So, anyone who has been involved in NaNoWriMo – National Novel Writing Month – will know the joy of reaching that goal.
I just reached it; 50,000 words in 1 month is the challenge and it has been a heck of a ride.
For well practised and experienced writers, or speedy typists, this may not seem too daunting a task. But if like me, you are a professional procrastinator and a victim of Research Obsession, then it can be quite a challenge. I have just had a look at my calendar and check how much time I actually spent on it, how many days did I not get to write at all or write very little? Here’s the findings:
- As a part-time working adult, I ‘lost’ 12 days to my paid job.
- I ‘lost’ 3 days to visiting and doing chores for parents.
- 6 days, my daughter was home from University, so I wanted to spend time with her of course.
- 2 imposed Sunday Dinners.
- 2 days lost to P.C malfunction – my laptop went haywire and files were corrupted – I subsequently lost many sections of the writing, plus 3 years worth of stories that were saved here.
- I counted, 9 full days spent on writing. 9! The rest was done as and when I could; before visitors arrived, in-between meals etc. etc.
So, I feel pretty chuffed with myself. The worst part was the laptop corruption. I spoke to computer ‘experts’ who were not really sure what had gone wrong, but they agreed that it was strange that the files could not be found in the backup section either. I was lucky to have a good friend who lent me his own laptop to carry on. I really did not think I was goin to make the deadline, as I will be in work the last two days, so it had to be completed today.
When I began NaNo, I only had the bare bones of an idea. As I wrote, the story grew. I did not, in all honesty, know what I was going to write from day to day. I just knew I had to keep writing. The story is nowhere near complete; I reckon it needs another 30,000 to 40,000 words. then it needs ‘putting together’. Because it was written on two laptops, and is fragmented, due to the corruption that occurred, I have to try and gather it all into one document.
My husband just asked me, “Was it useful, though?”
Yes, it was. It forced me to keep focused, I didn’t veer off into aimless research, I didn’t play on the PlayStation and limited my time on my allotment. I can only equate it to driving. It was like being a rally driver as opposed to a day tourist – start, drive, keep your eyes on the road and do not slow down to admire the scenery, or stop for tea and cake in a roadside café. There are no gears or brakes in the NaNo car!
The image displayed is the cover design I selected at the beginning of joining NaNo; a foetus. The story follows two girls in a future where child birth control is one of the themes. But now, it represents, to me at least, the birth of an idea, the nurturing of that idea, and growth. I don’t know if the story will ever be published, or if it’s working title; ‘Skypea and the Tyger’, will prevail, but it has been an interesting experience.
For those still writing, keep at it. If I can do it, so can you. Black out your windows, put on your driving gloves, and go!