Friday, 4 November 2011

NaNoWriMo - my experience so far


I've been aware of NaNoWriMo for a few years now. I knew what it entailed; a group of writers coming together to take part in a month long writing frenzy. And I knew it wasn't for me. Seriously, who's got time to write 50,000 words in one month on top of all their other duties? Not me. 

But the buzz wouldn't die down. Each year, more and more people spoke about it, facebook statuses and author forums were full of it, and I learned that last year's participants topped 200,000, writing a total of 2.8 billion words, (between them, obviously, not each!). And... more importantly, bona fine novels were coming out of it. 

This year, as the buzz started building, I tried to ignore it. But a little nagging voice at the back of my mind kept telling me I should give it a try. When an author pal put up a message asking who else was going for it this year, I scanned the comments. Someone had stated she needed to do it, to motivate her to crack on with her novel and stop her habit of editing before she finished her first draft. Ping! There it was; I realised I needed it too. NaNoWriMo was going to be the kick up the bum I'd been looking for.

So I started on Tuesday, and I can't help feeling like I've embarked on a diet. On day one I was mega-motivated, writing over 3000 words, and feeling like I was unstoppable. On day two, my muse gave me the silent treatment, but then yesterday it perked up again. Today, day four, I have written over 6,500 words in total. I can't deny it's tough trying to fit the high word count round my other stuff. But, in the spirit of a diet, I'm refusing to give in, (did you know I used to work for Weight Watchers?). I've joined a support group, and it's great; we share our successes and failures and spur each other on. When you read about other people struggling on through migraines and fitting NaNo in around an eleven hour working day, you know you've got it fairly easy.

So, although I'm not chomping at the bit like I was on Tuesday, my goal is still firmly in my sights, and you never know, I might just be one of the NaNo 2011 winners . And if I'm not? It really doesn't matter; I'll have made great headway on the first draft of my next book, and in the big picture, that's what's important.

Good luck to anyone else who is taking part in the madness this year. And if we haven't buddied up yet, my username on NaNo is Amanda Leigh Cowley.

Oh, and as it's Friday...


 

15 comments:

TNJ said...

Good luck with NaNo! I may try it next year, but I wasn't quick enough to realize what it was this year. Have you heard about the 3 DAY Novel contest?!

Amanda Leigh Cowley said...

@TNJ - you should... And no, I haven't hear of the 3 Day Novel contest. What is it?

Jennifer Snyder said...

Best of luck with your NaNo project!

The East Coaster said...

Best of luck with Nanowrimo!!

Amanda Leigh Cowley said...

@ Jennifer & @ The East Coaster

Thank you - I need all the good luck I can get ;o)

prerna pickett said...

stick with it, you're doing great so far!

Amanda Leigh Cowley said...

@Prerna - thank you! I intend to :o)

Laila Knight said...

That's cool that you're doing so great with NaNo. Good luck. And your magic eye either looks like magic slipper or a really skinny Santa Claus. :)

MBee said...

A diet mentality is definitely a good way to describe doing NaNo. This is my 5th year doing it and I'm going for my 4th win. There will definitely be days when you fly along and things are just working out perfectly. Other days you'll barely coast by and want to throw in the towel, but keep at it. Those days will make up for the coasters and even out in the end :)

Definitely check and see if there are any write-ins in your area. I set up for 2 a week in a town near me and am so so excited to see such a great turn out this yr. Years past it's been a trickle, 2 maybe 3 other people but that's it. This year it's between 7 and 10 and it's pretty awesome, especially since you'll find it harder to slack off when others are watching! heh
Good luck and keep up the good work!

Amanda Leigh Cowley said...

@Laila - I love hearing your take on the Magic Eyes - this time, it's supposed to be an opening flower :o)

Amanda Leigh Cowley said...

@MBee - thank you for the pep talk! I did look to see if there were some meet ups in my area, but I don't think there are any :o( I will perhaps look if there is anything slightly further afield. Good luck to you too!!!

Miss Cole said...

Haha, yes, NaNo is a lot like a diet! It takes a lot of determination and perseverance. I spent the first few days HATING everything I wrote, but I think I've broken out of that now and I'm quite happy with what's coming out :)

Good luck to you!

Amanda Leigh Cowley said...

@Miss Cole - Well done for persevering! It pays to keep slogging away!

Liz said...

Good for you for doing NaNo this year! I tried last year and failed and this year I decided I'm too busy, but I'm very impressed by everyone who's doing it and cheering everyone on from the sidelines!

Amanda Leigh Cowley said...

@Liz - not sure if I'm going to achieve it or not, but giving it my best shot! Thanks for the support :o)