My new approach towards NaNoWriMo

I participated in my first NaNoWriMo a couple of years ago. It was an attempt to get my first manuscript out. At that point I didn’t have much experience in writing, I had a topic in mind but no plot or idea where my manuscript was going. I remember being delighted with the idea of writing two thousand words per day. I would be together with a whole community of writers, in the same position as me. I wouldn’t feel alone in the process. However, as I look back, I think that I was so worried about the daily goal, that I was giving more importance to its achievement than to the development of my manuscript story. I won NaNoWriMo that time (winning means writing 2000 words per day in all the month – an equivalent of 50 000 words of manuscript).  But as I look back, I would have liked  more time to develop this story.  I sort of rushed the plot into a story that I found myself not liking very much later. Right now, this manuscript is in standby, it has room for improvement. Perhaps it would have been finished by now if I had given more thought to its plot at that time.

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I didn’t participate in NaNoWriMo the next years. I don’t regret the first time either. It pushed me more into writing. I’ve passed from having the dream of one day wanting to write a novel to having a draft of a manuscript in a short time, something I thought it would never happened in my life.

However, this year I’m participating. I have a new story in mind. But my approach this year is different. In this month, I want to give as much thought and work as possible to my new story but without the daily goal of 2000 words per day. My objective is to make of this month a key month for my new manuscript, and I also want to feel that I’m participating in something bigger, with a whole community in the process.

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I’m focusing on writing with inspiration – I like this state of mind. The characters and story so far are nice and are exciting me. I’m no longer worried about having the story finished as soon as possible. I’m loving the process of discovering the story as I write. The process of discovering my own characters as the story continues. There is no goal per day. I write in the mornings before I start my job. I found out that this works for me. When I was doing the opposite, writing at the end of day, I was so tired and didn’t want to seat on the computer any longer in the evening. Now doing this in the early morning gives me a sense of replenishment and fullness that lets me start the day accomplishing one of my main goals in my life.

 

 

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Winner of NaNoWriMo 2014 lets a heavy glass pot lid fall over her head…

Sunday I declared myself winner of NaNoWriMo 2014 and to celebrate I let a heavy glass pot lid fall over my head. No, I’m not crazy, neither eccentric, it was just an accident. Very interesting way to celebrate it though, a huge bump in the head and an ice bag over my head. So people were telling me “wow! You must be excited to have finished your writing month and must had celebrated a lot” And I just go back to my memories of the terrible pain my head was in that day. At least, I managed to write the last words before the accident, because I wouldn’t have written anything else after the glass lid decided it was good to bounce on my head. Although, a good scene of pain and suffering could have actually come up well inspired at that time.

nanowrimo certificate

But anyway, let´s stop talking about the bad part of last Sunday and talk about the best part. I did it! I finished the first manuscript of an entire novel, over 88000 words in total. When I started NaNo I was at 38000 words more or less, it took me around 3 months to write those 38K. If it wasn’t for NaNo, I wouldn’t had pop out those remaining 50K and I would have finished my novel next year.

Never have I ever (I’ve just remembered a drinking game… if you know what I mean, if not just continue reading 🙂 ) I’ve would have dreamed that when I put in my 2014 New Year’s resolution “Start writing for seriously” I would have ended up the year with a whole first manuscript for a novel. Surreal.

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Of course, I must point out it´s a “first” manuscript.  This December will be harsh polishing and editing. One of the things that you learn with NaNo is to just let it flow; write, write and let the characters guide you through the story. No editing during November, not only because it would have caused constant deletion of words but also because there was no time. And it works, it really does. This is my first time writing a novel and believe me, I struggled very much at the beginning figuring it out how to start, how to plot the story, how to define structure, pacing, etc. Now I know that there has to be some planning at the beginning, but then if you want the story to really flow and reach its end, you just have to let it go, it works. But then of course with no editing in this “flowing” stage, a second, and even third draft have to be considered, the disadvantages of spontaneity.

But I declare myself satisfied. Never have I ever, I’ve been more consistent and persistent in doing what I want to do for the rest of my life. I proved myself that I can do it, that I can create the habit of writing every single day (including weekends and holidays). I can do it. “I’m a roller coaster that only goes up” John Green (Yeah, I’m quoting The Fault in Our Stars, but the quote felt righter than ever).

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Hang in there November, NaNoWriMo is coming!

NaNoWriMo???? I must be crazy. For those of you that don´t know about this, you can take a look here.

But basically is the National Novel Writing Month, and any writer can register in this event. You just need to have the courage to do it and all the energy of the world. In order to win (many people can win), you need to write 50 000 words in all the month, so that would mean 1666,66 words per day, and yes I´m taking into account, weekends, which for me is the challenge.

nanowrimo.org
nanowrimo.org

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I don´t feel it too bad to write that amount of words per day. I usually write between 1000 and 1500 per day, but I must confess that I don´t write all days of the week. I may write perhaps 4 days and no more. Usually, I will spend 2 days per week with my inner Editor on (which sooner is going to let me insane, I´ll tell you about this in another post); and Sundays, I don´t write, the lazy worm invades me completely. There are so many things going on Sunday, from doing laundry, cooking for the family, etc, to just spending lazy comforting time with my loved ones. Whenever my mom says on Sundays, let´s watch a movie, believe me I never think of rejecting it, it´s golden time to be able to spend time with her; and well writing gets mostly postponed on Sundays.

But if I don’t write Sundays in NaNoWriMo, I will have to write almost 2000 words per day, and that is a lot. I usually get burned at 1500 and sometimes 1000 is my best of the day.

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So maybe I should consider, waking up early on Sundays, the only day I get to oversleep? Hell yeah! I will do it! because is NaNoWriMo and not LazyWormMo, and I need to take this challenge and put my 100% in doing it!

It´s going to be a hell of challenge, but I can imagine the satisfaction at the end of the month, when you know you have written 50 000 words… overwhelming!!!

So getting ready for the craziest months of the year!!! Hang in there November, you´re going to be my month!!!

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