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NaNoWriMo 2011 Sum Up

December 3, 2011

The short version: I won! NaNoWriMo rocks!

The long version: I never hate November until I am in it and writing like crazy. Before and after, I love it because I forget how hard writing is in between. Well, November is gone for another year but that doesn’t mean it’s time to stop writing. Just slow down a bit until January. I want to keep up the habit of writing nearly every day but now I get the luxury to work on whatever I want. Happy thought indeed!

This year’s NaNo was easier and harder. It was easier because I am a better writer than I was last year. It was harder because I was sick. It was easier because I planned better. It was harder because I didn’t let myself rely on Write or Die and that slowed me down (which was a good thing!). It was easier because I had so many friends writing with me. It was harder because I cared more about this story.

As far as my experiment of reading a 50,000 word book along with my writing during NaNoWriMo to help me with pacing? I finally decided on reading Charmed Life by Diana Wynne Jones after attending a panel about her at World Fantasy which inspired me to read all of her books, most of which I haven’t read. The reading along was a complete and utter failure for a few reasons. Mostly, it was because what I didn’t realize before is that pacing is very different for every novel so it didn’t help me much in that respect. Also, I really wanted to keep reading! I finally did about 20 days in and finished the book. If you haven’t, you should read it. Really.

This year I also almost gave up. I started the month exhausted with a really bad case of strep. I possibly had mono for the next two weeks, which made me super tired. And I was just really busy. I was searching for a new job (which I got yesterday!), volunteering, working, trying to be social in my LDS single’s ward, spend some time with my family during Thanksgiving and Black Friday, not to mention regular every day stuff.

I was almost 10,000 words behind when I called up my sister and said I was thinking about quitting. I said since I had won before it didn’t matter if I won again because I had already done it. I said I was starting to like this story too much and I was afraid of ruining it by writing so quickly. I was exhausted and discouraged by all of my friends who were so far ahead of me.

My sister, being the amazing person that she is, talked me out of it. She reminded me that even if it turned out to be a crappy draft, it would be done. It is so much easier to fix something that is on paper rather than in your head. And I’m glad I finished in the end. I proved to myself I could do it. Again. I think I might need that reminder every year, to remind me that I can write that quickly and get things done when I have to.

I don’t know if or when I will revise this novel. I’ve got too many other projects on my plate right now so I’m going to give it the good-ol’ year in the drawer. I plan on re-reading last year’s NaNoWriMo effort in the next month or two, just to see where I’ve come from. I can hardly remember some of the things I wrote and I’m excited to revisit it.

My next post is going to be all about writing goals and New Year Resolutions. I love New Year Resolutions. I usually make a very extensive list that spans at least two pages in detail. Just be warned. There will be some numbers and spreadsheets.

So if you’re interested in how I plan my writing year, it is coming! Happy Holidays!

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. December 9, 2011 1:18 pm

    I love Diana Wynne Jones, and I love Hayao Miyazaki’s take on Howl’s Moving Castle. Have you seen it? PS. Congrats on winning NaNoWriMo. I failed, I got to 12,000 words and started getting sick. I have high hopes for picking it back up in January.

  2. December 9, 2011 4:06 pm

    Yes, I own that movie! I love Miyazaki’s movies so much. Writing to the soundtracks is a must. I hope you keep going! Finishing is the first step. We should get together and write sometime. Or go to Savers. Or both. :)

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