’t edit as you go. Remember, neither PerNoFiMo nor NaNoWriMo are about a perfect first draft. Their goal is a first draft in any crappy shape you can manage to turn out.

Second, don’t go back and re-read your previous day’s work. A friend of mine, Scarlett Greyson, mentioned that she made the mistake of doing this and she wished she hadn’t. She wanted to rewrite everything!  Again, this is not the point of PerNoFiMo or NaNoWriMo. Don’t rewrite! Just get it down the first time. The next month, and the month after that and the month after that, you can rewrite to your heart’s content.

Finally, whatever you do, don’t open your frikkin’ e-mail before you sit down to write! I made this mistake last week. I just wanted to check something, but then discovered a super very important life or death e-mail that I had to answer right that second! I spent the next two hours writing one stupid e-mail, and there went all my time for writing that evening. I had to make it up the next day, and damn near killed myself trying to write 3K words as opposed to the usual 1500 or so.

Anyway, that’s what I’ve learned from PerNoFiMo/NaNoWriMo so far. What about you folks? Figure out anything interesting from all this writing?

About Cynical Woman

Cartoonist, Artist, Geek, Evil Crafter, Girl Scout Troop Leader and Writer. Also, a zombie. I haven't slept in I don't know how long.
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  1. [New Post] Writing Wednesday – E-mail is EVIL! – via @twitoaster http://www.cynicalwoman.com/2009/11/11/w

  2. @Cynical_Woman Response left…

  3. What I’ve discovered…
    * Don’t start late, but if you do you can recover;
    * Don’t miss days, but if you do you can recover;
    * Do NOT load a new video game;
    * A support group of some kind helps. (Mine’s all my “Twitter” friends and my wife.)

    I’m also learning how to do Crappy First Draft – my inclination’s always been to revise-as-I-go, and that’s not going to work.

    I can put out c.2000 words per day, provided I stay disciplined. I can and will do it!

  4. Steve,

    You’re right on all those points! I gave up one evening to a video game, but then I’d burned out that day so I figured one day off would be okay. I jumped right back in the saddle the next night and have been doing good since.

    The support group does help. I personally like being able to post my word count for the day and get those “Attaboys” back when I do. Gives me a little rush of encouragement.

    As for starting late, I did nothing the first day of the month, and spent 2 days last week reading through my old outline for the project I picked to work on this month. But I was able to catch up enough to surpass my weekly goal, so it worked out okay.

    Sounds like you’re doing very well! Especially at 2K words a day! Woohoo!

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