NaNoWriMo News: First Week Progress Report

nanowrimo news books keep me sane

NanoWriMo News is a feature in Books Keep Me Sane that will give you updates and news about Farzy’s lexical bout in the name of novel-writing throughout November.

First Week Progress Report

Hello everyone! How’s your November so far? Mine has been really really busy since as you know, I am participating in NaNoWriMo this November. As a result I have not posted as many reviews as I would like. But, well, that is the sacrifice I have to make to have a chance to succeed in this endeavor. It will only be for a month so please bear with me.

The first leg of NaNoWriMo was up and I would like to share my progress on the first week. First I will tell you how I spent the hours leading to November 1. (Note: I was supposed to post this yesterday but got caught up in my tasks because we were moving from one apartment to another and I am busy with writing)

How I Spent My Hours Leading to Nov 1 midnight

On October 31 we, the PinoyWrimos (Filipino NaNoWriMo participants) had a chat session, the event was organized by our MLs Anton and Liana. It was the perfect time to bond and get to know my fellow Filipino Wrimos.

After the chat I busied myself reading Kate Evangelista’s pre-Nano pep talk (courtesy of the Philippine MLs) and Kami Garcia’s inspiring encouragements in her pep talk. They helped me give that boost I need to write the first act of my novel.

Because I was feeling very much motivated, I made the cover for my book.

gaijin cover


Well, it’s not really a cover, per se. I was inspired by the flat icons in the NaNoWriMo dashboard and I am obsessed with the iOS/ Android app Icon Pop Quiz and Icon Pop Brand (along with the plethora of Icon Pop games).

nanowrimo dashboard flat icons


I like how the flat icons in the game have the barest of elements yet they convey so much. That’s why I decided to make a flat icon version of my book.

I was feeling nostalgic so I dusted up my writing journal which I hid on the darkest corner under my bed (because I would die of embarrassment if somebody accidentally finds and read all my horrible stories) and read my works from the past four years or so. Most of them are fanfiction from animes I was very obsessed about. All of my fanfictions are romance which is no surprise, really. Romance is my comfort zone and I believed ever since I was thirteen (when I started writing) that I would be a romance writer someday.

On exactly 12 midnight I began writing. I originally planned to stop at three am and continue in the morning. But I think I overdosed on the caffeine (even though I only drank a cup) because I could not sleep until 5:30 in the morning.

Can You Keep a Secret?

I have a confession to make and I think you’re going to chase me with pitchforks and burn my house once I share it to you. Nevertheless, here it is: I don’t drink coffee. Okay, I do but for me, coffee is a means to an end and not something I drink for the pleasure of it. When I have to stay awake late into the night I drink coffee, otherwise I avoid it like the plague.

I like the taste of coffee but it’s the caffeine in it is diuretic which means it increases the need to pee and it always leave me thirsty. So yeah, I don’t really drink coffee unless I need to. And this month I have a feeling I will surely drink tons of coffee.

My Personal Goals

My daily word count is 2000. I could lessen the burden and make that 1667 which is the minimum daily word count if you want to finish on the 30th of November. But let’s face it, we can’t write every day (or not as much as we want to). As much as we like to lock ourselves up in our basement for a month and just write, write, write, life always demand our attention. So, I set my daily word count to 2000 so that if I am not able to write at all in a day, I would not be so far behind the ideal pace.

I found this awesome NaNoWriMo 2014 calendar on the internet and it is really helpful for me to track my progress.

I don’t want to jinx things and I am not yet sure if I can make it but I would really love to meet Marie Lu this November 23.

marie lu book signing poster


If I can make it to the book signing I would not be able to write that whole day. The registration for the event will start at 10 in the morning and I want to be there as early as possible. It’s a one to two hour bus ride from where I live (that depends on the road traffic) and I want to be there at around five or six in the morning because early birds get to have amazing goodies. You should know that I take stuff like this seriously. I once attended an anime convention that promised great goodies for the first 100 people in line and I arrived at the event at five am and I was the third in line.

that's right gif glee


Oh and there’s this really awesome event coming this November 18 where three authors collaborate in writing a short story in an hour and you can watch it in real-time as they write the story. Sounds awesome, right?

What I Realized During the First Week of NaNoWriMo

I could write more than three thousand words in a day – I don’t think I have done that before. For some it might be easy peasy but for me it used to be a Herculean feat until I did it! Yay!

I successfully silenced the inner editor in me and I am a better writer for it – I think this novel sucks but I am not sure because my inner editor is MIA.

I stopped thinking too much and just freely write, I just let the words flow – Since English is not my first language I constantly worry if my grammar is correct when I am writing. But now I just don’t care, I’ll take care of it in the editing stage.

The community is really nice – The NaNoWriMo staff and the other participants are really encouraging. It’s so nice to surround yourself with positivity and it’s heart-warming to know that these people believe in your novel and in you.

I realized that the first draft will always suck no matter how much I lament about it – One of the reasons why I failed to finish a novel in the past is that I always think that the first draft should be AMAZING. But joining NaNoWriMo made me realize that the first draft will always suck no matter how much editing you do as you write. In fact, editing as you write is not advisable because it will only slow your pace and makes you frustrated in your story. So what if your first draft isn’t as good as the story in your head? That’s what the revision stage is for, but don’t revise until you finish your story. Your only job this November is to write, write, write. And then write some more.

Are you participating in NaNoWrimo too? What advice can you give to aspiring authors?

4 thoughts on “NaNoWriMo News: First Week Progress Report

  1. I’m not a coffee drinker either! And I think it’s fabulous you aren’t, because then we can stand strong together. As far as not posting as much because of Nano, what better reason could there be than writing?

    Love your book cover/icon by the way. Whenever I get on canva, I really struggle to make great icons like that, so good for you!

    • Thanks Katie! 😀 It seems that everybody loves coffee and I’m the only one that don’t. I’m glad you’re not much of a coffee-drinker too so that I am not so alone in this coffee-drinkers’ world 😀

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