Writing

NaNoWriMo Update

Well, it’s November 25th and you may remember that, all gung-ho, and full of vim and vigour, I announced my participation in the NaNoWriMo project twenty-three days ago.

The premise is simple; glue your butt to your chair for an extended period every day during the month of November and produce 50,000 words at the end. You will then have the bones of a book that you can work on and edit to your heart’s content and try to shape it into an actual book that you can bring to market. Like most things worth their salt, NaNoWriMo has its detractors: Some writers claim that  it’s difficult to work like this, ‘churning out’ 2.000 words a day every day on average on one project. Others heave a sigh of relief when November comes around, safe in the knowledge that the support of the project will motivate them to get some words on a page. Still others see it as a month of indulgence to  write on a pet project, or try out a new genre – one they have never fiddled with before.

I approached NaNoWriMo with a project I’ve been wanting to work on for quite a while. I was really excited to try my hand at a bit of fiction. I’ve done a bit of plotting, I’ve gotten to know a little bit about some of my characters, I have a few set-ups for them and I have scenes written (in my head only, mind!) that had me crying in the shower as I felt the emotions of the characters involved and put words in their mouths and hearts.

So, I sat down, committed to writing my socks off and producing the required 50,000 at the end of this month.

Didn’t happen.

I have about 7,000 words of my book written. Look, it’s 7,000 words more than I had a few weeks ago, but I’m not going to nail NaNoWriMo this year. I’m not even going to start on the whys and wherefores of why I have so little done. I’m neither ashamed nor embarrassed by my lack of wordage. NaNoWriMo has served me well; I have spend the month thinking about my writing – thinking about what I want to write, what I want to focus on, what really matters. I’ve formulating a good, solid plan not just for the book I’ve written and am ready to market, but about the next one, the one after that and the spin-off work that could come from it if I market it properly.  I have looked long and hard at self-publishing rather than going the traditional route and have not decided against either (yet!). I’ve changed focus and looked at the bigger picture, the long-term and asked myself serious questions about where I want my writing to take me and what I want it to do – the purpose of it, if you will.

I’ve also been writing a bit more than usual – and remembering the joy I get from writing, how easy it comes to me if I just let it, how good it feels to structure a sentence that says exactly what I want it to and how the flow of words from brain to fingertips feels as good to me as a run in perfect weather feels to a professional runner: The exhilaration, the triumph, the purification of the exercise that release endorphins and spur you on to do more, to do it again, to keep going.

So, the end of November will come and go, and I will not be a NaNoWriMo winner. Except, in a roundabout way, I will. I’ll have a course plotted, a strategy devised and a much clearer picture of who I am as a writer. As far as I’m concerned, that’s a win.

Advertisements
Standard

4 thoughts on “NaNoWriMo Update

    • Hazel Katherine Larkin says:

      Thanks for taking the time to read and reply, Ruth! Yes, I’m happy with 7k words that ‘work’ 🙂

  1. NaNoWriMo seems to be whatever you make of it. I love the camaraderie among writers and I love any encouragement that takes place from readers/non-writers, as well. Last NaNo I added about 20M words to a novel and this year I added close to 50M words to a novel. I, too, realized how easy it can be for me and that if I’m really determined, I can write just about every day. I believe I only missed Thanksgiving Day this November–that day in particular was a tough one for writing, with my child dragging me out for Black Friday shopping at 5 a.m. the morning after the big Thanksgiving celebration at my sister’s house. For me, getting out to write is critical to getting it done. I wonder if I will ever be able to write from home? I’m glad you had a successful NaNo, in accordance with your own terms and goals for yourself! Next year it could all be different for both of us–how exciting!

    • Hazel Katherine Larkin says:

      Hi Kat! Thanks for taking the time to read and reply. 🙂

      I think you’re right about NaNoWriMo being what you make it. I am delighted to feel that I have my mojo back and am ready to tackle the next project. 🙂

      well done to you on getting so many words written yourself. It really is a huge achievement – especially for people who have families/homes/careers to take care of, too.

      Here’s to a great year of writing ahead for both of us.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s