NaNoWriMo: Update

I was going to post this on Monday as a follow-up to last week’s NaNo diary, but NaNo got in the way.  C’est la vie.  Also, it seemed a little boring and pointless to write “Was a tough day, managed to get some words down but slipping behind” seven times.  Yes, last week was tough.  My writing time seemed to end up being later and later each day, leaving me racing against the clock to get to my target by midnight.  (That makes for interesting typos and Freudian slips :  cheeky beavers, anyone?)

By some strange force of fate, despite having two non-writing days together, I didn’t get much more than 2000 words behind, which is great.  I suppose.  The thing is, by Saturday, I wasn’t sure how much I was enjoying it anymore.  I hated my story, my laptop the whole writing business in general.  There was no way I was going to quit (it means a lot to me on a personal level, but that’s another story) so I decided, grudgingly to just muscle on as best I could and get through November, just so that I can say I had won.

That is a rubbish way to go about NaNoWriMo.  Seriously.  Everytime I sat down to write, I wanted to be doing anything but write.  I think I would rather have cleaned someone else’s toilet without gloves than write my NaNo novel.  It was bad.

On Monday evening, I finally sat down to write and refused to let myself check my word count.  I had become obsessed with hitting the little word count button, becoming disheartened when it had only crept up a hundred words or less.  I decided to write for as long as I had something to write about.  That wasn’t long, as it happened.  All those negative thoughts, about whether my story was good enough to carry a whole book, I wasn’t convinced my plan was going to work.   Usually, if I wasn’t participating in NaNo, I might have given up, stuffed my notes in a drawer and started a new project or taken a break from writing a novel altogether; but since I had publicly sworn (on Twitter, Facebook and from the rooftops) that I would complete 50 000 words in 30 days, I couldn’t.   I had to carry on and I did.

Luckily and surprisingly, I managed to keep on writing and sure enough, just as all the great writing advice says, inspiration struck when I was least expecting it.  Now, I am back on track (only just) and have a new plot twist to keep me occupied until the end of November and beyond.

Things I’ve learned this week:

  • Perseverance is key.
  • Don’t wait for inspiration to hit, battle on regardless.
  • Chocolate and coffee make every situation better.

3 thoughts on “NaNoWriMo: Update

  1. Awww, go you! I’m in the same quandary as last year… do I plough on with an utterly boring and pointless non-plot or do I just chuck in the towel and pick up my knitting?

    I’m doing this for personal reasons too. So I’m struggling through it. Seven more days and I should be through. With something that nobody else can read as it’s too heavily laden with personal experience.

    I seem to write best in narrative form and, because it’s easier, I’ve stuck with it. But there’s no plot, more a timeline. And so I never get those little epiphanies. I sometimes panic that what I’m doing isn’t actually writing a novel at all. But who cares, eh?


  2. Sam – don’t give up! You’ve come too far! Don’t worry about plot etc, NaNo’s just about getting the words down and if it’s personal to you, who cares? 🙂

    Rachel – You’re doing great yourself, to say you’re not doing NaNo or anything. 🙂

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