Robots Need Words Too: NaNoWriMo Days 1-4

I miss coffee shop writing sessions…

NaNoWriMo, November 2020, DAY 1 – 0 words

Dear Diary,

Recently I looked back over last November’s blog series I wrote about doing National Novel Writing Month (aka NaNoWriMo). It was actually quite useful to me. I was reminded that I did most of my writing in the evenings, quite often doing sprints with BlackLion and others.

I have some clients and community members who are doing NaNoWriMo for the first time, and I figured perhaps this will inspire them on their journey, too.

On the very first day, though, I wrote absolutely no words (well, beyond my journaling practice, which is separate).

I’m recovering from an infection that started in my right eyelid (yep, pretty weird and random, eh?). On the first day of NaNoWriMo, I was tired, grumpy, and out of sorts. Not the place you want to be in when writing a novel.

So I didn’t.

I didn’t even beat myself up over it – I didn’t have the energy for that, either.

DAY 2 – 2132 words

Dear Diary,

I felt much better today. I mean, I’m still tired and resting and healing – but no grumpiness and a lot more mental clarity.

Even so, I didn’t get to my novel until after dinner. Around 8:15pm, I opened up Scrivener (the software I’m using) and Discord (I’m not sure I can explain Discord, but it’s a chat-based communication platform, I guess?).

I went to the channel where Maine NaNo happens, and some writers were doing sprints together – one of whom is a friend of mine.

They have a new thing this year, a “bot” called Sprinto. It lets you send commands that start the sprint, and then it does the timing for you. So cool! I love having a neat robot thing to run the show.

It means we can do sprints anytime, even when the admins aren’t there. So convenient!

DAY 3 – 2126 words

Dear Diary,

BlackLion and I sprinted together this evening. The Discord channel was pretty quiet when we got there, but by the time we were done, there were a handful of us.

I love doing writing sprints. They force me to put the editor brain completely aside and just write. 

That said, I worked on this one scene that just goes on and on and on… I think there’s too much talking and not enough doing in it. Although I did leave it on a bit of an exciting cliffhanger at the end.

It’ll all get fixed later, during the editing process.

After we were done with our writing, we watched The Good Place. We’re on season 3 and it’s just hilarious.

DAY 4 – 2384 words

Dear Diary,

This evening after dinner, BlackLion and I joined the Maine NaNo crew for a scheduled write-in. It officially went from 6 to 8pm, but we were there from about 6:45 until after 8.

I wrote a bunch of words.

None of the writing I’m doing currently is planned in advance. I was sick with an infection during the last part of October, so I’ve done literally no planning ahead this time around.

Yup, at the moment, I’m a “pantser.” (Which means writing by the seat of one’s pants, without a plan).

I might try to plan a bit over the weekend. I usually like to have at least some solid plot points to aim for as I make my way through the story.

But then again, maybe I won’t.

Tonight after we wrote, we watched the new episode of The Mandalorian, followed by more of The Good Place.

How’s your writing going so far this month? I know there are a lot of distractions right now, but I’m doing my best to focus on the things that matter most and letting the rest go.


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