Post-NaNoWriMo

November has come and gone. It was indeed hectic, sleepless, caffeine-ful, and very, very interesting.

Even if I didn’t finish NaNoWriMo.

I was 40,000 words with 3 days to go. Not impossible. And I was excited about my story – I was intensely curious what back-alleyway it would lead me down next. But I conceded defeat. There were other duties that desperately demanded my attention. If only November were 2 days longer~

I don’t regret not finishing NaNoWriMo. It was more an experiment than an actual goal for me. And I learned quite a few things from this experiment.

  • I can write fast. (A very useful skill for a college students swamped with papers.) It was exhilarating writing one or two thousand words a day, with some semblance of content. It was definitely confidence building. 
  • It is interesting seeing what paths my mind wanders when given free reign and a word goal and a limited amount of time. Let’s see – a growing, vibrant city of extreme wealth and extreme poverty, courtiers who actually care about things beyond court fashion, thieves and assassins who survive by their trade – yet also lend a helping hand to others who struggle with surviving the city, a plague, priestesses, a mad prophetess, a goddess with a grudge, other goddesses – which may not exist. One learns a lot about themselves when writing furiously. I am especially curious as to how I will finally sort our the religious element of the story. So far, my main character is rather fatalistic (his goddess is literally named Fate, even if she may not exist), and eventually he will somehow have to take on a wicked spirit who is spreading the plague… Writing is definitely a process that changes the writer, as much so as the characters.
  • It was great fun! I loved every moment of writing over November. I dived in with no plot, and everything had to happen so quickly, it was an exhilarating ride. I loved just sitting down and typing away for an hour or two. I love delving to the depths of my mind and seeing what I could dredge up. I love seeing a story unfold before my eyes. And I love the obscurity of claiming it as my own.

I may not have finished the 50,00 words, but I definitely learned a lot, much of which I cannot yet quite put into concrete words. I am definitely going to do it next year as well, and my story will definitely progress significantly over Christmas break.

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NaNoWriMo

I was in bed Wednesday night, waiting to fall asleep. As I was getting drowsy, I suddenly remembered that the next day was November 1. November. Wasn’t that NaNoWriMo? I’ve had several friends participate in the national novel writing month, in which one attempts to write 50,000 words in 30 days. I never did it. November is a busy month for students. Maybe I’d do it some summer. Or some other year. When, you know, life slows down enough for an ambitious 50,000 word project.

But if I’ve learned one thing in 2 1/2 years of college, it’s that life has a nasty habit of not slowing down. In fact, when you most need a break, it tends to speed up and rush headlong into deadlines you are completely unready for.

And there’s that senior thesis thing that will swollow me whole next year.

So, why not now? If I don’t try it now, I’d never get along to trying it.

And so, welcome to November! And bring on those 50,000 words!