Thursday, 1 December 2016

NaNoWriMo 2016


So, NaNoWriMo 2016 is officially finished and the frenzy is over until next year!

This was my first year taking part in NaNo, I'd heard about it last year about midway through November and resolved to tackle it this year, and I am so glad I did. 
For me, taking part in, and winning, NaNo was about proving to myself that even though I work three jobs and somehow maintain a social life, I can still make the time to write and create and build something that's just for me. Sometimes I feel like I don't have a hope in hell of ever being a writer, cause by the time I've finished all my jobs and spent an evening at the pub seeing some friends it's Monday again and I've barely managed to write a word let alone a chapter or two. So this was my challenge, to make time in my life for the thing that I love doing the most, the thing that I really want to do. And I have, I have proved to myself not only that it can be done but that I can do it. 

I was so excited that I got off to a flying start, not the best, but I was just above target and holding steady, for about a week, then life happened, I had to go to a funeral with my boyfriend and spent a few days away, then I got ill and spent nearly a week laid up feeling sorry for myself, then it was back to work and catching up with everything I'd missed. And by this time due to being ill and stuck in the house on my own my anxiety was playing up so my brain function was just a mess.

Then suddenly I realised we were nearly at the end of the month, and I started seeing so many people uploading screenshots of their wins onto the Facebook group and I realised that I'd been lagging and I was only halfway there, I'd only reached about 26k, and I only had about a week left. But I had other work to do and not much time, so I got a bit in here and there but by the 28th I'd only made it to 31k. 
Then I got all upset about it and my boyfriend had to console me, (he told me all sorts of rubbish about how stupid it is to count the words cause what really mattered was the words themselves not how many there are, and I told him he was missing the bloody point but I love him for trying to make me feel better!).
The next day I went to work (at an after school club) and while I was watching the kids playing on the field I realised I didn't want to lose, I really really really didn't want to lose, so I decided that damn it I'd manage it somehow! 

Day 29 was gross, I had work from 9 - 1, then home for a quick bit of lunch then off to work again from 2 - 7, then I had to do minute taking for a managing directors meeting in the evening. I got home at about 10.30 - determined to write! By midnight on day 29 I'd hit 34k, and was on a roll, so I continued writing for a couple of hours before going to bed, then I got up in the morning and wrote and then I went to work and then after work I wrote and wrote and wrote, and, with 20 minutes left until midnight on the 30th, I hit 50k! I was actually so paranoid about missing the mark that I managed to write an extra 690 words too! 

So I'm super proud of myself, for making the time to do my thing, even though it's been a bit of a fuck of a month, and for finally get most of a novel out of my head and onto paper (google docs). 

But even though I hit 50k and managed to win NaNo my novel is most definitely not finished, it's only about halfway through! But I feel motivated now, motivated to finish what I've started, so for me December is going to be a continuation of NaNoWriMo, and it's going to be all about getting the rest of my novel out of my head and onto paper (google docs) so that I can then start the (lengthy) process of editing, and (fingers crossed) eventually get publication and finally reach those star spangled heights of authorhood! 

So, having made it to the end I think there are three things I would like to take from this whole crazy month; 

The first is that I actually have more time than I think to write and I just need to keep on prioritising it a bit more! 
The second is that success is possible if you keep positive, stay determined and make an effort to put in the time. 
And the third is that the writing community is awesome! I joined the NaNoWriMo Facebook group and the people are lovely. I've not been overly active in writer's groups or made much of an effort to talk to many other writers, but having discovered the joy of talking about this thing that I love so much with other people who also love it, I am definitely planning to make more writer friends! 

If you took part in NaNoWriMo this year how did you find it? 
What do you think? Did you win? Did you discover something new? Did you enjoy it? Or did you hate it? Will you take part next year? Did you find out something about yourself or your lifestyle? Do you have refreshed motivation to take you forwards? Did you find it hard to find all the words needed, or did you race through and finish super early? Did you have to accept you wouldn't make it this year, and if so how come? Most importantly, do you have a novel, half a novel, or even just part of a novel that you can take forward and work with? 


Rach x 

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