The (Off) Day Off

This DeathBar comes from the NaNo website and pulls its numbers directly from the ones I feed there. It keeps me honest with its DeathBar-iness.

I’m a little over a week into NaNoWriMo. You can over there by the NaNo Death Bar that I’m doing pretty well. 17,294 words. As I write this I should be at 13,336 eight days in.

I averaged 2882 words until yesterday, the day after the presidential election. I blame hangover from my political junkiness for not writing the full complement of 1667 words. I only got about 1,000 that day. Essentially a day off.

Every writer needs a bit of down time. Stepping back a bit and taking to heart what’s already written is a good idea. The first two years I did NaNo I was petrified about being able to get back into the groove so I didn’t take a day off from writing in November. Consequently, the two books were awful. I mean terrible. (Well, not really but there were problems too numerous to fix at the time. Regardless. Moving on.)

So last year and this year both, I’ve planned for a couple of days when work or life will likely get in the way and I won’t be able to write. Over the first weekend of NaNo I wrote 8,000 words. That’s not as much as some people (one buddy of mine wrote 11,000 in one day) but it’s pretty good for me. I can get that done a couple more times and I’ll make the 50,000 in 30 days in order to be a winner.

The thing is, I’m writing on the same pace as I did last year and even with the day off this week I feel good. So far I’ve had one major surprise and I’ve written some pretty solid prose.I’m already a winner as far as this book goes.

So looking at that 17,000 words in the DeathBar I can tell you I’m almost a third of the way to the NaNo goal, but only about 17% of the way to my goal for the novel.

I’ll probably take another day off before too long. But now I’ve gotta get back to writing. See you next week.

Jason Arnett is a storyteller living in Kansas and writing in the plains of the fantastic. Some of his work can be found at

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