Evening chaps and chapesses, how is life and December treating you? I am a little bit confused as to how it’s already the 4th, but there we go. The car was frozen this morning, the fog was around all day, and the temperature has dipped below zero, all official signs winter and December are here and here to stay. So, before we get too far into December, I wanted to take a look at the biggest success of last month: winning NaNoWriMo!
As you can probably tell, I am really quite happy with myself. I worked really hard to hit the word total, and when validated, had managed to write 53,943 words during NaNo. I’m pretty pleased with myself and for the first time in a while I am really quite proud of that achievement. I wrote over 50,000 words in my contemporary idea, so I actually managed to finish NaNo without needing to count the words that were added to my Pirate idea (I added them anyway, because y’know, I’d written them, but knowing I didn’t need to was pretty cool). I also finished on November 28th, which gave me a bit of breathing room to validate and actually assess what I had done and what I have left to finish the work in progress.
Let’s start with the failings and move onto the nicer things. NaNoWriMo took over my life for a month. I spent the first few days on holiday in Florida, but even there I factored when I would need to write into every day, and when I came home, I completely neglected reading and blogging in favour of writing. Don’t get me wrong, it worked, and I won, but it came at a cost that I have now begun to realise was really bugging me. I don’t like the fact I am completely out of the reading habit and if anything I am actually really struggling to now read anything. I also dislike the fact I barely blogged. This I am at least hoping to rectify through Blogmas, but it still doesn’t feel good to abandon something you enjoy doing.
Now the good stuff, I am 50000+ into a contemporary manuscript. Yep, I feel like I now deserve to call it that because I have worked hard and wrote a lot. It’s unfinished, so I need to keep writing to try and complete the story, and even though I know no-one else will realistically read it, it has given me the confidence to believe I could actually write enough words to create a book. I made a lot of decisions and had to plot and plan scenes and that is something that has made me come unstuck whenever I have attempted to write anything before. I feel like I understand how to get from A to B a lot better, and can see the story I’m trying to tell from more angles and as both a whole entity and in smaller sections.
I also made a lot of realisations about what I was writing versus what I would allow to people to read. My contemporary is going to be finished and be filed away as it was nothing more than a writing exercise for myself, and I am more than OK with that. The Pirates idea is something I would love to be able to write and pursue. NaNo made me realise how much research I needed to do before I could even think of plotting and creating ideas, and it also made me realise that it’s a genre or idea that I really love researching and thinking about. I also realised that I still love the idea I had two years ago, a sort of futuristic space heist, and that even though I am still not nearly good enough to think about attempting to pull it off, I understand what I need to work on now more than I did then.
So all in all, I think November was a writing success. It has definitely broadened my mind to the world of writing and it’s also made me seriously think about writing and researching writing more regularly. At the end of the day, I finished the month 53,943 words better off, which is an achievement if nothing else.
Did you take part in NaNoWriMo? How did you do?