I use a nerdy nifty little Excel spreadsheet for tracking my progress with NaNoWriMo. (Disclaimer:  I did not create the spreadsheet. But, to whoever did, thanks!)

I like charts and graphs. Maybe collecting the data appeals to the former-engineer part of me, but seeing the stark reality of my progress with NaNoWriMo is a mixed blessing.

NaNoWriMo word count graph
3 steps forward, 3.02 steps back

As of Day 10, I’m at 16,199 words — only 471 words short of my target. The funny thing is, I average more than 1,600 words per hour, so it isn’t as if NaNoWriMo is that big of a time commitment. Yet, I still have to overcome a reluctance to sit down and do it!

The challenge isn’t in typing the words. No, the challenge is all the crap that goes on in my head:

  1. Resisting the almost overwhelming urge to go back and edit that terrible, run-on, borderline-nonsensical sentence I just wrote.
  2. Writing all the words that pop into my head because they add to my word count, even though 90% of them are unnecessary.
  3. Finding ideas for the next step in the story.
  4. Worrying that I’ll run out of ideas for the next step in the story.
  5. Knowing that there is a document on my computer that contains writing so embarrassingly bad. (Well, at least one document.)
  6. Fearing that the awfulness of what I’m writing is because my ability to write just plain sucks.
  7. Wondering what the heck I’m doing this for.

The good news is that, once I actually start writing, it isn’t that hard to keep writing for an hour. And, since my “story” is a sort of horror/fantasy/mystery/love story with serial killers, witches and supernatural creatures, it’s actually been kind of fun.

What are your challenges for NaNoWriMo? What are your successes?

The ups and downs of NaNoWriMo (day 10)
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