My senior spring of college, I was taking three courses, one of which was my thesis tutorial. After I’d turned that beast in, I was down to two courses, one of which I was taking pass/fail. In other words: I wasn’t very busy. So — because that semester was also my last chance to write material for this award — I decided to see how much I could write in the final two months of college.
The answer ended up being “a novel and six short stories in seven weeks flat,” which is a total I don’t expect to equal again. But I spent most of November as a spinster hermit (kniedzw being in Poland for three weeks after I left), so I figured, as long as there was nobody around to look at me funny for working at all kinds of random hours and not having a social life, I might as well see how much I could write in the month of November.
As it turns out, I managed 59,144 words. (Which annoys me a little, since I thought I had hit 60K that final night. But apparently I did some math wrong in there.)
It isn’t NaNoWriMo. I will almost certainly never do NaNoWriMo; I don’t need the event to make myself write a novel (duh), and I know the pace would result in me writing a bad novel if I tried. Only 30,492 words of that is book, i.e. my standard working pace. The rest, the other 28,652, is a combination of other things: substantial blog posts (like the nearly 4K I wrote for my first ToM entry), promo stuff for A Natural History of Dragons, Yuletide material, progress on the short story that’s trying to kill me, the beginnings of a new Driftwood story, etc.
Even changing up my focus like that, 59K was a lot to churn out in thirty days flat. I’m not a slow writer, but I’m also not one of those people who can do 4K days for an extended period of time. It was, however, good to work on gear-shifting between projects — that’s something I’m not great at, and could benefit from improving. My short story production has fallen off substantially these last couple of years, because it’s hard for me to get my head out of whatever the current novel space is and find some kind of flow on a totally different setting and characters. There are more reasons for that than just gear-shifting, of course; it also has a lot to do with the increased investment my short story ideas are requiring, research and other things. But still and all: gear-shifting is a good thing to work on.
So that was my November. I still have two thirds of this book to go, so it’s going to stay busy around here for a while. But all in all, a nicely productive month.