This November, I was more prepared than I have ever been. I’m not a panster. I am somewhere in-between seat of the pants and organized down to the finest detail. I like an outline and I like to research relevant (and some not so) information.
I had been researching this story for a while. I had a very clear idea of where it would go. I even had a timeline done in Aeon Timeline.
And I was totally unprepared. I was like a first-time camper that wandered into the sporting goods store and bought a ton of gear without a clue what I was getting myself into.
I should know better. I can’t seem to help myself. If I can make it more challenging on myself, I will.
I blasted out of the gates with my word count tracking on target…for about three days. Then I got bogged down in researching all sorts of archaic nonsense. I didn’t need to. It wouldn’t matter for the Nano process and I knew that. I even had my “five clicks rule” in my mind where no topic was allowed more than five clicks from a Google search page before I had to hunker back down to the actual writing.
I ignored it. I told myself it was important background information, even if it amounted to a passing comment in relation to the overall story. I spent hours reading about Sámi culture; telling myself I was still within my five clicks. I joined Academia.edu because I needed to go deeper and I could.
When I finally found a writing groove, I let Thanksgiving trip me up.
In the end, I spent a lot of days doing everything for my story but writing. The very thing this exercise is meant to get me away from.
I ended up on the final day of November needing 15,000 words to hit the 50,000 word target. I resigned myself to failure. Nevertheless, I was going to try.
At the least, I was going to punish myself for allowing this to happen. Had I kept writing on day four, I would have been done long before deadline. I managed about 4,000 words per day on the days I had actually written.
This knowledge made me force myself to sit and write on that final day. If I was going to fail, I was going to fail having made use of every minute left in November. I was not allowing myself the final day off just because I botched the rest of the month.
What happened should not have been surprising.
I finished. With plenty of time to spare. It was an exhausting day and I did nothing but write and take the dog out from the moment I woke up until I finished around 8PM.
Not the path to victory I had planned, but I’ll take it.
It was a personal lesson. I hope it sticks. If nothing else, it was fun.
I have been decompressing and playing in the snow since.
Now the editing…
- NaNoWriMo Chronicles: A Look Back (The Final Post!) (characterreputation.wordpress.com)
- I’m a NaNoWriMo winner (n7net.me)
- The @NaNoWriMo Hangover (mikecoville.wordpress.com)
- The Tunnel at the End of the Tunnel (wideawakebutdreaming.wordpress.com)