NaNoWriMo – Reflection

So, the month of November is over and with it, the end of National Novel Writing Month.

As many of you may know, this was my first year participating in the challenge after a friend of mine had told me about it about a year or two back and I decided, basically, a week before the challenge, to actually do it this year. To take that leap into the unknown and accept the challenge of writing 50 000 words in a month.

Well, I knocked my doubts right out of the park when I managed to achieve the goal of 50 000 words in three weeks. I was thoroughly impressed with myself. Whether all of those 50 000 words are great has a big question mark over it and I already have my inner editor clawing to break free and edit the hell out of the story (which should really give me the answer to that big question), but at least I met the challenge and got the idea in my head out and into words on a page. I spent the last week or so of the challenge writing up an idea for an improved scene that will probably make it into the edited draft of my story so, by the end of the challenge I managed to get a total word count of 61 344 words. As I said, they may not all be golden words but I am extremely proud of myself for managing to complete the challenge and in the time frame that I did.

But what now?

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Well, needless to stay it was so strange to wake up on December 1st, get ready for work and then…NOT sit down and write anything.

I had gotten into such a routine that now that I didn’t have to do it anymore, I felt…uncomfortable. So, what did I do on the morning of December 1st? Checked emails, newsfeed on Twitter, replied to a few messages and then went to work. The one thing that NaNoWriMo challenge proved to me, or better yet, confirmed, is that I am clearly a creature of habit and when a habit is disrupted, it doesn’t sit very well with me. So, that habit of mine is going to continue in the month of December for the projects I have lined up that are due in January next year.

What projects? This of course:

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I will be writing for this anthology series in December. I would like to submit two stories for this collection but, that all depends on if I manage to get around to planning out both stories before I intend to start. As this is due 12th of January 2018, I plan to use the 1st-11th December for planning purposes and start writing on the 12th of December.

This allows me a bit of a break from actual writing but doesn’t keep me off the writing wagon completely as I will be planning out a rough storyline and doing a bit of character development. So far, I’ve managed to make some good notes for the story and I am looking forward to writing for this because this sounds so interesting. A twisted version of a fairytale? Count me in!

And what about next year? Well, I fully intend to return to my novel to begin editing once the story is written for submission to Twisted 3 and edited.

All in all, the NaNo challenge was a great experience for me. I got to chat with some really great people via a SnapChat group that was created. Got help from a writing buddy when I got stuck and totally lost the plot for my story and offered her help in return when she didn’t know where to go next. I believe this challenge is a wonderful idea and I encourage all aspiring writers and any writers who haven’t tried it to do it, even if it is just one year. It has really helped me because it gave me structure, gave me a target to reach and I worked towards that every day and, it gave me a routine that I could follow every day for future writing which I fully intend to use.

So, a big thank you to NaNoWriMo, to my friend who encouraged me to take up the challenge and to all those who supported me through it.

See you in 2018.

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