Sunday, November 30, 2008


Drum roll please........

If I count all words in this draft at this point, the total count is......

However, about 7,000 of those words are from a few chapters from my last version that I need to rewrite, but have now run out of time. So, if I only count all the words written from Nov 1 - 30 and don't count those two or three chapters I haven't rewritten yet, than my final word count is......

But, I am not upset at all that I didn't reach the goal of 50,000 words. I never thought I would meet that goal, although there was a moment when I did believe it was attainable. I have learned far too much to feel sad. I have learned I can...

...write through fatigue
...write through pain
...write through a cold
...write through sick children
...write through sleepless nights
...write after working with 3 year olds
...write while my family is home and doing loud activities
...write in the car with the radio on and the kids in the back seat watching a movie (My husband was driving... Oh and I cannot, however, write while my DH sings. Sorry, THAT is too much of a distraction for me!)

~But most of all, I have learned that I can finish this book and that I will finish this book.
~I have learned that 50,000 words is reachable and that my story will probably wind up being longer than 50,000 words.

I have learned a good set of earphones do a lot more than block out sound. They also work like blinders on a horse and help me to zero in my focus.

I have also learned not to share your story before it is finished and never, never, EVER revise until YOU ARE DONE! Repeat after me.... NEVER, EVER, EVER REVISE UNTIL YOU ARE DONE!

Writing my first novel has been a real up hill battle, learning simultaneously about my novel as I am learning how to write one! Not an easy task at all. But I love what I do. I can't not (double negative, I know...) do what I do. And one day I will make money doing what I do. I believe in my story and I believe in my dedication.

I would recommend NaNo to everyone and anyone who will listen. My suggestions are...

  1. write an outline before Nov 1. Write several. A long, detailed one and a short one. My long one was 31 pages full of detail - what characters were in that chapter, what props, what's foreshadowed, what was the mini conflict, mini resolution, and "disaster" that kept forever pulling my MC to that point of no return, or what I like to call the journey... My short outline was 2 pages long and basically was a few short words - no more than 3 - just sighting he crux of each chapter.
  2. Do your research before November 1
  3. Tell members of your writing group, you will not be sharing pages for the month of November

I want to thank all of you for following my journey and for cheering me on through this process. It was such a thrill to know you were all there behind me and I was behind all of my fellow NaNo writers as well.

My story will not reach The End at word 50,000. And although NaNoWriMo is over, many of us are not done. So, join me in setting a new goal - to reach 50,000 words or the end of your story by December 31st. Let's ring in the New Year with new MSs. So, whose with me?

Again, from the bottom of this writer's heart... thank you! December 31st, here we come!


cindy said...

CONGRATULATIONS! you learned so much of what i learned back in 2006. there are people who don't do well with nano mentality, but it really works for me. i'll be writing with you through december! it'll be hard while in england--i'm still wondering if i will or not. =)

PJ Hoover said...

Whoo hoo! Great post, Sheri! I love learning what you've learned!

keri mikulski :) said...

Congrats, Sheri! Great stuff. :)

Jeanie W said...

Well done, Sheri. How much do you think you would have written in November if you hadn't done NaNo?

Sheri said...

Thanks everyone. And let me know Cindy if you want to join me in December. I understand while you're away, this might be hard. Maybe if you lower your weekly word count, that could help. Send me an email and let me know.

PJ - it was a tremendous learning experience. I'm so glad I did it.

Keri - thank you, thank you, thank you!

Jeanie, awesome question! Certainly not 33,000+ words, that's for damn sure!

Amy Tate said...

Yea!!!!! Congratulations Sheri!!!!

Sheri said...


Lapillus said...

Congrats! You did awesome and you learned a ton. It was great having you along for the ride. It certainly helped me stay motivated to have blog friends doing it too!

I would join you on your New Year's goal, but I'm shelving my NaNo project for something new. I've given it a lot of thought, because I know this is a recurring theme for me, but I just don't beleive in it like I should. I'm also gearing up to have a newborn in the house within a few weeks, so I'm just a tad distracted!

So, my goal is to just keep writing regularly and to force myself to do a better outline for my new WIP. I'm awful at outlining! They never get more than a few pages long and fail me in the middle of my novel.

I'll be cheering you on though! I can't wait to hear you've finished!

Gottawrite Girl said...

Sheri, what an accomplishment, for each and every reason you wrote out. Forget the number, and hug yourself! A real, trouping and trudging and committed writer, you are!

Sheri said...

Casey, Is this your first baby!? Congratulations! I was never much of an outliner eiether, but I was only able to get so far in my subsequent drafts without one. NaNo actually forced me to write one that I could really use and it was sooooooooooooo helpful! But don't be surprised if not much of anything gets done the first year your baby is born!

Thanks Susan! After this, I can honestly say, I have crossed some invisible line between writer-wanna-be and writer.

Lapillus said...

This will actually be my second child. I have a two-year-old daughter. She'll be just shy of 28 months when this baby boy is born. I wanted one of each and I wanted them about two years apart so I feel really blessed.

But yea, I expect my writing to be put on the back burner for awhile (I'm not Stephanie Meyer, lol.) That's one reason I wanted to tackle NaNo while I had the chance. It came at the perfect time.

Tabitha said...

Ooo, me!! I'm with you!! I'm still plugging away at my novel, though I have no idea if I will finish it before the end of December. I'll try hard though. :)

And congrats on such an amazing word count! Even if you didn't reach 50k, you're still much farther than you were in October. And it looks like you've learned a lot about yourself as a writer. Sounds fabulous to me. :)

cindy said...

how do i "join" other than write? haha! i'm writing in december! may not for the last two weeks--but i will be percolating. perhaps working on the picture book text.

Sheri said...

Casey, it did come at the perfect time for you. I didn't do much of anything but mothering when my kids were at those ages. It wasn't until my youngest went to preschool that I was finally able to write again.

Thanks Tabitha. It was amazing and yes, you're right. I would never be where I am right now if it weren't for NaNo pushing me all the way. As it is... here we are the 3rd day of December and I have barely written - one thing I've learned, I can write through almost anything - but not a stomach virus! I think I'm finally on the mends now...

Cindy, good point! I'm not sure. Maybe we should have a central blog to sign in our word counts or goals... show our progress...

“Personal limitation exists only in our ideas of who we are. Give up all notions of who you are and your limitations will vanish.”

- Anonymous