“Let me say it again: You must not come lightly to the blank page.” Stephen King
For the last two years I’ve sacrificed November to that well-known writing obsession known as National Novel Writing Month more commonly known as NaNoWriMo. An annual writing challenge to script 50,000 words in thirty days.
Authors from all over the globe have one target, to write a book in one month. That’s 1667 words a day. Say it fast and it sounds easy. Sit down and write with and it’s less so. It requires determination bordering obsession. Snatching time every day to compose a draft novel in busy lives is not something everybody will find as simple as it might appear. Clearly it can be done as many, like myself, have proved by succeeding.
But how do you define success?
50,000 words is an awful lot. Many will find it slipping away within the first week. It’s an unforgiving test of endurance. However, it is also a personal challenge rather than a competition. Yes you get the kudos badge for succeeding, but I feel it more important that a writer finding themselves with a draft heading towards a novel of any length has achieved a great deal. Even if the target ambles off into the horizon by week two that is no need to give up. 20 or 30,000 words is still a huge accomplishment.
Don’t sleight it by looking at the goal post disappearing daily into the distance. Keep going and write as much as humanely possible. Novels don’t write themselves. People have life interludes, illness, children, work and a myriad others things that might strive to intervene time set aside to write.
I’ve seen people on my buddy list stop dead half way through and often that’s because they are so far off target it’s reacted to as failure. I’m unconvinced by that line of thinking.
The failing story
If the story ceases to work, then you’ve explored an idea and found it lacking. Sure it’s frustrating, but better explored and found out than not trying. I will wager there isn’t a writer alive or deceased that’s taken every idea started to a full novel. I’d say it’s a positive outcome because you now know it had no legs.
Comparative self defeat
Buddy systems are support systems not competitive ones. Don’t watch someone flying past the daily word counts and compare it to your own meagre amount. It’s counterproductive. Grow your buddy list and take heart from a range of counts. Chances are you’re not alone in the stat graphs. Write at your pace, with the time you have and get something down. Any words are better than no words.
Over analysis and time-wasting
Remember, this is a first draft. Don’t prevaricate and worry about structure or editing. There’s no time. It’s called a first draft for a reason in the same way editing is called editing for a reason. Proofing too for that matter. If something gets stuck or feels articulated poorly, blow past it and carry on. Fixing comes later.
Life and time
Remember too, life for most of us can’t be shut down. Stuff happens, accept it and don’t dwell in frustration that it’s killing your expectations of cruising the 50K. Writing can be a natural source of self-doubt without adding value by getting shirty at interludes that collapse the word count.
Life beyond NaNo.
For most, the end of NaNo wont draw a novels conclusion. Even at 50k there is likely to be a fair few chapters left to complete things.
Those not hitting that target should take heart in that too. They also have a few chapters left. Look out for the two NaNo Camps in April and July. These are less combative mentally because the writer sets their own target. This might be editing the manuscript, setting a word count to complete the one started in November or an entirely new project. Use these as completion challenges. They work well for me and help keep writing going. If I hit a lull then I use one or the other to kick-start my writing habit. Any serious writer needs to develop that. Dipping in and out doesn’t develop the discipline to advance their skill set. It also leads to procrastinating and finding reasons to not write. Been guilty of that one too myself.
Remember any words, any length, any word count is success.
AN OPEN INVITATION TO OUR NANOWRIMO FRIENDS
If you find NaNo tough and lacking support why not try a sample of your work in this months #BlogBattle? Anything up to 1000 words and any genre. Just keep it family friendly.
We now run this once a month for any writers that want to join in. It’s a good place to share short stories, poetry or samples of your writing. The only criteria is to use the prompt word (EDUCATE) somewhere. For NaNo participants we thought it might be nice to view some samples, spread the word and offer support.
Details below and a fuller post is scheduled for tomorrow. Any questions about it can be addressed in the comments below.
BlogBattle now live, join us and take part
The Insecure Writer’s Support Group
Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!
As with your other NaNo post, there are some gems of advice here, Gary. I particularly liked the whole over-analysis part: “If something gets stuck or feels articulated poorly, blow past it and carry on.”
This is something I struggle with. I get to a tough bit in the story, try to wade through it, get stuck, and start sinking. There’s another quote I quite like, from C. Robert Cargill: “Stuck in a scene and don’t know where to go next? Do what the pros do: Put what happens in brackets. [Our hero escapes death by doing something clever.] Then write what happens after that. Keeping your writing momentum is key. Often you’ll find the answer later in the work.”
My first main WIP I got stuck thinking about how *exactly* my protagonist could build an explosive device with the *precise* materials he had at hand, and that was the death knell for my momentum. I really must learn from past mistakes…
Great tips, Gary! I’ll be keeping these two tabs open, as I attempt NaNo — just to remind me of the dos and don’ts!
Robert Cargill speaks true. It’s also part of King mantra in On Writing. First draft is a skeleton upon which the second draft puts flesh. I know several writers that ask me how to move forward and I always say if you’re stuck getting from A to B in a scene skip it and start at B. Writing can’t stop while an angle is figured out or it turns in procrastinating. Write it, flip the stall points and move on. By the end of draft one you know both story arc and characters way better. That alone might direct the stuck point. If it’s more a tech point like yours then more reason to flip to scenes end and figure out minutia later. There I’d have advised work out the explosive build first then make sure his inventory carries the kit lol.
Sounds like you’re definitely going for it this year too. I’d buddy up, but I’m not sure I’m ready for November.
Yes, everything you said there is excellent advice — the sort of things I wish someone had told me back when I first dared to put word on paper! Alas, I may have learned the lesson now. Although it may have taken a while 😉
I think I’m just going to throw myself into it and see what happens. As you said on the other post, it’s all about mindset. If it doesn’t work out, I won’t beat myself up about it too much. I just really wanna see what comes of it!
I think we can all say that! Writing buddies are hard to come by when you start this caper. Then again maybe you learn more the hard way…or…does that make the journey longer until you vaguely know what’s what?
I think you’ve already decided to give it a go by the sounds of it. Nothing to lose and words to gain. What can possibly go wrong with the right mindset 😳
I think Chris from Mused.blog is having a go, and maybe a few others from BB — I’m very glad I stumbled across BB, it’s a lovely little writing community you have built/are building.
I have a feeling that both statements are correct, a long and hard journey, but the things you learn during the arduous trek you’ll never forget. I know I read some tips before I really started going for it, and I now know I didn’t fully understand them, until I had made the same mistakes, so… Who knows? 😀
Yes, I think I’ll just have a go and see what happens. I’m not approaching it lightly, but I won’t punish myself too severely if I fail. If I can get a decent chunk of the story done during November, I’ll call it a success!
That would be excellent! More folk from diverse blogs can help spread the word! Mind you, that means more reading which is a great assist to not writing 😂😂
Sometimes the adage can’t put old heads on young shoulders holds true. It’s easy to give advice and often harder to take it. Lessons learned yourself stick and then comes the epiphany of what the advice actually meant in the first place! Then again there’s chatting about things that turns into advice and lobbing it into someone’s face. I find the former way better myself. I guess that’s the beauty of writing buddies!!
There is no fail! Any words are a bonus. If it doesn’t pan out to 50k remember the camps! You set your own target in them. I’m definitely up for those next year too. Aim will be to tackle NaNo again after. I’m just not ready this time so might use that month to revamp my blog instead 😱
Haha, true! More reading means less time writing, but I am enjoying branching out and reading genres I wouldn’t normally!
Yes — the epiphany bit is so true! I’ve had many “Oh, so *that’s* what they meant…” moments! Maybe I’m just stubborn, and have to run into the pitfalls on my own! 😂
I will be up for the camps next year too! However NaNo turns out, I think I’ll give them all a shot. A little bit of peer pressure from buddies can’t hurt!
Hm, I may need to restructure my blog at some point too, even though it only started this summer. Trying to categorise all of the short stories I’ve written for various prompts (BB, Reedsy, CarrotRanch, etc.) — it’s getting a tad messy…
Essential stuff Joshua. I’ve proper diverged my reading from YA through fantasy, sci-fi and, of course horror…not going Mills and Boon though. I do draw some lines!!
I think pitfalls are probably the best learning tools to make us fully understand advice given. Otherwise it’s just words 😂
Too right. I actually see it more as support and encouragement. Self motivation in solitary might be good for some, but often others it is a serious issue. I’ve come to realise I’m the latter!
I’ve had my blog for some time, but not being over savvy I’ve left it as is. Now it’s well outdated and needs a way better feel. I’ve found a theme though so it’s a case of stepping into the fire!
Haha! I think we have a similar approach. I try to branch out into many different genres, but I just cannot get through some of those romance novels. Not to say I don’t enjoy romance, but I mostly like it when it’s packaged within another genre.
Yes, I’m really glad I’ve embraced the online writing communities — here on WP, over on Reedsy’s forums. It’s great to motivate others and to receive motivation. We’re all in the same boat! 🙂
I must admit, I’m not too savvy myself! My partner made my blog for me, and I have simply handled the stories and writing! 😂
Absolutely must be packed inside another genre! That said two of my own favourite characters are Ade and Rowena the goth. They belong in the Archie storyline that is a working title called The Bequest and follow up Black Marsh. They have a little romance going on as teenagers lol Nothing lurid mind…unlike the other one I mentioned somewhere else!
I’ll have a look at Reedsy next year as part of the habit generator too. I’m working on mental preparation to kick start in the new year properly. That gives a couple of months to tackle the blog. Might have to find a go to person for that though 🤔
A good romance between characters can really add to the story — like the husband-wife dynamic of Pet Sematary, or doomed romance in Salem’s Lot. I just can’t read something that’s purely romance, unless it’s truly exceptional…
I really recommend it — they also give out cash prizes, too! I’ve won it twice now, which was quite a nice confidence booster. Put some wind in my sails, as they say.
If you don’t know anyone who can do the blog for you, I’ve heard good things about Fiverr for freelance services. Perhaps someone over there can do something pretty for rather cheap? I’ve heard it recommended for graphic designers for book covers, and whatnot. Never used it myself, mind you.
In the right setting yes, but as with all human traits it’s getting the right combination of characters that sets it up. Forcing anything usually goes wrong with mine!
I think new year might be a better time to try those. Too much happening at present, which I’ve just added to with the NaNo rush of blood. So not sure that was wise!!!
As for the blog, I probably could do it myself. Artwork aside although Rachael did me some really cool logos a few months ago. Pretty sure they will work. It’s that arm of uncertainty with new things that keeps diverging into procrastinating. I’ve considered that re publishing too. Do it once and the process will be known and thus easier next time.
I agree, forcing never works. It always reads a bit stunted. Let the characters tell their own tales! 😉
Ha, yes, I think we’ve got enough on our plates with NaNo. I’m not sure if I’m going to maintain the Reedsy entries for this month… If I get my NaNo writing done for the day, maybe I’ll try and sneak them in, somewhere.
The fear does contribute towards procrastination. I know I had crippling writer’s block during my BSc, due to worrying about the possibility of bad grades and such. Ripping the band aid off. I know it’ll look amazing once you’re finished with it! 🙂
It does for me. That said many writers work from character sheets and pre-planned arcs. I’ve tried that and it became too convoluted. Again it was King and On Writing that got me nodding when he talked about knowing both areas way better after a first draft. I’m not sure, but D&D gaming might have influenced my style in that I see things unfolding as I write. If I have a storyboard it diverges rapidly and I feel things are stronger that way. Characters flow rather than being jerked back on course unnaturally.
As for NaNo…err must update proceedings as it looks like I’ve done nothing so far! Tomorrow I’m moving it all into DropBox so I can work between devices and still access my manuscript template. So far it’s been quite disorganised 😱
Fear is a great adversary I agree. I guess that’s a causal agent in low self esteem or belief that what we do is not half as bad as we think! Therapists call that un-evidenced internal thinking. Not that knowing that stops it 😂
I have “sort of” sketches of my characters’ arcs, but I leave myself plenty of wiggle room, to allow for sudden fits of creativity. I like to have a vague destination, so that I don’t write myself into a corner, which I have done before… Halfway between planning and just making it up on the go, I think!
So far, so good for NaNo! I’ve got to head back to the UK tomorrow for my brother’s wedding, so that *might* disrupt things a smidge…
Haha, yes, I’m well aware of the nagging voice at the back of my mind, but I can’t seem to silence it…
That’s what I find fascinating about writers I know. So many different approaches. I’m totally a pantser. No plan, just dive in kind of thing. Mind you I think I mentioned before that my characters really dictate things. I do follow a flow though. Editing closes down zones that could have wandered, but I leave some in for subsequent stories to link to.
NaNo is going OK here too…even if it’s only day 6!! Good luck with the wedding too. I can’t see writing being up front there 😂
I know, it’s very cool to see the different journeys we all take to arrive at a finished story. I do know what you mean, though — I sometimes have to surrender to my characters’ will, and let them go where they want to go. The best laid plans, and all that!
Thanks, we’re all very excited, now! I managed to do a fair bit of writing at airports and on planes (thank you technology — my tablet is a marvellous piece of kit). Slightly over the needed amount for NaNo, so I’ll allow myself the time off for the wedding! 😉
Ye gods…bit of a time slip…no similarity to a certain TimeWarp song there either! I trust said wedding went well!
As for tech…too right. All my writing is done on an iPad, from there to Dropbox and then into my pc manuscript template. All very organised apart from the dead important bit of sending it off 😳🤔
The wedding was lovely, thanks! Had a wonderful time. I did a bit of writing, here and there, but I must admit I’ve fallen behind a bit… But it was a holiday, so I shan’t beat myself up too much. But, I’m back now! Nose to the grindstone!
Good to hear! I don’t blame you for a blip during that either. Absolutely no point beating yourself up about being behind as a result either. Hopefully you’ll soon catch up…or already have as you posted this 4 days ago!! I’ve entirely neglected blogging this month. Priorities and all that seeing as I’m on a roll lol
I was about 10k or so behind, but I’m about 5k behind as of last night. I’m trying to hit 2.5k a day to catch up — been hitting that pretty consistently for the past week, so I think I’ll hit 50k bang on the 30th. I just checked your stats… wow! Absolutely smashing it, Gary! Nice going!
That’s a pretty good punch Joshua. Dropping to 10k behind can be very intimidating, but dragging it back to 5k is huge. 2.5k a day is a good target too. Be nice if we could nail that 5 days a week all the time.
My stats are pretty solid as you’ve seen. If I hold up I’m looking at 60-70k. Experience tells me once I’ve stopped it will really catch up with mental fatigue. Thing is I’m now looking forward to the camps too. Even Rachael wants to join in those now.
Thanks for the mojo too. I’m not updating every day so tallies spike a bit. I think I’m about 2k short now and the story is holding up ok.
Apologies for the silence, Gary! I shunned my blog and social media for a bit, and focused solely on writing. I managed to pass the 50k mark last night. 🙂 Quite proud of the accomplishment, considering how far I was behind, at one point! I know now that I can hit 2k easily in a day, and if I really go for it, 5k is doable. It all depends on motivation and distractions, I think!
What dizzying number did you hit in the end? Did you reach the 60/70k mark? I’m also looking forward to the camps as well! This year’s NaNo was a great success. Bring on the camps!
Same here re silence…I’m totally fluxing between reality and fiction worlds now though! Awesome on hitting it too Joshua, we’ll proud of you there and I agree 2000 a day is easy to reach with a disciplined approach. That will flux up or down depending on flow of story. And those accursed distractions!
I hit it with 64k early last week. I’m now up to 70 and in the end game. Well, book one end. This is the one that links those I’ve written with this a sketch prior to this. Rachael is up for setting up a BB camp and I’m already reaching out to folk to try and get recruits. We got this!
Thanks, Gary! Was super-pleased with myself. Definitely found this one easier, now that I buddied up with several other writers. Now, to just maintain it! No excuses now, the story’s in its final act.
Wow, that’s some going! Like lightning. Well done, Gary! Keep going! 🙂
My pleasure Joshua. And apologies for the delayed reply. It seems my social media has slipped somewhat post NANo!
Maintaining it is the real challenge now for us both it seems. Hence I feel the Camps will help develop habits if we struggle between now and then…especially with the festive season there to interrupt it!
Mines now at first draft proper too. Definitely not a single book and ties up a few things I’ve dribbled around for too long. My larger project is waiting in the wings too. That’s the Amanuensis world build I mentioned with almost a book of short stories of background work. I must get onto the BB this week too. Sadly neglected and I’m probably in Rachaels bad books now too 😱
No problem, Gary! I hope the writing is going well! Yes, my daily habit has stumbled quite a bit since the end of November, but I’m still adding bits, every now and then. Just not 2k+ a day…
That’s fantastic, Gary! Bloody good going, to have gotten it to that point in such a short space of time — especially considering you weren’t planning on doing NaNo this year. Well done 🙂
I’ve managed to maintain the BB and the Reedsy stuff, which I’m pretty pleased with! Did get a bit hectic with all of that, back in Nov, but I got some nice short stories out of it! Looking forward to reading your BB for Dec! (The last of 2019! 😱)
Ha, going well! Talk about runs of ill fortune. My PC has decided not to boot up having detected a drive failure. Not the boot drive as far as I can tell, but it cycles each drive and locks on setup in a loop I can’t stop yet. Fortunately my writing is saved in many places on it though…if I can get in that is. Most is on Dropbox though and I’m an iPad writer so current project is fine. Then I find flipping post sharing isn’t sending images Facebook or twitter will validate. That’s new too! But apart from that all good… except I’m brain mashed from NaNo lol.
As for 2K a day, we’ve just proved that’s possible methinks. Therefore I’m going to try and hit between 1 and 2 next year now.
Thanks too. NaNo wasn’t something I intended doing and should have re-themed really as that might be causing the sharing issues. Might be a case of prioritising now. PC is right up too there.
Might mean BB suffers unless I extract something from the current WIP.
Ah, no! A nightmare! Good job on backing your work up in multiple places. Exactly for this sort of event! I also back my stuff up on dropbox, laptop and tablet. Can never be too safe!
1-2k sounds like a solid plan. I’m thinking of blogging about my weekly writing stats, for the added pressure… The NaNo stats that others can observe really gave me a much needed kick! I think the guilt of others knowing my progress (or lack thereof!) really puts my feet to the fire…
Apologies for the slow response, by the way! Life gets very busy this time of year…
No worries about slow response times, I’m in the same boat currently rescuing a beer cellar at my local pub now too. Too right about the Nightmare Before Christmas too. Narrowed it down to a data drive for which I now have an external cradle. The boot SSD drive and the other three drives connected seem fine in the boot report. Just have to disconnect the dodgy one and it should fire up allowing me to see if the flagged one is accessible via the cradle dock.
I’ve noticed you on Twitter with new posts too. You’ve got to be doing 1-2K on those lol. Hopefully in the New Year I can get over more for some encouragement.
On an aside, I mentioned a new WIP that had a stack of back story. I thought of that and dug some out for this months BlogBattle. Figured you might be able to make some heads or tails from it! Not sure I can 😳
I find just being in a community for a month keeps me focused. Even if the majority are people I’ll never see I know they are there. So true just keep writing. A scene, describe a character, someone unexpectedly walks into the room. Just explore and keep writing. Thank you for always being supportive. I know your on my team!
Definitely with same week birthdays! The NaNo event I’ve found highly supportive too. Missed this one, but aiming for the Camps next year. Maybe see you in those?
I hope so. Cabin mates would be a riot.
I would love to try NaNo but would need a totally different lifestyle first. Will enjoy following every one else’s progress!
The November one is tough. That said you could try the NaNoCamps in April or July. They run similarly to the main event, but writers set their own targets. It makes things easier and gives a taster for it. From there you might get the bug lol
I imagine I would get it too.
Thank you. I didn’t know about the springtime NaNo activities. I didn’t sign up but I’m using the NaNo vibes floating around to make myself write on my new manuscript each and every day this month. (Historical, so it’s slow going with research every other paragraph, but better than I’d be doing without the NaNo in the air!) The starting is always the toughest, anyway!
The camps are a better way to start if the main event is daunting. They get you used to how it all works. Much less onerous too, although that really depends on the target you set yourself! I guess if you were mad enough you could set 50k in those too!
I think using it outside of the hub is also a good goal too. So many bloggers post about their journeys it’s hard not to get inspired. I always say any writing is better than none too!
Many thanks for the comment.
Great tips for NaNo. It’s not a competition with others but a challenge to ourselves to just get some words down.
Thanks Alex, I’ve seen too many of my buddy’s dropping back and then finding they’ve struggled with the failure aspect. I seem to bang the drum on this annually now! Words, writing habit and personal challenge. Any words better than none. Also I’m very surprised at how many don’t really know about the Camps too. For many they might actually work better by self setting your own targets.
Thanks for popping over!
Such a thoughtful post – and I don’t know about anyone else, but it’s quite timely for me as I’m starting to feel the newness and the excitement of those first few days wearing off ever so slightly.
In my state’s NaNoWriMo Facebook group, an author posted that he’s always seen National Novel Writing Month as “a rush to get something done instead of just focusing on a good pace and what [people] are doing.” Then asked if someone could explain it all to him. I don’t think he was being critical, just inquisitive. Or maybe he was and I’m just choosing to assume his tone was inquisitive. 😝
Anyway, the responses were so positive and uplifting, and many of the group’s members responded with comments about how NaNoWriMo creates an opportunity for writers of all experience levels to connect with each other, bounce ideas off each other, and support each other in the overall goal as well as with personal goals. Basically, knowing that there is a community of people out there can (and does) boost motivation.
And a very considered comment too! NaNo proper is a beast if it’s the first time anyone tries it without working to a tight time constraint. Most new writers take far too long to finish first drafts because they overthink and keep going over things that should be left to a first edit. Often you know the characters, story arc and plot way better at the end so that provides the necessary means to go back to change things. Newness can soon end in despair too if you see the word count growing exponentially. That happens fast too, I explored that in posts last year too.
A lot of people often say the November event should have a more flexible goal too. I’ve considered that and concluded it would detract from the event for established writers. It’s the challenge that drives many to adopt a writing habit. King, for example, churns 2000 words a day. Granted that’s too end productivity, but NaNo gives a taster of what it takes to produce manuscripts at pace. I also often point out the two NaNoCamps are the places for people who want a slower pace. They run exactly the same as this event, but writers select their own targets at the start. I think that authors comment might have been better answered by referring to Camps. He sounds new to the concept and many people don’t even know they exist. Communities exist in both and have all been in the starting blocks at some point and are often willing to share advice, experience and support too. I think creating a blog based NaNo group might well prove popular too. A place to ask questions, share writing samples and so on. One reason the invite to BlogBattke was included. Although I’ve considered setting up a dedicated group several times where bloggers can link in and buddy up.
Thank you so much for this wonderful comment Kelsey 😊
This is the first year I’ve been prepared and truly enthusiastic for NaNo, and I’ve surprised myself by how well I’m doing with avoiding edits and proofreading. I have gone over what I’ve written, but only if I’m finding it difficult to extend a particular scene I’m working on. I’ll look back to find a detail that I feel I can develop further, and then run with it!
You are so right about the Camps! The availability of those in conjunction with the main event really highlights what NaNo is all about, beyond word count: developing (and/or improving) writing habits, writing every day, sharing tools and advice, etc. And I like that group idea; it would certainly lead to some helpful and fun conversations. 🙂
Enjoy it Kelsey, I am actually missing not doing it this year! That said I also used the A to Z theme as back story for another project. That generated 40k words too. It was the intention to write the first book of that story this November, but life threw a curve ball and I knew I couldn’t embrace it properly.
The hard bit in NaNo is resisting edits and re-reading. Both take time out of writing and often cause people to start lagging behind. With me, I tend to just write flat out. I know if I pushed things properly I could hit full first drafts every three months, maybe less. I need to develop the habit again in the New Year methinks! I’m aiming to use the first NaNo Camp too. We should link up!
I’ll give the group idea some serious thought too. Maybe instigate it in the New Year too. Might make these conversations easier lol
I’m doing NaNo for the second time. And it is so true that you need to have a plan to complete it. Also, you have to focus and keep distractions away as much as possible. I liked your post. You can make me your buddy writer if you like. 🙂
Bravo Alex. Time plans are definitely an advantage too. I found once I started logging my day, finding how much time could be created quite an eye opener. I’m always open to buddying up too. I’ve decided not to participate this year mind. Not through a lack of ideas, but some internal issues with a son that have to be sorted. Priorities and all that. Fully intend to use the camps next year though. Let me know your NaNo ID and I’ll hook up.
Many thanks for the comment too 😊
Alex M Fourzan is my name in the NaNo web site. I’ll come back to you with my impressions once I’ve done.
Found you and just sent a buddy request. Bit hard looking at my dashboard with no current project mind! Really not missing next year, or the two NaNoCamps!! Looking forward to hearing back too!