NaNoWriMo Day 3: This Year’s Project & My Strategy

NaNoWriMo 2011, day 3

Today’s personal word-count goal: 9,999

Today’s actual word-count so far: 7,500

Ahead or behind? Behind! 2,499 words to go today!

Years I’m Writing About: 1984-1985, on my Facebook Page you can contribute your own words about these years.

This year I’m writing a memoir, one year at a time, a few years a day. Because I love gory process details from other writers, I’m sharing my strategy for this year’s project.

I made a chart that counts the days of NaNoWriMo—thirty of them officially. But since I plan not to write on weekends, and I plan to finish in time to enjoy Thanksgiving and relax for the rest of the month, I hope to write for only 15 days.
Today is day three, and I should have 9,999 words written. The chart says so. I have only 7,500 now, but I’ll make it up by the end of the day. The chart assigns a couple years to each day, and I’ve got a few notes for each year, stuff like my age and where I lived at the time.
This is quite different from what I did last year, writing with no direction most days. Pigeons—go! It’s also easier than what I suspect most WriMos try to pull off: figuring out an actual storyline. My chart tells me what year of my life I’m writing about today, and I start writing.

For inspiration, I have my short list of easy writing prompts, such as  “I remember . . . ” and “I loved . . .” and “____ influenced me.” I may reference Wikipedia’s historical pages to help me with context. I’m lucky to have an engaged Facebook community posting inspiring comments too.

On day one, Maureen Futtner of  PR for the People  reminded me that, “There was that bicentennial thing!” in 1975. Thanks, Maureen. On day two, my Kindergarten teacher commented that she thought I might have been a fairy in a former life.  Talk about creative fuel! My mother has posted a few dozen photos from my childhood, potent memory ignition.

So far, this year’s strategy works pretty well. I’m reaching my steep word count goals and having fun. I know of at least two WriMos who liked my chart well enough to make something similar for their own projects. I feel a sense of ease and support to write a 50,000-word memoir in less than 30 days. The future’s so bright, I have to prop an umbrella up on my desk to see my computer screen.

Get a piece of the action. There are several ways to participate in NaNoWriMo. Support the do-gooders who run this free event online by making a donation to the Office of Letters and Light on my fundraising page. And visit the The Sexy Grammarian Facebook Page to contribute your own words to my daily word count.

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