National Novel Writing Month – Sounded like a great idea so I thought I’d give it a go. So I did and it was both harder and easier than I expected.
For those who don’t know what NaNoWriMo is a challenge with a goal to write a 50,000 word novel but you can’t start until November 1st and you must finish by November 30th. It’s all about raising money to help young writers and encourage creativity around the world.
But it does mean writing an average of 1667 words a day, which doesn’t sound much until you have to do it for 30 days on the trot.
The thing was, I had a fairly clear idea of what the story I wanted to write was, so I did spend a little time in October plot lining. Not sure if this is in the rules of challenge, but it’s what I did. So I buckled down and did everything I could to write every day, and it wasn’t as easy as I thought it would be.
There were several points when I really didn’t think I was going to make it.
There was a week when I struggled because I had to get another manuscript edited – loving that job. There were days in the day job where I was just so pushed I could barely think – enjoying that job, but not expecting an extension on the contract so can’t get too worked up about it. There were two notable days when I really struggled, one day, the 12th, I only managed 179 words (was during the convergence of editing and hefty workload).
It shouldn’t surprise anyone that my most productive days were weekends, 12,674 on Sunday 3rd, the second most productive was Saturday 30th with 7552, because I was so desperate that I just had to carry on, after all the efforts, I was determined, there was no way that I wasn’t going to do it.
The interruptions during the month included, two nights of writers clubs, a night out watching Ed Byrne (brilliant night by the way), and a weekend away – well it was my birthday on the 29th. Other interruptions include a day when my eyes hurt so much from staring at computer screens all day at work that I couldn’t do it in the evening, when I had to write in an actual pad with an actual pen, ink and all. I wrote 20 pages and got my daughter to type them up while I was busy creating more – love my daughter, she hates what I write but she’ll help out anyway. And, in the spirit of total honesty, there was the night that, for absolutely no reason I can given, other than it was there, that I drank two whole bottles of wine (hubby did have a ‘few’ with me that night too). Next day wasn’t good, aside from having protesting belly all day (headache taken care of by tablets), I just couldn’t face the computer again, but forced myself to, did manage 936 words, but felt sorry for myself all the same, and since that was actually my birthday – don’t ask because I can’t explain why I’d drunk so much the night BEFORE my birthday.
I lay down that night, when it got to the point I couldn’t do anything else, and was absolutely convinced that I’d never finish the book. So I got up at seven the following morning and wrote and wrote and wrote.
Still I did it. I completed a novel in 30 days, I wrote 71,391 words. And I feel good. I am also aware that I really need to do some thorough read through and edits. I logged all of this through the NaNoWriMo site and took part as much as I could.
But here’s the thing. I wasn’t sure that I could do it, could I really write a whole novel in a single month? Well here’s the answer – Yes!