creative writing · fog

NaNo Diaries // 24-Hour Write-A-Thon Recap!

Hello everyone!

As I am writing this, it is Day 3 of NaNoWriMo and… gosh I got to say I am zonked out and ready to sleep! So, this past weekend I decided to do something really bold and intense… I did a 24-hour write-a-thon. I got the idea from Emily, a fellow blogger-writer, and it sounded like a lot of fun! I want to tell you guys a bit about my write-a-thon experience. ***Spoiler alert, I kind of failed hahaha***

So on Saturday November 2, I woke up at 6:30AM to walk my dogs and eat breakfast, and by 8AM I was a bit tired (already!! from waking up early!!) but otherwise very very excited to write.

I started off with a livestream on Youtube, which was something that I’ve never done before. It’s always been terrifying to even tell others about what I am writing (though I think I’m getting better at that) and all of a sudden I decided to take a leap of faith and jump off the deep end and did a livestream. It was kind of fun, but it also felt kind of weird since I am not used to the idea of people watching me write on camera?

Needless to say, I did not get much writing done in the first hour of the stream, just because of the sheer stress of the situation!! I did three 1-hour livestreams throughout the day. To be honest, not too sure whether or not it is my thing but we’ll see? πŸ™‚

Psst in case you guys are curious about the livestreams, they are still out there on the Internet LOL. Here is the link.

At 11:15PM, I was on the 13th hour of writing (and 15th hour of simply being awake) and I was feeling tired and frankly, just very sleepy… so I set my alarm for a 1-hour nap. Except when my alarm rang at 12:30AM, I totally turned it off and continued sleeping. And by the time I really woke up, it was 6AM LOL. (Essentially I slept as much as I would usually sleep lol.)

My face when I woke up and it was 6AM.

Soooooooo I decided to make up for the writing the following day on Sunday haha.

How did my writing go overall? By the end of the weekend, I had written 10,785 words between Friday, Saturday and Sunday!! This is pretty dang amazing for just 3 days of NaNo.

But how much of the word count is attributable to the 24-hour write-a-thon? I had written about 4.1K on Saturday, which wasn’t bad, but I had discovered the hard way that my productivity peaks at a certain point after a few hours of writing, and then I get tired and write slower and slower. I’m not too upset at myself for falling asleep because to be honest, if I had stayed awake the entire night, I would not have gotten much writing done, and the quality of the writing would have suffered.

Interestingly, I actually wrote more (4.9K) on Sunday though it wasn’t part of the actual write-a-thon lol.

The lesson of the day? Know thyself! In hindsight I should have known that the 24-hour write-a-thon probably won’t work for me! I work much better in small chunks of a few hours of concentrated writing at a time.

P. S. Yes I’ve written a lot of words this weekend. Part of my intention was just to get a bit ahead of the game, because I know that the weekdays will be super hectic at work. For example I’m foreseeing that Tuesday will be a zero-word day since I am literally at work from 8AM to midnight. “Weekend warrior”-ing is what I swear by when it comes to NaNoWriMo but it doesn’t work for everyone. I’d say it’s absolutely all right to do a steady pace every day instead of trying a stunt like this!

P.P.S. I am not by any means advocating for doing write-a-thons like this! Although we want to be dedicated to our craft, it can be unhealthy and even dangerous to lose sleep in order to write. I was just curious about how it would go, and as you can see, I didn’t even complete the challenge haha. To be honest, even throughout the day I was taking breaks, stretching, walking dogs, eating etc. If you are interested in giving this a try, keep in mind your mental and physical health!

About My NaNo Project, “Fog”

No one knows where the Fog comes from. All they know is that those who enter the Fog never return.

Luna and her twin sister Treya live in a town on the coast of Suni. Luna is the quiet one, while Treya is charismatic, powerful and the pride of the Delphinus Clan. Treya has already decided to be a Sorcerer and join the Queen’s Army, just like their mother and father. But Luna doesn’t know what she wants to be; also, joining the Queen’s Army seems like a lot of work.

On the day of their graduation. Luna rescues a boy from the edge of the Fog. His name is Caio Amadeus Vladimir and he looks nothing like anyone in the country. Caio wants to go into the Fog and map out the lost regions of Suni, and he asks Luna to be his bodyguard. Luna thinks he is delusional.

Until Treya disappears on a misty day. Luna will do anything to bring her back.

A Snippet from “Fog”

The only sound is the clang, clang, clang of chisel on rock, as the Bone Artist carves names into the slabs of stone. Three rows are tagged to the end of a long list. Three of the hundreds of people who will never return. There are more names than rocks to fit them.

The Boneyard is a misnomer. There are no bones in the yard.

Since November is NaNoWriMo month, I am changing things up a bit on this blog: I’ll be posting snapshots of my NaNo progress throughout the weeks. I’m hoping to have 1-2 of these “NaNo Diaries” every week, and on Friday we will have our usual Writers’ Corner posts. In December we’ll go back to the usual Sophie’s Corner blend of reading, writing and discussion posts!

Are you doing NaNoWriMo this year? Have you tried a write-a-thon, read-a-thon, or another intense challenge? Are you good at pulling all-nighters?

17 thoughts on “NaNo Diaries // 24-Hour Write-A-Thon Recap!

  1. Fog sounds like an amazing concept. I passed on NaNo this year because I did #DVPit and got a few requests so this month I’m sorting through all that plus having another look at my first pages. I’ve never tried a write-a-thon and with a toddler around it’s unlikely to work for me anyway lol. I’ve gotten up early to write but prefer not to do this because the lack of sleep always catches up with me in the worst way. All the best with NaNo and I’ll be following your progress!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Lisa! So glad that you like the concept of my novel so far. That’s all right to not do Nano this year. Sometimes the timing just doesn’t work out right? That’s really awesome that you’ve gotten some requests from DVPit! Good luck and hope you hear good news!!!
      It amazes me that you are able to be a parent and write novels at the same time. Kudos to you for balancing all that!
      I think the write-a-thon isn’t the most effective approach to writing to be honest haha (so you’re not missing out on much!!) It’s much more efficient to do 12 two-hour sessions, rather than one 24-hour session πŸ™‚

      Like

  2. Wow, a write-a-thon sounds super intense. I am not sure I would have the attention span for it, to be honest. But you say you failed at it, but I think more than 4K words is amazing for one day either way πŸ™‚ I guess I am a glass-half-full kind of gal.
    But really, Fog sounds incredible and like it has everything from magic and mystery to intricate sibling relationships. I wish you the best of luck with your WIP and am looking forward to more snippets and updates πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello Kat!! Haha I wasn’t sure I had the attention span for the write-a-thon! Even though I committed to write for 24 hours, I was getting up and snacking, stretching, pacing, etc, every hour or so haha. (And I also fell asleep XD)
      You’re right I am definitely proud of all the writing I managed to get done for the weekend! Even though I “failed” the write-a-thon I still did have good results. I guess what I was trying to get at was that I don’t necessarily recommend writing for 24-hours straight. It would be more effective to do several shorter sessions rather than one ultra-long session hahaha (because of attention span and need for sleep!)
      So glad that you like the sound of my novel Kat πŸ™‚ How have you been? Are you still working on Arcadia? Or do you have another WIP?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Did people really write for 24 hours straight!? That seems way to excessive to me haha I wouldn’t read for a 24 hours for a read-a-thon either. I think doing it in writing sprints and spurts over the day is a much more effective and probably healthy option.
        I am doing alright! I am not currently working on Arcadia or the witchyWIP anymore, but I outlined a project that I was very intent on doing for 10 years now. It doesn’t have any fantasy elements. It’s “just” a regular Contemporary YA story.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Haha yeah I don’t think people actually write for 24 hours straight. You’d at least have to take breaks to eat and go to the washrooms right?? The rules are pretty lax. I think you’re even allowed to take short naps haha XD
        Yes definitely I agree that the healthier and probably even more effective way is to write in short bursts throughout the day or over more than one day!
        That’s cool that you have another project in the works πŸ™‚ Contemporary is an evergreen genre and it never goes out of style! That’s great that you’re working on something that you’ve had in mind for so long.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I agree that it’s probably just as well that you fell asleep. If you needed to, and had instead forced yourself to stay awake, you might have started making mistakes where you were tired. Plus you probably wouldn’t have got the writing that you did on Sunday done as you’d have slept then instead, I imagine. It’s an interesting idea to do 24 hours of writing though. I think it would work best for me if it was unexpected – if I got so into writing something that I lost track of time.
    Your ideas for Fog, and the little bit that you included, seem really interesting too 😊 good luck with the rest of NaNoWriMo, it sounds like you’re doing brilliantly so far.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello Charlotte!
      Haha you are right. If I really tried to do the full 24-hours straight, I don’t think I would have written as much over the course of the entire weekend. Sleep is important πŸ™‚
      Yes I love the feeling of being so in the flow of writing that I lose track of time. It’s my favourite part of writing!
      So glad that you like the idea for Fog. Thank you so much!! πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I think you did wonderfully though (: and I agree that sleeps important. I had trouble sleeping earlier this year and it was horrible.
        Me too. I really miss it so should try and start up again sometime. Back when I used to write with other people I completely lost track of time and stayed up until 5am πŸ™ˆ
        It’s wonderful (:

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yeah, sleep is definitely crucial. Hope you are sleeping better now πŸ™‚ Sounds like you’ve enjoyed writing before. Writing is always there for you whenever you want to get back into it πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I am thanks (: I think it was mostly due to a heatwave at the time and then getting stressed about not sleeping was making it worse. Thank you (: I hope so. It’s just so daunting to start again after so long.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I don’t do Nano but it looks like you did an incredible job!
    Sleep is super duper important! If you hadn’t gone to sleep, you probably would have missed a few things.
    I’m excited to see what you write next!
    – Emma πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

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