IWSG 19 – Getting the Words Down

This post was written for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group where we share our encouragement or insecurities on the first Wednesday of the month, to join the group or find out more click here.


Not sure what I’m feeling this time round. I guess I’m too distracted by the grand adventure called NaNoWriMo. But in December no doubt I’ll be back swinging between freaked out and excited. My confidence feels more like a sheet snapping on a clothesline, depending completely on how the wind blows.

Back to NaNo, I did 2033 words on the first. 2713 on the second and before I do my networking today in the blogosphere I’ll be adding a few more words. Lots more if the wind is right. πŸ™‚daisy-32529_1280

I’m pretty strict this time of year and write before I do anything else. It’s a NaNoWriMo guideline I’ve chosen to abide like the law. These hard lines somehow work for me.

I like my system of getting as many words down from the starting gate. It will give me the advantage later in the month when things draw me away from my task. Unexpected visitors, family commitments and the dreaded intimidation of the blank white screen wear me down. I’ve learned to expect them and go with it. I don’t expect non-writers to understand, but I know you do.

So I guess that raises a flag. What do you do to keep moving forward during November or anytime you’re writing? I’m sure all of us would love to know.

78 responses to “IWSG 19 – Getting the Words Down

  1. Excellent work! Keep at it!

    I’m behind, but it’s not freaking me out as much as it usually would. Maybe I’m mellowing with age? πŸ™‚

  2. On day 1 I wrote 2,656 words and day 2 I wrote 2,568 words. What’s been working for me is this damn daylight savings. It’s been messing with my internal clock. But because of it, I start writing my novel before I officually start my day. Plan on doing that from now on. Like the saying goes “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

  3. Not sure I can give you any answers. I only tried NaNo once, and managed to hit nearly 30k before I realized that the story was going to have to go in a totally different direction in order to work. So I stopped writing since everything else I would have written would have been throw away.
    slow writers like me don’t do well in NaNo. 😦

  4. I too have a set time for writing (that’s how I’m inferring ‘write before anything else’). I usually break my day into three parts, different writing, and try to keep everything fresh.

  5. You’re doing awesome with NaNo! When I participated in NaNo, I always tried to write more at the start to pad my numbers before real life hit. Nowadays, I have a set amount of time I have to write every day. So far it’s working.

  6. Hi Anna. I must say I am quite impressed with your current determination. I have no words of advice to offer but to trust your own inner guidance. You’re not the type to give up. 😊

  7. My sheer stubbornness keeps me going. If I set a goal for myself and tell other people, I HATE to miss it. On my first NaNo, I ended up writing 14K words on the last day in order to win. My friend committed suicide that month, and it really threw me off, but I refused to use it as an excuse.

    I’ll probably drop dead from stress one of these days, but that NaNo book will be done, dammit! πŸ˜‰

  8. Keep rockin’ that NaNo girl! Decided not to particpate this year, unless I make a last minute change. Good luck! Hugs. Eva

  9. If I write first thing before anything else I get more done, of course it’s all too easy to get distracted by something else first, so still working on that discipline.
    Good luck with nano, I’ve still never taken the plunge, maybe next year (although I say that every year ;))

    • There is always hope if you are thinking about NaNo.

      I get up before the household, no distractions except the ones I make myself. And that’s the problem. πŸ™‚

  10. I guess I trust my own process enough to know that if the story needs to come out of me, it will, on its own timetable. I don’t do nano for that reason. I don’t do well when I’m feeling forced. Good luck to you.

  11. I am a NaNo cheater. I usually start early, or use a project I’ve already begun and shelved, so that my starting word count is rarely zero. This year, I’m doing the novel I shelved after last year’s NaNo, so I’ve already got 20k done. But I’m aiming for 60k so it evens out a tiny bit.
    I’m attending a local write-in tonight, and that always helps me. This year my local group is also doing virtual write-ins, which I’m looking forward to as well. I write a lot better when there is a game or activity involved (write-ins, word sprints, etc.) I don’t know why.
    Good luck with your NaNo project! I think your “write-first” technique is a good idea πŸ™‚

  12. I’m always focused on the slow and steady. I only get an hour, maybe two if I’m luck in a day to write. A couple days a week my brain is so fried from the kids school that I can’t get anything down. Still, I think it’s awesome that people can make the writing goals. More power to them!

  13. If I ever get stuck, I throw an explosion in. πŸ˜€ I suppose that’s one of the perks of my pantser nature, even though I’m trying to be a planner this year.

    Good job with the word count! Keep it up!

  14. Sounds like you’re off to a great start! The way I keep writing is to do my best to put my butt in the chair. It’s hard when there are so many other things that need doing, but I’ve gotten better at making my writing a top priority, or at least, near the top. Wishing you continued good luck with NaNo!

  15. I took a break from doing my words for today to write this comment. πŸ˜€ Guess I better get back to work…

  16. Well done to you! I think we need to pat ourselves on the back a little more, for every accomplishment on the way to big stuff. πŸ™‚

    Shah X


  17. Brilliant minds, Anna.This is my topic, too. πŸ™‚ We can’t tell ourselves enough to hang in there.

    Best wishes,
    Diane IWSG #92

  18. Great job, Anna! Not doing NaNo this year, but I’m working on a short story and when that’s done, it’ll be back to the novel and maybe exploring some new ideas for me.

  19. Great job! Keep it up.

    I’m doing NaNo this year and am having an amazing experience.
    I do multiple sessions: first one is either before breakfast or right after (depending on when I get up). Then I exercise, then back at it for another hour or hour and a half, then shower, then one more session before lunch. Seems to be working — but you’re right, putting the writing first is what makes it work.

  20. You go Anna!!

    Despite having done some pre-planning no words yet—my NaNo name is Juneta on the site if anyone wants to buddy. Not worth much this year–This is my 3rd Nov NaNo, strangely the site is only registering my 1st NaNo which was 18,000 words in 2013, last year 2014 I did 22,000 despite not making the 50,000 word goal for Novembers–I have won my goals every April & July Camp NaNo the last 3 years–go me.

  21. Fantastic start!! Well done. Keep going and most of all ENJOY!! Happy November.

  22. wow, those are awesome word counts, you’re on a roll ! πŸ™‚

  23. Anna,
    I do understand completely. I’m the same way with trying to get all of this done at the beginning of the month because Thanksgiving and the time around thanksgiving it’s like … right … I’m not getting anything done today. Keep on keeping on!

  24. Sounds like you’ve done well with the start of NaNo, and you have the idea right about putting down the most words in the beginning of the challenge. Good luck with the rest of the month!!!

  25. Like you said, go go go in the beginning. Helps to set the pattern. And encourages me as I get closer to Thanksgiving, to not give up! I try to keep going by writing WHATEVER comes to mind if I get stumped. Even if I have to go back and re do later, getting the brain flowing is the point… Good luck with Nano!!!

  26. Ha, yep, I totally understand. I didn’t take part in NaNo this year. I knew there was no catching up with how busy I am at the moment. Best wishes for your NaNo project.

  27. http://tangentshell.blogspot.com/

    Sounds like you are getting a great head start on the word count. I’d love to add you as a writing buddy at the Nano site. I am CoquilleFleur over there. I wrote 5000 words on the first day because I know that during the week it’s a lot harder for me to write, what with my job being mostly computer related and my eyes just get too tired. So, during the week I write around 1000 words a day and use weekends to get words in the bank. Sounds like you have your systems, too. As for the blank screen, well, I guess I just allow myself to write crap and hope to edit it into submission later πŸ™‚

    • It turns out I’m already your buddy. Had to laugh. I guess we have so many. I like that writing crap plan I’ll go there next. Like you said it can be edited into submission will always work. πŸ™‚

  28. This is the first time I’m doing Nano . . . and so far I’ve only been able to write the first day and about 2k words lol I’ll get there though, this weekend I plan on catching up and hopefully surpassing this week’s goal. I think it’s smart to get as much done early on, so I’ll take your approach with that. πŸ™‚

  29. I’m not doing NaNo, but for me the hardest part of writing has always been getting started. Once I begin to put words on the page, it’s difficult to pull away, but sitting down at the keyboard is a challenge. Like you, the years I did NaNo, the words always came first.

    Great counts, Anna. Stay the course!

    VR Barkowski

  30. Kudos to you for your determination and drive to finish Nano. You can do it. Go, GRRL!

  31. Fantastic effort, Anna. I must have known you a year because I can remember you doing this last year! Good luck πŸ™‚

  32. I started off NaNoWriMo strongly and exceeded my word count each day. But after the rush of starting this challenge, I’ve faltered a little bit. I need to really focus today and get a number on the books. I like your idea of writing more when you can so that you can deal with anything that might come up later in the month and distract you.

  33. What a fantastic start to NaNo!
    You are SMOKING!! πŸ˜€

  34. … as in blazing a personal Nano trail…

  35. I didn’t enter NaNo this year. I’m deep in rewrites. Good luck!

  36. I love NaNo and the community! I miss it this year. (I had to opt out since I had so much to do this month.) My own drive to get my stories out there keeps me writing. I just have to be careful not to forget to eat!

  37. I am so glad I got a good head start with NaNo because now I am a day behind. I will jump ahead again this weekend. I am hoping for no blank screens this month!

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