When I signed up for NaNoWriMo 2016 I didn’t expect it to be easy.
I knew from the beginning that my November was going to be incredibly crazy. I was in the process of moving my office space. (Here to for to be called Vine Street Atelier.) We were set to be a vendor at a local craft show. I was going to be orienting to a new position at a new facility. I was committed to working a research study at the end of the month. I had some computer based training that needed to be completed before the end of November. Oh -and throw Thanksgiving holiday fun in there too.
So I knew it wouldn’t be easy.
However, I was not prepared for the pace of writing 1,667 words and what it would feel like. I had never participated in the contest called NaNoWriMo befrore. If you don’t know it stands for National Novel Writing Month. Participants attempt to write a 50,000 word piece of fiction within the 30 day month. That is why the pace is 1,667 words a day. The daily pressure of knowing I had set this far out goal for myself created stress that made the goal harder than it needed to be.
I had never even heard of NaNoWriMo before October so needless to say I didn’t do any planning or outlining. I was what is known as a “pantser.” I guess that refers to flying by the seat of your pants. It might have been easier if I had ideas and characters already planned out. Instead I just had a vague novel idea that had been bouncing around my head for the past 15 years.
Despite the stress it was a fun experience. I enjoyed pep talks from published authors along the way like Alaya Dawn Johnson’s pep talk.
I relied on some of the information presented in Balance Isn’t the Point. I knew my month wasn’t balanced at all, but I was hoping it would at least turn out effective. In the end I think it did.
I learned what a word sprint is and what a word crawl is. I invented a few Nanoisms while doing both. I took a good inventory of what the website offered and participated in some of the forums. I picked up lots of great writing resources and bought Scrivener which I plan to use to backwards to plan the novel I have from this year. I’ll also be using it to plan next year’s novel. I’m not going to be a pantser next year.
I probably wouldn’t have made it to the finish line if it weren’t for my kids cheering me on. My oldest daughter got me a journal for writing and slipped some encouraging notes on some of the pages. When I was down to the last 13,000 words and thinking I wouldn’t finish my youngest daughter said, “But you’ve come so far. You can’t quite now.” If my son saw me meandering around the kitchen browsing through the fridge he would say, “Mommy. Shouldn’t you be working on your words?”
So big shout out of Thanks! to my best fans for cheering me on!
If you are a writer or if you just like a challenge you might want to consider NaNoWriMo 2017. Otherwise come next November check to see if my novel made it to any bookshelves:
It’s Not Magic
Synopsis: Previously a skeptic, Marin discovers magic at her salon Curl Up and Dye. Clients come to Marin for a great cut & color and sometimes a shoulder to cry on. Lives intertwine unexpectedly as Marin uses her new knowledge to expose deceptions and spread joy to those around her.
Even miracles take a little time. – Fairy Godmother
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