How I Wrote 6000 Words on the First Day of Nanowrimo

How I Wrote 6000 Words on the First Day of Nanowrimo

On the first day of Nanowrimo, my true love gave to me words a bounty.

On the first day of Nanowrimo, I wrote 6000 words. Well, 6026 to be exact. That’s pretty good considering that the minimum word quota is 1667, but it’s not the best.

I have always been in awe of those who have been able to crank out upwards of 30,000 words on the first day. I have always wanted to achieve that. But I don’t think that is going to happen anytime soon. I think people who are able to write 30,000 to 50,000 words on the first day are speed typists. I also think that these people have their entire story planned out, with an extensive outline. All they gotta do is fill in the blanks. And lastly, I think these people are doing nothing but write on the first day.

I never expected to write that much on the first day. In fact, I don’t want to write that much. This is a month long competition. This competition is supposed to last thirty days. So, if you write 50,000 on the first day, then what do you do for the rest of the month? Do you write another 50,000 word novel? Or, do you just sit back and enjoy a drink, while watching your fellow competitors whimper and cry, laugh and smile, you know the entire gamut of human emotions?

I definitely don’t want to write that much on the first day. I want to be able to experience the entire thing from the first of the month to the last day of month. But, even though I don’t want to write that much, I still want to be ahead in the number of words that I have. I want to be a couple thousand words ahead because in my experience you never know what could come up. You could get sick or you might want to take a break. If you are ahead, then you can take a break without worrying about getting too far behind.

On the first day, I wrote 6000 words. This post is how I wrote 6000 words on the first day of Nanowrimo.

1–Virtual Write-In

This year, thanks to Covid, there are no in-person write-ins. Instead, all write-ins that are affiliated with Nanowrimo are held remotely. I am thankful for that, because it means that I don’t have to venture outdoors and drive 30-45 minutes to a write-in location in my region. I can just sit at my desk, in front of my computer, and still be able to converse with other writers.

Yesterday, I participated in my very first virtual write-in. If you’ve ever wondered what exactly people do at a write-in, people write. That’s it. It’s just a group of writers sitting down together to write. They are not writing the same novel, but rather the writing is happening concurrently.

I logged on to my very first virtual write-in yesterday at 6:00 PM eastern time. The fact that there were other writers online, who were just a click away, was so paramount to my own success. It helped spur me forward. It gave me the motivation and determination to write this thing. After all, I didn’t want to be the only one not writing. I didn’t want to be different from the rest. So, in this instance, peer pressure is pretty powerful. That, and having a really strong, supportive writing community.

2–Writing Sprints

In years past, I have participated in writing sprints to help me get inspired and push the words out. I have often joined the #writingsprint community on Twitter, or the @NaNoWordSprints, hosted by select members of the Nanowrimo community.

Now, you are probably wondering how does a writing sprint work? Well, I am going to tell you. The host posts the start time and writes how long the sprint will go for. Sprints generally last anywhere between 1 minute and twenty minutes, though I have seen sprints go for as long as an hour. The participants post that they are participating. At the start time, they start writing and they don’t lift those fingers off the keyboard until the stop time. So that means no bathroom or snack breaks during a sprint.

I have found that doing writing sprints have been instrumental to my success. Besides the supportive community aspect, there is also a sense of good old fashioned competition. When you challenge yourself to write uninterrupted for five, ten, even fifteen minutes, then you will undoubtedly bring forth many words. They may be absolute crap, but that doesn’t matter. Because it is another idea that you can use for your story. It is another detail that your character needs to help drive that plot forward.

I can’t tell you how many times I have been stuck in the past and participating in a writing sprint has helped to un-stuck me. I think it is the combination of friendly competition, accountability, and community that drives the success factor of writing sprints.

Never under estimate a writing sprint, because they just might get you and your characters over that finish line.

3–Determination and Persistence

I was able to reach 6000 words on the first day of Nanowrimo because of my sheer determination and persistence. I was determined to write. I showed persistence by writing scene after scene. I showed persistence by not stopping even when the scene was near impossible. I just kept at it because that is the only way that you can get to the end. Giving up is not an answer when it comes to Nanowrimo. You must keep at it. You must venture on.

Overall, I wrote 6000 words on the first day of Nanowrimo because of virtual write-ins, writing sprints, and my sheer determination and persistence.

And you, my dear reader, tell me in the comments below in one word or two, how your first day of Nanowrimo went.

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Hi! I'm Helen and I am a 31 year old hapa mom raising two multiracial children. I am a writer, English consultant, and social media manager. I am a self-proclaimed chocoholic.

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