It has been just over a week since NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) ended, and I think I’ve lost all of the momentum that I built up after writing 50,000 words in a month. I might still be in shock that I actually did it.
I started the challenge because of a nudge from a co-worker, and a few years of looking longingly at the lists of people who accomplished it and wondering if someday I might join their ranks. I already had an idea for a story that had been floating around in my head forever, and I think that ended up being my saving grace (more on that in a minute). In fact, I had already started writing it, but, following the rules of NaNo, decided to completely start over from scratch.
I didn’t outline like I thought I would. In college, outlines made writing long papers a breeze (well, comparatively). I created an outline, and then just had to fill in the blanks. For my NaNo project, however, I just started writing and followed the story wherever it decided to take me. I knew where I wanted to start, and where I wanted to end, with maybe one or two scenes in the middle. Other than that, I was a leaf on the wind.
And it worked! I had been thinking about my story and my characters so much in the weeks/months leading up to November, that I didn’t have to spend too much time thinking about character development or anything like that. Instead, I was able to just get on with the story.
And get on I did. I ended up with just over 50,000 words for the month, and I still am only about a third of the way through my intended storyline. And I do intend to finish. Someday. I had hoped to be able to follow the momentum I started, but I haven’t even opened the document since November 30. Bad me!
But I did finish the intended NaNoWriMo challenge! I surprised myself, starting with banging out the required 1,666 words per day, and ending with a week of 3,000-4,000-word days. This was out of necessity, mind you, since I had a huge work event, Thanksgiving, and a personal injury to deal with in the middle weeks of November. But I was able to do it, to write thousands of words day after day, even after ~8 hours at work and 3 hours commuting. And that is almost more to me than the 50,000 words total. (ALMOST!)
And the only reason I was able to do it was because this story, these characters, have been percolating in my mind for so long. I doubt I would have finished if I had ‘discovered’ my idea on the first day of November.
Either way, though, I am so incredibly ecstatic that I committed myself to NaNo AND I finished on my first time! Now, I just have to finish the story itself…. grumble grumble grumble…..
Categories: Personal Development