In case you haven’t noticed on the little handy-dandy widget on my sidebar, I’ve won NaNoWriMo this year! I’m really really proud of this (1) because I made it to 50k with 4 days to spare and (2) because I wrote those words in my second language and they don’t all suck. Here are my condensed thoughts on the whole subject.
The first week was rough, I was never great at planing ahead and as far as writing goes, you cannot plan everything, certain things just change while you’re writing which is okay. Getting into the story and getting it to where I wanted it so I could play out my actual idea was more difficult than I anticipated. I made it there though and it was a great learning experience.
What I learned though was that writing a few words every day is better than none at all. Even when it’s difficult to find time, and my November was pretty full, especially the first weeks, I still managed to stay at least a little bit with it. Also, writing gets easier when you’re doing it regularly. This is no joke. I know I’ve heard it before and never believed in it but yes, it is true.
The second sunday, November 10th was an amazing day, I wrote over 7,000 words, catapulting my novel to almost halfway point. This gave me such a boost and a sense of “I might actually finish this thing”. It felt amazing. I can’t remember when I ever wrote as many words in one day, ever. Of course not everything I wrote will stay and is above editing, I’m well aware of it. I fully embraced knowing that I will suck. Regardless, I’m actually quite proud of some parts I wrote while others are utter crap. That’s completely normal and nothing to worry about especially for a first timer like me. I was torn between sharing what I had so far and not doing so and as you can tell, I decided against it. I knew the weaknesses and even though I will need readers at some point to give me input, I couldn’t publish this thing while I didn’t even know where it was going for fear of compromising it. I wanted to see where I would take it without any input from others. Not having the time to read it over again before putting it up on the blog was another reason.
During NaNoWriMo, or it’s at least how I handled it, I only read the last paragraph or so again to remind myself where I left the previous day and to get back into the story. I never started reading it from the top because I would have gotten caught up in editing and there is just no time for that when you’re working full time and have social obligations to fulfil. That’s what December and January are for, to edit, go through it and cut or change whatever ends up needing work. It is kinda liberating to just type away. The more I got into the story the easier it got. Such an empowering feeling, let me tell you.
The future plans for this story which I named Lost on the NaNoWriMo page is, revising and editing it in the months to come and to put it up on the blog. Not all at once of course but in increments. Be prepared. It’s mostly a fluffy romantic story which some feels in it. It’s not anything that will win me a writing award but considering I never wrote such a long story before, it does not suck completely. (Of course I say all these things without having read the entire thing. It’s too early for that. The story needs to lay bare for a while before I can touch it again.)
What I can say is that it was a fantastic experience, having this old competitiveness helped me a lot. I wanted to win and I did. Now I have a first draft which is much more than all my sayings of, one day I will write a novel ever did. I wrote one. Bam! Just like that. And right now, it doesn’t matter if this thing ever sees the light of day, I proved to myself that I could do it which I am proud of. That is all.
If you did NaNoWriMo, how did you do?