I’m going to be honest with you: I never thought I would be able to write 50 k in one month. Not just because I have a two months old baby at home and didn’t know whether she would let me work, but also because I thought that I needed more time to write that much of a novel. My normal writing process is to write about 5oo to 1000 words a day and think a lot about those scenes before I write them. Often when I sit down at my desk it feels as if I’m just pouring into my project what is already there in my head. As I don’t have that much actual writing time each day that has proven to be a good concept for me and a method that allows me to write quite quickly, because I do this almost every day.
In NaNoWriMo, you have to write 1667 words a day to hit your word count and that seemed to be an awful lot. Especially since I knew that I would fall far behind if I ever failed to update. Well, I made it. I finished on November 28th and was proud of myself. I don’t think I could have done it without the support of my writing buddy, Kaja Evert, though. In fact, I don’t think I’d even have started. Also, thanks to my baby girl who slept enough this month to give me a chance to make it.
What I have learned this month is that you can achieve a lot if you prioritize. In my situation, I could not do this every month, because my household tasks suffered, and in general, I also want to spend more time with my kids. I do think it was okay to do this for one month and I’m not that far behind on other tasks. I really want to take part every year, though I might not always start a new project. Right now I have two projects that are almost finished. My Nano novel “Grauzeit” and “Murder and Afternoon Tea”, the first novel of my gay cozy crime series that I’m planning to self publish. I also still need to re-read “A Tale of Runes and Ravens” so I can send it out to beta readers.
Still, I’m really glad this month gave me a chance to get so far ahead on “Grauzeit” a novel I’ve been thinking about for years. The reason I haven’t started writing it earlier was that I didn’t have a good solution for the crisis in the novel. When I thought of one this summer, I couldn’t wait to start writing. And now I only need about 20.000 words to finish it.
I also think it was a good thing I wrote a novel that I’d already thought about that much because even though there were days when I felt my writing was crap and I didn’t really know where to go with the story, I always had an idea of what I wanted it to be and how I wanted it to end and that helped a great deal. I must also say that writing so much really throws you into the story and makes you feel what your protagonists feel.
Also, again I noticed how much it motivates me to hold myself accountable. My bullet journal helps with that, but updating my word count every day on the Nano page made me feel that push even more. Also, the “Tintenzirkel” a board for fantasy authors really helped me along. You were allowed to post a short paragraph (about 200 words) of your project every day and the comments encouraged me. I also wanted to give those readers something nice to read so that encouraged me to write exciting or beautiful scenes.
All in all, it was a much better experience than I’d thought. One huge achievement for me was that for the first time in many years I was able to write in the morning or during the day. I always thought I was someone who could only write well in the evenings. Now I feel that early in the day I am a lot more focused and it also feels good to have something written during the day. I always felt as if I’d already accomplished something.
Nanowrimo was an amazing experience for me. Did you take part as well? Let me know how you liked it in the comments!