My Very First NaNo!
The first time I heard about NaNoWriMo was in August this year when I took the Blogging 101 course and one of the participants had mentioned it. I looked it up and was amazed to read that NaNoWriMo is an annual event held every November when writers get together to write their novel within the month. As amazing as the concept seemed, I was sure it was something I could NEVER (note the bold caps, that’s how sure I was of the fact) do! Hell, I was not even sure if I could ever write fiction until my good friends from this blogosphere cheered me on at my attempts. If I was unsure of my writing capabilities then how on earth could I even think of participating in something as glorious as NaNoWriMo? This was me back in August!
Then, Blogging Uni happened and along with it came the Writing 101 course. Joining this course was one of the best decisions I ever took. It pushed me out of my comfort zone and allowed me to attempt different forms of writing. It aided in developing my confidence for writing and had me realize that I am indeed a writer! Perhaps, it was this newly gained confidence that had me consider signing up for NaNo. So, on a fine day in the month of October I signed myself into the NaNoWriMo website. Afterwards, I looked through the rules for participation and winning. Instead of listing out the rules that I read, I will briefly say that NaNoWriMo is the event that requires the participant to write 50,000 words of a new novel in 30 days, which means an average of around 1,670 words every day.
After making such a huge commitment, it was important that I research thoroughly for tips and tricks to succeed in NaNo. I had a plot and a pretty good idea of the story I wanted to tell, but I was not sure if I could spare enough time every day to write the required 1670 words. That is when senior NaNoWriMoers came to my rescue, they had many ideas to effectively work on your novel without it taking up all of your time. Out of all the different methods available, I decided to follow the Reverse NaNo process. This is a concept where you begin with writing more words on the first day and end with just one word on the last day. To me that seemed like the best option for a couple of reasons. One being I could use the enthusiasm in the first couple of weeks to write as many words as possible before the enthusiasm starts wearing off and exhaustion starts taking over. Secondly, this option afforded to take some time off as you would always be ahead of the required word count.
Thus, I was ready to start writing my first novel. As predicted, I had this overwhelming enthusiasm when I started and I wrote about 4000 words on the first day which was more than the required number of words. I wrote diligently for the first few days and then took a break. Although my intention of taking the break was to rejuvenate, I was not entirely happy with some of the chapters I had written and was dying to read and edit it. But I thought it best to listen to the advice of the experienced writers.
“Keep your inner editor locked up during NaNoWriMo!” they said.
This was one of the most common advice I read across the help forums in NaNo.
During NaNoWriMo, it is recommended to write everything that comes to your mind and not to bother with editing. Your NaNo novel should only be considered as the first rough draft. This information helped me relax and lock up the perfectionist inside me that kept threatening to break out any minute.
I continued to write using the reverse NaNo concept for two weeks and by the end of the second week I was half way through at 25000+ words. I was also starting to wear off not so much from the writing but my hectic schedule. I had started working on a new project at work around this time which meant extended working hours and endless client meetings. By the time I got home I was so exhausted that all I wanted was to crash into the bed and fall asleep. So, for almost a week I wrote nothing more than a few hundred words. I had to even neglect my blog during this period! (Not proud of that)
Well, that short break helped ‘coz the on the third week of November I wrote on and on, about 6-7000 words almost every day. The result was that on November 20, 2015, I validated a word count of 50,850 words in my NaNo account!
I rarely allow myself to feel proud of my accomplishments, there isn’t much anyway! But, when I validated the word count on NaNo and saw that little winner badge, I couldn’t be prouder of myself! My novel is not finished yet, but participating in NaNoWriMo has helped me establish a pattern or a schedule, rather for writing. Now, I have developed a writing discipline which I never knew existed. I am confident of completing my novel and then start the tedious job of editing and polishing it.
I am yet to decide if I want to publish my work, but I can’t stress enough on how glad I am to have embarked on this journey. While I had fun doing it, it has also helped me much to find my calling as a writer!
My heartfelt congratulations on your awesome achievement!
Thank you Judy! 🙂
Hey you did it!
I am so proud of you.
Despite busy schedule and everything you did it with 10 days to go. That is an achievement for someone who was doing it for the very first time. 🙂 Cheers 🙂
Now you are officially a novelist 🙂 Celebrate the success and enjoy!
Love and light <3
Thank you so much Anand!
I haven’t finished the novel yet, just reached the 50k target. But this experience has taught me to hope that I will be able to complete my novel! 🙂
Thanks again for the constant encouragement.
You will certainly complete it and it’s an achievement to be proud of. Kudos!!
Just one word – WOW!
Thank you Peter! 🙂
I have thought I should do it too. But the last couple of weeks have been hard
I can understand! But once you commit to it, somehow you just end up finding time 🙂
Well I have content I need to publish and I need the ability. The fact that this has been a hard week has kept me trying to give props to those I know. 🙂
Kristina Van Hoose
Congrats on winning! That is so awesome and worth celebrating for sure!
I love that you have made writing a routine now. I struggle with that every year. I always say I’ll write every day and then it doesn’t happen. This year my carpal tunnel got to me, so I stopped. I’m hoping to try again to create a routine.
Congrats again! Will you try it next year or participate in camp NaNoWriMo?
Thank you Kristina. And Congrats to you too! 🙂
I must say that your blog posts on NaNo helped me a lot!
I have come up with a writing plan to complete to complete my novel and hope to stick to the plan.
I may try again next year, not sure though. I dont think I will participate in camp NaNoWriMo. Are you participating in Camp NaNo?
Kristina Van Hoose
I probably will. I like that you can set your own goals for that one. We will see how it goes. I probably won’t do both the April and June version. We’ll see where my projects are at by then.
I’m glad my posts were helpful for you! I’d love to hear about your plan and schedule. It always fascinates me to know how others plan and schedule things.
Good luck with camp NaNo!
The first thing i did was use the planner i bought and actually drew up a schedule to go with my bus lifestyle. I tried it during the NaNo weeks and it worked wonderfully. I made sure I put in break days consistently so that I don’t burn out or tire from the routine. It has been working well for me so far, so the plan is to stick with the schedule. However, with the holiday season approaching, I dont know how its going to go!
Ohh Happy, happy, joy, joy…… Congratulationsssss. I wish I was that dedicated to finish my book. CONGRATULATIONS ON YOUR AWARD! It’s well deserved.
Thank you so much!
I still have a lot of work to do to actually finish the book.
I am sure you will do it when you decide to, good luck to you 🙂
Thank you! 🙂
Congratulations! You did it! 👏👏👏👏👏🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉 All the hard work pays off when you received the winner’s badge, isn’t it? 😄 What do we do next? Do we start editing our novel? I have no inkling what comes after the winning…hahaha 😂
I know right! The feeling is just awesome! My novel is not yet complete, so I will continue to write to finish it. Then probably start with the editing and polishing work. If I am really happy with it at the end of all the editing work, I might consider going the self publishing route!
What about you? Are you considering publishing your work?
I merely write for fun. Didn’t expect myself to be able to complete a novel, not to mention self-publish…haha. 😀 Am not sure if my novel is worth publishing. Seriously didn’t know what to do with my novel now. 🙁
Oh dont be so quick to say that it’s not worth publishing. Why dont you go ahead and edit it and then circulate it to some beta readers and collect their feedback. Take a decision based on the feedback you receive!
Great idea! 😀 Thank you so much! Wouldn’t know what to do without you. 🙂
Your welcome! Glad to be of service!
😀 😀 😀
CONGRATS!!! I’m proud of you! 🙂
Thank you, Annie! 🙂
You’re welcome, Rashmi! Always great to be surrounded by inspiring people like yourself! 🙂
Dr Meg Sorick
Oh my friend!!!!!!!! You did it!!!!!!! That is so awesome! I knew you could do it! Can’t wait to read the finished result! ❤️❤️❤️
Thank you so very much, Meg! Were it not for the constant encouragement from friends like you, I would never even have attempted it! 🙂
Dr Meg Sorick
In great time, too. Now you can sit back and catch your breath for bit! I hope it was a fun experience. It sounds like it was! Have a great day! XO
It was a lot of fun! The only downside was that I had to almost neglect my blog to focus on NaNo. Otherwise it was an amazing experience 🙂
Have a great Sunday!
Dr Meg Sorick
It will be nice to have you back! Have a great Sunday too!
Yes! Yes! Yes! You did it 🙂
I am so happy for you .) 🙂 With time to spare and on your first try ? You are super woman !
Congratulations and lots of Turtle Hugs 🙂 🙂 🙂
Thank you so much Izabolinha 🙂
Turtle hugs to you too
Congratulations!!!!! I really really hope you will self publish! I loved the short story you wrote & know for sure the book will be even better!
Thank you Arpita! I haven’t yet made a decision on publishing, but it’s definitely on my mind 🙂
You must be feeling awesome. Congrats. I wish I could write like that.
Trust me masi, I thought I couldn’t too but all it takes is determination and commitment. You write very well, you should definitely give it a try. If nothing else you can be proud of the fact that you participated 🙂
For that one must be very good in the language dear. I would love reading yours instead.
If I do publish, I will send you an ecopy 🙂 thanks again
So sweet of you.
Hey what else can I say but a BIG CONGRATULATIONS!!! I am so happy for you I feel like singing and dancing…Yay!!! I am so proud of you my dear friend…It is an achievement that is worth sharing and celebrating for. 🙂 Just like Dr. Meg, I hope to see your novel published soon! Hugs to such an AMAZING mom and writer! 🙂
Oh my dear Shine, thank you so much! It has been the constant encouragement from friends like you, Anand and Meg that had given me the courage to even attempt this. Big hugs to you too for being such an amazing mom, writer and friend 🙂
Congratulation Dear and i wish myself doing such next time;-) Cheers!
Thank you Chris! I’m sure you will do very well when you participate …good luck in advance 🙂
Thank you dear! Have a good one😊
Kudos to you! And I’m very happy for you.
Can’t wait to read your work….
Thank you my dear owl! I will definitely let you know if and when I publish it 🙂
I’m eagerly waiting……
Fantastic accomplishment – congratulations! Your vivid description is very inspiring indeed! 🙂
Thank you! It was an amazing experience! 🙂
Congratulations! And this was so well written. I was hooked till the very end. Not to mention inspired to participate in NaNoNoNo 😉 Next year, it’s going to be NaNoWriMo!
Thank you! I’m glad to have inspired you to do NaNo next year! 🙂