I’m letting the whole world and it’s mum know, and I don’t actually care if I FB’ed it already!! I need to blog about this crazy experience. It is probably one of the most thrilling achievements I feel I’ve made as a writer. I have claimed my National Novel Writing Month badge for the first time, in all the years I have tried to crack this shit! I’ve done it. To knock out 50,000 words is a challenge for any writer, but in thirty days…. it’s tough! Don’t get me wrong the most words I’ve ever written is 90,000, but not so hardcore in such a short space of time.
So what changed this year?
If you have read other detailed blogs I’ve done, you’ll know the past that the last few years for me have been a challenge personally, but I made it through. I am out the other side. Even through the challenges, I tried to do #NaNoWriMo very badly! I completed projects and some still half done to this day. This year I worked in a team with some great writers who I would say are girlfriends too, all over the world some as far as the Caribbean. Via FB messenger we spoke everyday, had fun laughed and joked about just girly stuff really. We manged to keep each other motivated. Overall, the group did well we all made some kind of progress.
I completed book three of my Romance Set In Paradise series, “Chances, A Puerto Rican Love Affair.” A slightly longer novella, and very different from the other two so far. I will release it on my 37th birthday the 14th February 2020. My cover is currently being made, and let’s just say I LOVE IT TO BITS! I can’t wait to share it, and the book’s blurb. I will place this one on Kindle Unlimited too, as I am kinda liking it, I’ve never used it before as an author only as a reader.
So what did I learn about NaNoWriMo and How To Be Successful?
In all honesty this…
- Outline your story early, before the 1st of the month so you have all month to just write.
- Write…edit later. As in don’t spend days and days and weeks going over the same chapter, or scene to get it ‘perfect.’ That can be done in December, or the next month. Honestly, just write…write..and yes write, get your idea into chapters and make progress. Do not edit a thing….yet. 1-30th is to write.
- Work with other writers. This is probably the biggest learning curve for me. In the past, I have done the ‘caves’ as NaNoWriMo call them. Where via their website you are allocated into a group, with writers around the world. Historically for me this never really worked, as I would not log on everyday there, and if I did I would miss most of the conversation as it happened. As, it’s not like instant. You jump in where you can, based on your time zone. So you kinda miss the ‘vibe’ , unless you’re in the same time zone and let’s face it we all write at different hours. I found that a FB messenger group worked so well, as it’s instant messages and it’s linked to your phone so really you pick up the group’s shenanigans as they happen. *Giggles*
- Go at your own pace. For me it was helpful to have a set word count to try and hit per day. However, some days I could not even find it in me to switch on my laptop, let alone write. I’m the kinda writer that writes in bursts! (unless I really have a serious deadline). For example looking at my history on my stats, one day I’d knock out 5,000 words one day 87, then a few days later 3,000 words ( LMFAO). I don’t have a consistent bone in my body it appears, it varies. Go at your pace and if you are a ‘burster’ like me, and write when the hell you like at say 4.00 a.m in your pajamas you write 100 words. Or, all day Saturday and not a thing until the following week, so be it. but just try to keep up. If one day you can’t write then catch up the next time. Don’t let ‘ today’s word count target’ get to you mentally and throw you off, or leave you stressed. Writing a novel or even short story is personal, needs time to get the creativity going. Inspiration calls at the oddest times, I had inspiration for a story in the bath, I had to jump out and grab my notebook before I forgot it, then get back in the bath. Even washing the dishes things come to me, I just giggle. It’s ‘weird’ like that, so one day you may not have the juice to hit the words, but a few days later you do. That’s okay to be a little erratic with the process.
- As I said, this whole writing thing is a personal experience, for me inspiration flows the deeper I get into the plot , if I am not co-writing a story and restricted to how much I can babble on for. I move from my outline, hence the above 50,000 words for the story. I would say, don’t be afraid to move in the direction your characters pull you, or talk to you about going in. ( Yes, they talk to me sometimes and kinda push me to write them certain ways). I actually have a surprise red herring murder, that I never planned until the last week of NaNoWriMo- this week, but it developed the story so if you get pulled, that’s great! Just write it and edit out what you want later.
- Some progress is progress. Even if you don’t claim your badge and write the full 50,000 words as the challenge. Don’t let this be the goal, let the goal be ‘to complete a project’. And if that does not happen, hey you started it and December is the month to wrap it up, and get it published in the next year. DON’T AND I MEAN DON’T beat yourself up for ‘non-completion’ , ( I have done this all the time) as with writing just writing ‘Chapter One’ is a start.
- Don’t rush, you’ll only write a really sub-standard story-line, and not be at your best. Make every word count.
- Ladies, save your manicures until after this challenge is over, my nails are a mess! The keyboard has chipped them away nicely! So this weekend, it’s about fixing them up.
- Just stop writing when your tired, ( or your false lashes start to irritate you) which ever applies, or come first! *Giggles*. Overall, don’t push yourself too hard, it won’t be your best. It’s okay to become ‘drained’ and need no step back, no shame.
Happy writing in the last two days those that are still in for 2019’s challenge let me know how you’re getting on. Drop a comment!