My unofficial attempt at NaNoWriMo did not quite go as well as I expected. I started out strong but as other commitments and a crazy workload at the day job pushed in on me it became harder and harder to meet the target.
At the end of November I had 23,000 words. A reasonable attempt and nearly half way.
How the month progressed
I started super confident because I had produced so many words for this draft since the end of August. Some parts are currently not flowing so well and I am at the point where I am writing all over the place. I recently heard this referred to as “jigsawing”. I write scenes in no particular order and then put them into my file where they are meant to go.
Over the last few weeks I have been doing more of this by focusing on particular groups of characters, or minor individuals and writing scenes for their storyline that will fit in with the main story. Sometimes during the writing of one scene I get an idea for another unrelated scene and then write that. This way of writing works for me and although I have tried to change my writing practice somewhat my crazy writing order just doesn’t seem to be changeable.
Would I NaNoWriMo again?
Possibly. Part of me thinks it depends on the project I’m working on at this time next year. But I wouldn’t rule it out after a not so stellar try.
What did I learn?
That I need to ensure I have that hour a day quarantined for my writing. In that focused hour I can achieve a lot. This reinforces what I have been discussing lately; in that setting time aside and planning what to do with that time is useful.
It also means that when things come up that guilt is not useful. In the middle of November when my day job was crazy and I was crawling home exhausted, and sleeping through my alarm the next day, guilt about not getting an hour of writing done was not going to make any difference to meeting my writing commitments.
I realised that I haven’t been recording all of my writing in the same way, particularly my blogging work. Over the month I discovered that blogging takes more time than I had previously thought it did.
Did you try NaNoWriMo – officially or otherwise – and what did you learn from the experience?