Last year I wrote in my journal about how I didn’t know that I benefited any from doing NaNoWriMo anymore. I said that I was writing almost every day anyway and that I was breaking from the actual novel I was working on (WTF one was that??) to write something not related. I wrote about how I made myself crazy with it and I never partook in any of the social events and it was just something I did out of habit.
I took more from it this year.
First, instead of taking a long break before going into November, I took a short one and I pushed my word count up from 1000 to 1500 words per day. It made the writing I did this month seem like a normal amount. When I took a day off, the catch up was a little rough but it didn’t fry my brain. Now the writing just feels normal. I enjoyed it. I can’t wait to write. (Which is good because my other novel was getting to another stand still.)
Second, I wrote in my home office more. At least one day a week, and usually three, I sat down at my actual desk and shut the door and wrote. I made a pot of tea. I enjoyed the environment I created. It got to the point where I would sit down and know that it was time to write and I did.
The third thing I took from it was kind of a surprise. I am not a prewriter. This year I took to making character lists so that I didn’t have to look back for exact names while I was writing. Other than that, notta. Last Sunday, spending 7 hours in a D and D game, I jotted down what needed to happen from where I was to the end of the book. This week has been the easiest writing I’ve done in a long time. I plan to do more of this outlining stuff and can even see how it will work in my big novel which I might just start over so I can fix it.
Fourth, and final, I feel pretty confident about my writing. It’s been a long time since I felt like I was just putting words down and they were fine. Another contribution to my enjoyment of writing.
I am growing, all of the time. And tomorrow I cross the finish line!
Well, I did it. I wrote 50k words in a month.
I’m not as excited as I thought I would be.
Oh, you know, some of it is that I’m on an emotional rollercoaster. Some of it is that I’ve done this a number of times before. It has kind of lost it’s excitement. I’ve done NaNo for about 8 years now and I have won 50% of the time. The only difference is that this year I came out of it with a novel that… wasn’t finished. I’m kind of excited about that because that means I may actually be writing a NOVEL length novel!
I’m glad it’s December though. I’m happy to cut my words back a little and have time for something else. I gave myself a free day today and I’ve played some catch up and cleaned the house and done the laundry. I’m at a great starting place and I’m about to head into some Guilt Free Gaming. Now I just need to decide if I should live all of December like this or give myself some crazy challenge, like organizing the whole house.
For me it starts in July.
In July I usually come up with some stellar idea for my next writing project even though I am in the middle of writing a novel and don’t need to start another one. I let the new story knock around in my head like a poltergeist for a while. I jot down some notes. I try to forget it. But in the process of forgetting it, my mind only wanders back to it again and again. I restrain myself from thinking too far ahead. I don’t want to be sick of it by the time I get to it. I decide that it would be great for November. My mind goes back to the same scene, over and over.
(This year the scene was of a beautiful young dark haired girl succumbing to a gorgeous, blonde female vampire in a dreary old swamp. Again and again. Who were these people? Why had this woman chosen this girl?)
In October, I make a point to rush to finish what I am working on and think about any prep work that I may need for NaNoWriMo. This year I was going for historic fiction, something I’ve never written, for a time period that I am only slightly knowledgeable about. The years leading up to the Revolutionary War. I printed articles on anything that I thought I might need. The colonies. Loyalists. Governors. Politics. Women in colonial times. I read the articles and highlighted them. In November. Because I fell behind in October and was not willing to give up on my to do list.
So, I spent last week catching up on October stuff, including reading about my novel instead of writing it.
Now I am just over 11k behind.
I don’t want to give up. I want to work hard of getting back on track with everything. The problem is that I forgot that it was hard to keep up with this pace of writing.