November 2021 Challenge - Build a Writing Habit!

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Magnus

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This is a thread open to anyone who wants to build a long-term writing habit, which can include writing, editing, research, etc. or anything else that supports your writing like self-care or just putting bread on the table.

By sharing your efforts here you'll get some accountability to help boost your motivation. And you'll be part of a community of fellow habit-builders who encourage and support each other!

Feel free to start the month out by stating your goals and to chat a little with the other participants as you report in. But it's up to each person how they wish to participate in the thread.

Here are some tips to start you on your path:

Set achievable goalsThis is by far the most important rule. Set your goals so that you can reach them consistently. That generally means aiming lower than you think; you'll want goals you can hit on the days you're feeling less motivated. Hitting a small goal will give you a confidence boost and set you up for success the next day, building momentum. A good goal is a little bit challenging but doesn't overwhelm you.

Accept failure and move on – Even with a small goal you'll inevitably fail some days. Don't worry about it. Failure is a natural part of improvement. Try to figure out why it happened and how you can prevent it in the future. Then forgive yourself and move on. Don't stack your goals, but start fresh the next day.

Be patient and persistent – It takes a long time to build a strong habit, and sometimes you won't notice the progress you're making day-to-day because it happens in tiny increments. Keep at it. Sticking with the habit gets easier with time, but that being said: don't trust it to run on autopilot. It's when you think that you've 'made it' that it's easy to stumble. If you keep at it, your progress will be slow and steady; it's the only type of progress that lasts.

Be adaptive – Not everything that works for others will work for you, and sometimes what works for you changes with time. Always be ready to mix things up if you're stuck in a rut. Does reward work better than punishment for you? Is it better to get the writing out of the way or to get other stuff done first so you can relax? Do you perhaps need different goals for different days of the week? Do you need skip days? A good habit is one that works for you.

See you on November 1st!
 
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dansimmonds

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Hey guys, I've been away for quite a while - Still working on that first novel. Tagged on about 10k words over the last couple of months, but really want to get it finished before the end of the year.

November Target - 15,000 words

500 per day - whether commuting or sitting at my desk for an hour or two. I get that done, and I'll be very near the end of the draft.
 
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Lea123

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I'm in (again). It was really helpful this month! :e2writer:

Now I've had a crack at October's, I know I write my bulk at the weekend and have patches mid week where work floors me and I'm too tired to function. Even proofreading midweek requires me to then reread at the weekend in case I've been too tired to do it properly.

I'm aiming to do something 6/7 days (Thursdays off) but I'll be mixing proofing and writing. I've tried solidly proofing but it's becoming too much of a slog and writing is meant to be my escape. I don't want it turning into a chore just yet. :e2hammer:

I'll aim for 1,000 words if I write, 1,000 if I'm proofing.

Think I'll keep a count in Nov' so if I do more one day and not the next it'll even itself out...
 
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Pterofan

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I've been gone for a couple of weeks--damn you, writer's block-- but I'd really like to devote November to the first book in that series of mine, the one I've been jumping around in. I'll bet if I fortify myself with Halloween candy, I'll get off to a good start. See you next Monday!
 

Psychoclown

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I'm keeping the goal of five hundred words a day, except for the days I'll be in Vegas.

Main focus will be keeping up on the novel. But I think its good to keep a few other small side projects. Short stories and such. I got one in rough draft form that needs some pretty heavy polishing, but I at least like the central idea. Got a seed of another story, but I need to sit down and give it some proper thought/planning before I try grow that seed.
 
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PraiseRao

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I'm doing NaNoWriMo for the first time. It just happens to align with a lull in the novel writing as my first novel has gone (will soon go) to the beta readers. As for right now I am on a rare break. Didn't think I knew how to handle them to be honest. Froze the beta version at the beginning of October. So it's been digitizing notebooks and then prep for NanoWriMo. I was planning to write a prequel story anyway and while the book is in beta NaNoWriMo is only 2 weeks off from just being on schedule. So for this moment I am trying to take a rest and get things in order for that.
 
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Woollybear

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By the end of November, I think I'll try to get a first draft complete of the new novelette (about 15000 words.) I started last week and am trying to push myself to write today. It actually isn't a hard task, the outline is sitting right here, I just don't feel like doing any of this stuff.

But accountability helps.
 

Hannah_Deava

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I'm leaping in to the writing world and trying NaNoWriMo for the very first time. I've only just really found out about it so I'm racing to catch up with prepping, but I like the idea of just blurting out sheer content for a month without stressing over perfection. I already have an idea, so for good or bad, I hope to have 50k words before the end of the year. I need that kind of hard goal to motivate me, or I just wont keep at it.
 

Cindyt

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Beginning sometime after November 3, I won't be around until I am able to get a new laptop and internet at the new house.

Just in case I show up this month...

  • Continue work on Draft 3 of A DEADLY SPILL OF SCARLET
  • Continue maintaining my four blogs
  • Finish formatting the DRESS HER IN CHAMELEON ebook for the paperback version
  • Do something every day to sharpen the writing habit.
Good writing, Everybody!

:snoopy: Update: We'll be getting hooked up on November 2, then moving on Nov 4, and I'll be back with my new laptop soon after. :e2dance:
 
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TheKingsWit

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I'm attempting NaNoWriMo this year, so that's 50k words and hopefully all the way to the end of the first draft of my current novel (which I've already started); as a sub-goal, I'll try for a minimum of 500 words a day. Daylight savings is on November 7th, so my plan is to keep waking up at the same time according to my biological clock, which will be an hour earlier after the time change, and use that hour block to write before work. I've had varying levels of success at Nano before, but I'm feeling good about it this year; I've gotten much better at doing writing sprints and letting go of perfectionism.

Good luck to all!
 
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Vaitalla

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It has been years since I made an account and posted here, but one of my goals this coming year is to be a more involved writing community citizen... so, hi! And here goes.

I'm doing NaNoWriMo this year and using it to start a brand-new novel (first in a short urban fantasy series). I felt like I needed something to clear the air after working horrendously hard for a few years to get my first novel (YA fantasy) ready for querying, and a fast-faced romantic fantasy sounded like just the ticket.

So, I'll be aiming to submit a query a day on the old book while churning out words on the new book. I'm a freelance artist and art instructor, and it has been a challenge to chisel time out of my existing freelance schedule to dedicate to my writing every day (taking time away from the creative pursuits that pay to put energy into the creative pursuit that currently does not pay!).

I started by getting up earlier every day, and currently use my morning writing time to prep my materials for the new book. My minimum goal every day during the week will be 1200 words; hopefully I will actually hit more than that for most days. Weekend time is scheduled to catch up as needed. The fiancé has been warned that he may be a NaNo widower this month (it's okay, he's told me I'm going to be a Diablo IV widow when that comes out, so we'll be even).

Glad to be here and I wish you all much gumption! :)
 

cmhbob

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Thought I joined last month's thread and my post vanished, so here I am.

  • Discoveries, book two of the Sad Girl series, launches on November 17. It's already up for pre-order, though I don't have any sales yet.
  • Continue working on edits of In Plain Sight, book three in the series. It was finished and edited, then I made some major changes based on the editor's recommendations, so I have to fix that, then send it back for a quick re-edit. Targeted release is April of next year.
  • Finish a short novella inspired by a Reddit writing prompt about being able to talk to walls. It's at 20k words and feels like it could go to 35k or so. It may become a reader magnet.
  • Get organized and up to speed on the first book of the Red Dirt Justice series, working title Voice in The Wilderness. I'm 3k into it, but I need to put some serious thought into characters and planning, and I really need to do some research/interviews.
  • If I'm really lucky, I'll have to start carving out writing time around work time. I'm applying to just about any job that even looks like a possibility. Money's getting really tight.
 
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TStarnes

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I found the Oct. challenge thread really useful and it helpd me stay accountable for myself, so I figured I'd go for this one too. A lot of my goals are carrying over, but I've a few new ones I'm looking at adding to the mix.

The Trumpets of Jupiter: This is almost completely outlined. I haven't quite worked out my writing schedule for it, but I think I need to write 1k words a day to hit my April deadline.

Fanfare: I actually swapped my finish deadline for this and Extraction, so my goal dropped quite a lot. Right now I'm looking at needing about 1,750 words a day or so on it.

Extraction: Because the publish order switched and this one needs to be done earlier, the goal on this one shot up and I'm looking at needed about 1,500 words a day, which has the first draft done by the end of the month, leaving 2 weeks for editing and second draft.

Untitled Stand Alone: I'm not sure how I ended up this way, but I'm goin to have a big gap between Fanfare and Extraction getting published and when The Trumpets of Mars is set to come out, so I'm looking at getting a stand-alone story I've been thinking about for a while outlined in November so I can start writing it in December for a February release.


Psychoclown: As a weird coincidence, I too need to work around a trip to Vegas this month.
 
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RaiscaraAvalon

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I am definitely in - I haven't been here in so long my account has dust on it!

My projects currently:

  • The Emperor's Bride
  • I'll Be Honest
  • Video Game (Working Title)

I'm semi-doing NaNo, but my goal is only 200 words per day on each project right now. I will also be doing book reviews, short stories, and flash fiction during this time - maybe more if I figure out what topic I want to focus on. Lots of interests + knowing a lot about a lot of things = confusion lol. Being a multipotentialite/polymath sucks sometimes. Queen of Useless Information right here, folks!
 

Nether

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Given that October isn't over, some of these are subject to change.

1) I want to NaNo the hell out of book 9, but there's no guarantee I'll be done drafting book 8 (I'm close, but it's going to wind up being longer than I thought). So the big plan to draft all of book 9 in November (probably 80-90k words) might not be feasible.

2) I still need to finish proofing book 6, and start proofing book 5 (both are goals from last month). Book 6 *should* have been done by now. I need to get in the habit of proofing at least 10 pages a day (although I'd obviously have to do a lot more to get through both of those)

3) I need to query something, since I'm sitting on a lot of stuff at this point. (See 3A and 3B.)

3A) I'd meant to query book 6 in October, but I never got that far underway with it. At this point, I'm half-thinking I may either do a beta read round or a critique exchange before submitting it. The original plan was to query after proofing just to see if it's usable as is, then gut if I couldn't get an agent. However, I realize that the bulk of changes I'd make (minus some theming adjustments) come *later* in the novel so I wouldn't necessarily get the same second-change on a revision that I imagined I would.

3B) Conversely, book 4 is finishing up its first critiques, so maybe I can query that... if I don't wind up making a lot of revisions. Humorously, the book that's *mostly* fine as-is could benefit from some visible changes in the early chapters to fit the genre more cleanly. And then there's room for some secondary changes, in terms of revamping the theming. (However, at the same time, I also really want to just write the sequel to it a little early, so... that's going to be a balancing act.)

?) I also never got the critique process under way for book 5 last month (both because I didn't finish proofing book 5, and also because I hadn't (and haven't) finished my exchanges on book 4 yet). I'd like to start that this month, but I'm a little iffy. Given that I might not finish proofing book 5 by the end of the month, it's a huge question mark.

So, a few goals, although I mostly want to just successfully NaNo... even if I've drafted novels in under a month in the past (book 5 and book 7 specifically).
 
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Taylor Harbin

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It’s taken a huge effort to finish one short story, so other than brainstorming other potential projects I’m not sure what my goals are this month…

Yet I want to work on something, just can’t figure out what.
 
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Gatteau

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I'm in! Hopefully with more regular updates this month, due to the most effective pressure of NaNoWriMo. Well on my way with most of an outline and research galore, and excited to really get started with this idea, so yay!
 

Helix

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I'm in, but I haven't quite worked out my schedule for November. Still got a few days left to sort that out.

Righto. Here we go.

  • NaNoWriMo = 50,000 words of non-fiction.
  • Medium = 16 pieces (which seems to be the sweet spot for my sort of stuff)
  • Other = 6 pieces for submission to paying markets

This could be a Venn diagram. Just not sure of the overlap yet.
 

Pterofan

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Trying to prepare myself for the big day tomorrow...

I have three books I want to work on, different volumes in the same series. I think I'll focus on word count instead of any one project. The math says I'll hit 50K by the end of November if I write at least 1666 words per day, so I'm going to aim for that. Could be on one book, could be spread out between two or all three. Could be on the side project I've got lined up in case I freeze again. Could be something totally new will hit; it's happened before. The plan is to write a set number of words every day and make progress on something. Eventually things get done.

That's the joy of being a pantser. It's like going for a Sunday drive. You start out with a vague destination in mind and start driving. You make turns and pick roads at random. Sometimes you get lost. Sometimes you see nothing of interest, or find something truly amazing. Eventually you're going to end up somewhere. Maybe not where you envisioned, but getting there is half the fun. As long as you don't run out of gas.

Maybe if I keep the "fun" part uppermost in my mind, I'll avoid the freezeups that wrecked October for me.

But mostly it's the 666 in the word count. Some day I'm going to tempt fate and write a horror novel in daily increments of 666 words. But not this time around. Maybe next year.

And now, I'm going to summon the Candyman. Happy Halloween, everybody!
 

Taylor Harbin

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I’ve decided I can’t do justice to my newest subject in a short story, so—-against my initial judgement—-I’m researching what might be a book. It’s far from what I’m used to writing and will require really stretching my brain. But as someone recently told me “You have to tell yourself ‘I am the only one who can write this story.’”

So here I go.

Help.