Authors Helping Authors: What I gained from #NaNoWriMo 2012

Wednesday ended NaNoWriMo 2011.

This year was my second time around. I have to admit, the event was a little bumpier than I’d expected. In fact, I didn’t even start until day 2.

The thing was, I wasn’t sure I wanted to participate this year. I thought about all the projects I had underway and said I needed to knock those out first. I just didn’t have time for NaNo.

Then November 1 came around, and I accomplished all of… nothing. Wait a minute here, I said to myself. Isn’t this the month you’re going to get some work done? Okay… so I wasn’t starting on the right foot.

November 2: I realized the best way to be productive was to get over my goals and start that new project. I threw together a outline for Harem and got to it. I have to say, that missing day took me forever to make up. Day 18, I finally inched over the bar.

Every day was a struggle to get myself motivated. Even after I caught there were days I wanted to quit. I even slacked a few days, not meeting my minimum goal. Then I decided to give Write or Die a try.

Now here’s the thing with Write or Die. Last year I gave it go, and it was annoying as hell. I just couldn’t concentrate with all the blaring going on when I slacked. Now I don’t know if it’s because I had the wrong settings or if it’s changed since then, but the program was more distracting than helpful.

Everyone was tweeting about it in the #NaNoWriMo channel this year. As for me, my past experience wasn’t good so I avoided it… until just a few days before the end of NaNo, and you know what? It works!

The obnoxious blaring was gone. Instead the screen transitioned from white to a deep red when I slacked. And there is noise. I found that out the first time I tried the Desktop version. 🙂 I’m ashamed to admit, but I did get distracted and started web surfing my first attempt. I don’t know what it was playing, but it wasn’t obnoxious. It was more of a where’s that music coming from?

One thing for sure, it got me back on track without distracting me to the point I couldn’t concentrate.

I’ve been using Write or Die ever since. Set at 15 minutes, I can get anywhere from 350-550 words written. It’s turned writing from becoming a torturous chore which can easily take me ALL day to scrape out a few hundred words to a few 15-minute intervals of highly focused writing sprints.

Now that NaNoWriMo is over, I’ve made a goal of 1k words a day. And with Write or Die, it’s such an easy task to accomplish. I’m looking at 2-3 sessions (30-45 minutes) a day. Even when I was pumping out my first novel way back when I was full of motivation, I wasn’t this efficient.

So, this year, I’m recommending Write or Die. It has changed the way I write for the better. In fact, after my first day using it, I went to my husband and asked if I could purchase the Desktop edition. Yes… I went to my husband to get permission to spend $10 from my book royalties. I know… odd. I just feel better with his seal of approval when it comes to writing and blog related expenses, regardless of the source of the funds.

There you have it. A++ for Write or Die.


0 thoughts on “Authors Helping Authors: What I gained from #NaNoWriMo 2012

  1. I’m glad you got so much done! And you’ve even got cover art already for the new story. 🙂

    I’m trying to stay in the NaNo groove myself and do 2,000 words a day until I finish a rough of the next book. Unlike with NaNo, though, I’m letting myself take a day or two off a week. Having to get all those words done every single day can make you a little crazy, heh heh.

  2. I love playing with cover art. It’s one of my biggest distractions.

    As productive as NaNo forces me to be, I’m glad it’s over. Like you, I need a break from time to time without the constant pressure of do, do, do.

    I took yesterday off, which wasn’t too bad. I didn’t get the reading I wanted done though… other things distracted me from R&R. 🙂

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