NaNoWriMo 2009: Day 1

NaNoWriMo is here – 50,000 words in thirty days (that’s 1,667 words per day), which for me is only half a novel, but it’s a great excuse for a little pedal to the metal. This is the first time I’ve actually officially signed up for it, so I’m going to attempt a day-by-day blog on progress.

Day 1 started with a serious bout of procrastination. Now, 1,667 words a day is less than my 2,000 words a day requirement normally, and as I’ve said earlier, on a good day I can get up to 3000 words. But having not written for a month or so, actually sitting down and getting started was going to be tough. And it was. But, as always happens, once I got the first chunk down (about 1000 words) and had a break, I felt marvellous. Later this afternoon I did my second chunk. It felt good.

I actually wrote all of chapter one of Rad Bradbury: Empire State, and I managed to wrap it up almost exactly on my arbitrary 2,500-word target – 2,510, to be precise! How, exactly, I’m not sure, but I’m not going to think about it too much!

An important motivator for NaNoWriMo is remembering that you are allowed to suck. The first draft will be rubbish. I don’t know how many times I’ve said it, but here it is again – this is the vomit draft, a regurgitation of the plot before you forget it. That’s not to say you shouldn’t be aiming for perfection – you should! But if the work sucks, that’s okay. You can fix it later. The important thing is to get the words down to meet you daily goal of 1,667 words.

NaNo report, day 1 (Sunday 1st November 2009)

Words written: 2,510
Words to go: 47,490 (NaNoWriMo), 97,490 (entire novel)
What I wrote: Rad Bradbury: Empire State, chapter 1, first draft.
Status: Looking good, happy to be ahead by nearly 1,000 words. Happy with first draft of the opening chapter, has potential for second draft I think.

Writing space

Following the example set by fellow NaNoWriMo participant Jen, here’s a snapshot of my writing space. I was impressed by hers (which you can see here), as it is warm and friendly and cosy and she has nice things around her to provide inspiration.


My space, on the other hand, looks rather minimal in comparison – just my iMac (the wife’s is in the background at the other desk), headphones, keyboard and mouse, and coaster for the ever-present mug of tea, which is amazingly not present in this shot. But although it’s minimal, it’s comfortable. I have a nice chair. I like the solid wood of my desk. I like the warmth of the brick wall to my left. My iMac’s screen is not quite so blazingly bright, that’s just my cheap camera playing tricks.

This is my space for writing!

  • You’re off to a WONDERFUL start, Adam dear! And I like your writing space very much indeed. I’m itching to get going, I am!

    Very proud, very excited, very ready for my workday to end so the real work can begin,

    – Kate

  • Jen

    Hey mister! Thanks for the kind words about my writing space 😉 Having tried it out for my first official Nano writing session, I can say that I enjoyed working in it very much. The huge pile of sweets was particularly helpful (and I also had a cup of tea present- tea is an excellent writing fuel).

    I do sometimes wish I could keep my space as tidy and minimal as yours (it certainly makes finding a pen easier I imagine) but I seem to be untidy right down to the depths of my soul. Oh well.

    Well done on your first day’s writing!