NaNoWriMo postmortem

Just got a delightful testimonial from a user who would like to remain anonymous for the even more delightful reason that their novel is “a smutty science fiction book about two butch space truckers in love”. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, just wanting to keep it unconnected from their professional persona, which includes their Beeminder username. But they said I could share it without their name attached, so here it is!

Oh, man, Beeminder made it SO MUCH LESS PAINFUL than it’s been in years past! I first tried NaNo in 2002 and lost. Then I won in 2003. Tried again in 2007 and lost. Won again in 2008. But this year was hands down the easiest and most enjoyable time I’ve had doing it.

So for one thing, even though I went into my previous four novels with absolutely zero prep, this time I beeminded October’s prep month, which was really helpful to get the plot sketched out and all the character sheets and worldbuilding prompts written up. So by the time November hit, I had 14,000 words of background material all written up, plus a scene-by-scene outline! I never got blocked, because I always knew what I had to write next. That was enormous.

But also having the numbers on my graph each day was tremendously helpful. It’s pretty funny, though. If you look on the graph, you can see week by week how much I let myself get away with. First week? If I can get into the blue, that’s not so terrible. Second week? Go for the green! Third week? Ughhh, orange will have to do. A couple times I kept from derailing about 3 minutes before the deadline with a skin-of-my-teeth word sprint. But I didn’t derail even once! And even though I got to 50,000 words early on November 30th, I eventually went on to write about 6,000 additional words to wrap up the story, which felt really good. Final wordcount was 56,171.

So yeah. Beeminder + NaNoWriMo = THE BEST.


Agreed. I’ve tried in previous years, most of which were pre-discovery-of-beeminder. This year I was doing it with a friend and made sure to keep my BM goal always green. I finished a couple of days early with a little over 50K words, too. BM and Nanowrimo are a great combination.


Can we get a link to the story? :slight_smile: Assuming there is a way to maintain the author’s anonymity and they are cool with sharing.