Non-NaNoWriMo 2011

NaNoWriMo Logo

Click the image to be taken to the NaNoWriMo site.

National Novel Writing Month is a worldwide project where people aim to write 50,000 words of a novel in November. In 2009 I didn’t officially participate but did piggyback on the goals of NaNoWriMo in an attempt to complete a novel I’d be working on in fits and starts for years, and succeeded. I had a lot of fun too and would have done it again in 2010, but at that point I’d just started work at a new job and couldn’t justify (or even had) the time to participate.

In 2011 I had plenty of holiday through the month and was much better adjusted to the unusual hours, so figured I’d give it another try, starting a new novel (though again not officially being part of NaNoWriMo, for some reason). It was another success but not by the amount I’d expected it to be.

The holiday I was taking meant that I was only actually scheduled to work seven days in November, giving me twenty-three for NaNo, which seemed like more than enough. It meant I needed to write at least 2,174 words on each of those days to make up for the work days when I couldn’t write at all, but I was sure I could do it. Ultimately I ended up doing another four days overtime, which would have meant needing to write 2,632 words every day, but by that point I was comfortably ahead.

I’ll list the raw data first, but graphs follow that are easier to digest:

  • 1st – 0 words (0 per day) – 1,310/50,000
  • 2nd – 5058 words (2529 per day) – 5058/50,000 – Word 1: “even”
  • 3rd – 2499 words (2519 per day) – 7557/50,000
  • 4th – 4458 words (3004 per day) – 12015/50,000
  • 5th – 2198 words (2843 per day) – 14213/50,000
  • 6th – 3682 words (2983 per day) – 17895/50,000
  • 7th – 2561 words (2922 per day) – 20456/50,000
  • 8th – 3744 words (3025 per day) – 24200/50,000
  • 9th – 2487 words (2965 per day) – 26687/50,000 – Word 25,000: “have”
  • 10th – 4095 words (3078 per day) – 30782/50,000
  • 11th – 3218 words (3091 per day) – 34000/50,000
  • 12th – 0 words (2833 per day) – 34000/50,000
  • 13th – 0 words (2615 per day) – 34000 /50,000
  • 14th – 0 words (2429 per day) – 34000 /50,000
  • 15th – 0 words (2267 per day) – 34000 /50,000
  • 16th – 0 words (2125 per day) – 34000 /50,000
  • 17th – 2633 words (2155 per day) – 36633/50,000
  • 18th – 2875 words (2195 per day) – 39508/50,000
  • 19th – 2241 words (2195 per day) – 41749/50,000
  • 20th – 0 words (1,828 per day) – 41749 /50,000
  • 21st – 0 words (1,826 per day) – 41749 /50,000
  • 22nd – 0 words (1,855 per day) – 41749 /50,000
  • 23rd – 2241 words (1913 per day) – 43990/50,000
  • 24th – 2304 words (1929 per day) – 46294/50,000
  • 25th – 0 words (1,852 per day) – 46294 /50,000
  • 26th – 0 words (1,781 per day) – 46294 /50,000
  • 27th – 0 words (1715 per day) – 46294 /50,000
  • 28th – 2356 words (1738 per day) – 48650/50,000
  • 29th – 3889 words (1812 per day) – 52539/50,000 – Word 50,000: “people”
  • 30th – 4045 words (1886 per day) – 56584/50,000

Onto the charts then! I’ll start with the daily totals:

Click for a larger image.

said

All the extra work days towards the end of the month, ie. any day I typed nothing, meant my overall words per day (the green line) dropped below the minimum I needed to be writing (the red line). However, I was writing far enough above the minimum at the start of the month (those mighty blue peaks) that it didn’t keep me from reaching the goal.

Based on my performance at the start of the month I had expected to finish well above the 50,000 goal, at least somewhere up in the 70,000 region, but the extra work days meant that wasn’t possible. In fact, all those days I couldn’t write meant that I came close to writing less in 2011 than I did in 2009:

Click for a larger image.

As you can see, in 2009 (yellow) I skirted very close to the average (red) for most of the month, even dipping under it in those first few days, whereas in 2011 (blue) I never sunk beneath the average. In fact, other than the first day where I did no writing my 2011 efforts were always above 2009’s, right up until the three days of overtime I took at the end of the month. Were it not for the last day I would have ended up writing less in 2011 than I had in 2009, which would have been disappointing after the strong start (and I only avoided that because I finished the 2009 novel on the 29th).

Still, both years were comfortably ahead of the goal and, more importantly, I had lots of fun both times I’ve done it. 2011’s novel is far from finished, so I intend to keep working on it until it’s done. Not at the same pace, of course, because NaNo does become somewhat all-consuming, but any time the mood takes me.

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