creativity · fantasy · writing

Aiden’s NaNoWriMo 2014

Hey there, folks!

I’m going to take these next few weeks to talk about some of the things I’ve learned over the past two years. I’ve gone from a complete novice to…well, still a complete novice, but one who is far less naive (I hope) about the writing experience.

Truth be told, a lot of November 2014 is a blur in my memory. Just for some context, my job is at a 24-hour residential care facility, and I work an average of 50 hours per week. Some of those are overnight hours, so my sleep schedule is totally wacky. I decided I would make time to write 50,000 words in a month.

Not to make light of it, but I wonder if I may have experienced a slight bout of mania.

Fortunately, the first day of NaNoWriMo I had off. I must have gotten up early, and I probably didn’t leave the desktop because I managed to crank out 2,515 words. That was huge, and one thing I can remember is that instead of a feeling of “Phew. Finally done with that annoyance,” it was a feeling of achievement. Yeah, I had a long way to go, but I nearly doubled the daily word count, and it was only my first day!

Over the next few weeks, I had a lot of ups and downs with regards to my word count. The next day was a Sunday, which I typically have off, but I’m out of the house most of the day. I only got 600 words written, but that was okay because the total still put me ahead of the 1,300 or so words per day target.

Most days, if I wrote anything at all, I averaged about 2,000 words. It was tough, in part because I was so unused to it, but personally even more challenging because I self-edit like crazy. I swear I’ve never done a true “first draft” of anything. I had to let the satisfaction of writing be stronger than the desire for it to be perfect, and I suspect that’s the true genius of the exercise. Even if I never NaNo again, that lesson will stick with me, even if I have to remind myself of it from time to time.

Anyway, between all-day home sessions and eeking out a few hundred words on the staff room computer during my overnights, I’m very proud to say that I finished my novel with about an hour to spare. I bought the “Winner!” T-shirt, straightened out my hunched shoulders, and went to bed satisfied. I had done it.

Six months would pass before I touched it again.

But I’ll tell you more about that next week.


One thought on “Aiden’s NaNoWriMo 2014

  1. Every year the NaNoWriMo rolls around, I think, “I’d love to give it a go” – but then at that time I’m usually in the midst of a manuscript with a target date looming, either in the publication phase, editing phase, or marketing / graphics, etc. phases. One of these days, November will arrive and I won’t have anything going on otherwise (roll on the floor in fits of laughter here). Perhaps 2020… 😉 In the meantime, I’m polishing up the fifth novel, with novels 6-9 on the back burners…! Keep writing!

    Liked by 1 person

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