As usual, November turned out to be crazy month for me. If I wasn’t writing birthday cards and attending kids parties, I was hiding in my office, coffee shop, bathroom…, pretty much anywhere I could spend some time writing. Why was that? Well, it was NaNoWriMo of course!
What is NaNoWriMo?
National Novel Writing Month takes place in November every year and it’s a special time that drives writers into a strange state of hibernation. Often it ends with them huddled in a corner under a duvet, rocking backwards and forwards, and mumbling to them selves about word counts with their hands stuck in a claw like position (Likely from holding a pen or hovering over a keyboard).
It’s a challenge that we set for ourselves, with no real prize other than the sense of achievement and a partly written novel. The aim of the game is to write 50,000 words (1,667 a day).
It’s not all doom and gloom though, or what would be the point in taking part?
It’s a challenge that has spread worldwide. Across the website and social media platforms, it creates a buzz around an activity that, for most of the time, is seen as solitary. People talk. People encourage. And, more importantly, we support each other through the difficult times. These hints, tips and strategies can be used throughout the year and make the whole process worthwhile.
Want to know how I did?
That’s right, I’m a winner! I managed 50,000 words in a month for the second year in a row but this time, it certainly wasn’t easy. I had to rely massively on my support network to drag me through, but we got there in the end.
Last year, I seemed to breeze through it. I wrote a large chunk of the Don of Avery (Working title), a dark mafia romance that is certainly not suitable for YA ears, and eventually wrote ‘The End’ around April time. It seemed only natural that I would continue with that series and write the second book. I even made a book cover to help, erm, motivate me…
Anyway, I was really struggling. I got around 30,000 words in but every word was like pulling teeth. I just wasn’t feeling inspired at all and achieving the 50,000 word goal was looking even more unlikely.
Then, something strange happened.
I knew how I wanted book 2 to end, and I had an idea for a third book which takes place several years later. They are, mostly, the same characters but the storyline from book 1 and 2 has already been tied up, so it’s a brand new plot.
For a non creative type, it can be hard to understand when writers mention that their characters talk to them. Well, in this case my characters completely lynched me and kept walloping me over the head with random conversations and scenes for book 3. I knew I had to get them written down before they left me completely. Unfortunately, they were more akin to a gazillion glass pieces being glued back together rather than the neat and smooth edges of jigsaw pieces.
Suddenly, I found myself inspired again, which you can clearly see where my daily word count massively increases around day 18.
So, what did I learn this time around?
This time I learned that, no matter how well you prepare, sometimes you just have to go with the flow and not be afraid to change course. I may have spread my 50,000 words over two different projects, but I am still a winner.
From now on it’s going to be a big of a struggle to pick which project to work on. I desperately want to finish Sorceress of Flame, and that’s going to take priority in the new year, but I now have two other novels to work on, plus a murder mystery to finish packaging up.
All I know is, I’m going to take it easy over the next few weeks. If I feel like writing, I’ll write, but I have a huge TBR mountain waiting for me, along with two books I am eager to beta read.
I hope you all have a great Christmas and I will be back as soon as I can!
Speak soon. Jodie xx