For the first time since participating, I finally punched out 50,000 words and gained the coveted honor of winning NanoWriMo. I completed 50k words in 28 days. I have participated in the contest since 2011 on my current account, and I had a previous page from years ago that I deleted. I never came close to winning under my old account.
The accomplishment was one that I could only describe as bittersweet. I made it one of my bookish goals to win this year. I can, at last, believe that writing is one of my major hobbies, and that confidence comes from my hallowed 2014 victory. I went into NaNo with a whole bundle of feelings, goals, and expectations, and coming out the other side alive and wizened is an experience I will never forget! I thought it would be prudent to share my experiences with writing and NaNoWriMo as a whole.
Writing is Hard. Boom, there. No sweet words of wisdom or fluffy quotes about the soul of the writer or any fuzzy quips regarding passion or any other emotional buzz word. It is the truth. Writing my story that has incubated in my odd imagination for years was harder than I ever imagined. I believe walking around nude is easier than bearing your words on paper for others to read. To put that last statement in context, I wear jeans 365 days a year, even in the Texas winter.
Speaking of Boobs, Things That Are Harder Than Public Nudity. I am so terrified about releasing my story out to the public. I love my story, and I fell in love with it all over again as I started divert away from my first rough draft, expanding on my world building, the rules of my universe, and developing characters. However, I’m always afraid no one will love it the way I do. It terrifies me that my story is one that only a mother could love.
Noisy Characters. While reviewing my Tweets from November, I noticed that my characters were slipping into my life like little imaginary parasites. I even discussed that my main MC female was ticked off about a pick up line that was quickly cut out of a scene. It was as frightening as it was exhilarating.
Eat, Breathe, Write. Your whole life, for November, is going to center around writing. I cancelled plans, stayed up too late, completely ignored my other hobbies, mainly reading, and centered my life entirely on my writing goals. It is a serious dedication, and this just provides one more example why professional readers need a huge pay increase to support them while they are writing our wonderful stories. It caused me to really think about the potential stories we are missing because an aspiring novelist cannot finance a living wage during the writing stage.
It really made me feel a wide array of bad feelings.
Peer Pressure. Writing in a group had a big role in my success. I don’t think I can thank Kat Kennedy enough for really pushing her entire Twitter feed to lock down and write, or morally sponsoring writing sprints. I also met new people and renewed many relationships with others writers during the month. It helped raise my spirits and prevented me numerous times from deleting the whole file, curling up into a ball on the floor, and sobbing like a five year old. With my Twitter Champions, I was able to just take out deleting my novel from that equation.
Ouch, My Feelings. So that just leaves me with curling up on the floor and sobbing like a five year old. Expect your emotions to go on a rampage. It actually makes sense, looking back on the toll that it took on my everyday life. I was forcing my mind to actually dedicate itself to working out issues with the story and commit to taking these ideas and mind-scenes and turning them into words. Lots and lots of words. Nervous breakdown doesn’t even begin to cover it.
Winners Never Quit…Paying. Alright, they’re right. Donating to the cause and buying awesome NaNo swag from the store actually encouraged participation and dedication. Money can’t buy happiness, but it can buy your undivided attention.
The Journey is just as important as the win. I say with no conviction, that the journey from mind to material is vital to your growth and success as a writer. Resolving dilemmas, researching, creating a bridge your thoughts to the page – all of these helped build up a new-found love for my own story, for the others around me, and for the authors who already venturing into the woods and made it out of the dark and into authorhood.
The Road Goes Ever On and On. On one final note, I will confess that winning NanoWriMo was one huge step for my novel, but I am not at the end of the road. There are still 30k words for me to edit on my first rough draft, and then there are bigger questions at the end of that lane. Will I self publish? How do I raise the money? Do I continue to blog? Do I share my info with blogger friends? One of my bucket list goals for my life is to become a published author. I know it doesn’t mean success, but there might be one reader out there that needs my story.
For 2015, I plan on accomplishing another win for NanoWriMo! Did any of you win? Do you plan on sharing your story one day? What are your own 2015 NanoWriMo plans?