Understand My Writing Process

National Novel Writing Month Days 11-15

This entry is part 4 of 9 in the series National Novel Writing Month 2017


Written 12/11/2017 for 11/11/2017

Friends are not unlike sanity.

You need them, or society will think of you as weird, but you can’t help but think you’d be a lot more relaxed without them.

I’ve been out with friends two Saturday’s in a row now, clubbing, like some eighteen-year-old.

It’s mad because of course, you have to drink (yes, you do) and that means however good a night you have; you guarantee writing off your entire Sunday.

This would be fine if you were a normal person who worked Monday to Friday, played on Saturday, and sat around watching telly and building matchstick towers on Sundays, but I don’t have that luxury.

I want to be a writer – for whatever reason – and that means I need Sunday as a day of work.

Usually, I’m excellent and get about nine or ten hours writing in but now we’ve had the first two Saturday’s of November and both have involved a night out leading to a hangover that has crippled my Sunday productivity.

So, with this in mind, I’ve had to get at least a decent showing on Saturday, even if I’m still not writing anywhere near as much as I do on a Sunday.

Yesterday, I worked for a couple of hours in the morning, working on a few bits, but dedicating a fair amount of time to my Nano project and knowing that, after the 849 words showing of the previous day, I needed to get at least a good couple of thousand on Saturday morning.

I did alright.

Words to “win” NaNoWriMo: 50,000

Words for par, Day 11: 18,333

Words written: 3,940

Total words: 23,313

Words over Target: 4,980

Average per day: 2,119

Remaining: 26,681

3,940. That’s the best count so far, coming right after the worst count (and only second count under 1,000) yesterday.

Can’t be displeased with that.

Given that, I’m not going to worry too much tonight. I’d like to knock out at least 1,500, but I’ll see how it goes. Truth is, I have Monday and Tuesday off, so I expect those to be good writing days.

I can afford to do a bit worse today, but I’ll see how it goes.


Written 13/11/2017 for 12/11/2017

As expected, following my night out, yesterday was not the best writing day.

But that’s okay. I said I was going to give myself a bit of a break on account of having my best day so far on Saturday and because I’m home Monday/ Tuesday.

So, while 1,784 only just misses out on my bottom three days, productivity-wise, it is still above the 1,667 you have to do a day to get finished, and, as a result of getting over that, I am now more than 5,000 over the daily target.

Not only that, but yesterday’s session took me over the halfway point (woo) in the 50,000-word target.

Not so bad then.

Words to “win” NaNoWriMo: 50,000

Words for par, Day 12: 20,000

Words written: 1,784

Total words: 25,103

Words over Target: 5,103

Average per day: 2,091

Remaining: 24,897

Now, last time I had some days off I was hitting 15,000 words a day.

That will not happen now.

For a start I was starting at nine then and it’s already ten past eleven now.

For a second, uh, thing, I’ve got quite a bit of blogging to do, and that’s going to take up some time.

Thirdly, I’m just not feeling as motivated as I was with Project Perry, so, it ain’t going to happen.

But that’s not to say I can’t have a good day, starting as soon as I finish this sentence.



Written 14/11/2017 for 13/11/2017

I’ve always been good at self-blame and getting down on myself.

Not so much about the quality of my work – although, also that – but more about productivity.

Every day I set my alarm for six thirty, and every day I don’t get up till gone seven, and every day I feel shitty about it.

That’s the big one, but regarding writing output, I tend to do the same.

So, while a lot of people might look at yesterday’s output and say “man, that’s pretty good, even on a day off, especially seeing as you wrote a blog and did some other bits and pieces as well” I only look at it and say…

“But I did 15,000 words a day last time I was off.

That kind of thinking, of course, is counterproductive. I only did what I did and to wish I did more only wastes more time and energy.

So, today, when I assess the below, I’m going to try and look at it in a more positive light, in comparison to my productivity in this National Novel Writing Month, as opposed to in comparison with my last week off.

Let’s check it out then.

Words to “win” NaNoWriMo: 50,000

Words for par, Day 13: 21,666

Words written: 6,176

Total words: 31,279

Words over Target: 9,613

Average per day: 2,406

Remaining: 18,729

Over 6,000 words is my most productive day so far, easily ousting my previous best by over 2,000 words.

So we’ve done well, pushing to almost 10,000 words ahead of schedule, and now with less than 20,000 words to go to “win” NaNoWriMo.

It would be stupid to feel bad about that.

So what about today? My last ‘free’ day before going up North to see my Grandma. Well, It’s not just gone midday. I’ve been out this morning to the bank and to have a haircut (thank you, I think so too) plus I’ve done some writing.

So, we’re not likely to do as well as yesterday, but let’s just see what we can do, okay?

After all, it’s only a game.


Written 16/11/2017 for 14/11/2017 & 15/11/2017

Okay, it happened.

At the halfway point as well.

I suppose I always knew it would, eventually.

But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t hurt.

I went a day without writing.

I have a bundle of excuses, of course. I was stuck in a car from nine am until two pm. Then I was with my girlfriend’s Grandparents for a couple of hours then it was another hour drive, and then I was with my grandparents.

We had dinner and played games, and I had a few glasses of wine.

Then it was the Apprentice, ruining things again as it did on that very first day.

By the time that had finished, I felt groggy from the booze, tried from the long day of sitting next to someone who had to concentrate on driving, and that’s not to mention the horrific cold I have.

So it was a conscious decision, in the end. But not one I took lightly.

In fact, I was sure it was the wrong decision write up until I fell asleep, but I’d made my choice.

There was no going back.

The decision, I suppose was made a little easier by the knowledge that I had an okay day of writing the day before, following on from a great day, Monday.

The stats below are for Tuesday 14th. Averages will have dropped since then, but at least I know I’m in a good place.

Words to “win” NaNoWriMo: 50,000

Words for par, Day 14: 23,333

Words written: 5,670

Total words: 36,949

Words over Target: 13,616

Average per day: 2,639

Remaining: 13,051

So I’m not allowing myself to be down.

I had a day off, but it followed my best two days of writing this November.

I just need to get back on the horse. It’s morning now, and I doubt I”ll get much done in terms of novel writing this morning because I’m going out for lunch and I need to sort my next blog, but this afternoon, I plan to get some words back down.

Get back on, and shoot towards victory.

We’ll see how that works out.

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International worst-selling author Mark Ayre has been writing since before he could pick up a pen (somehow). An author of mystery and suspense novels including the James Perry Series of mysteries.

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