I know, I know, NaNoWriMo happened a month ago – I’m slow with this posts, okay?
If you’re a part of the book blogging community, you probably know at least a little about NaNoWriMo, and if you follow my blog, you probably have an inkling about my experience with NaNoWriMo and my continued journey to complete it, including this year. I’ve only won once, and the rest have been varied states of failure/success, depending on how you look at it.
But, this year,
Yep, I finally reached that elusive and difficult 50,000 words, with a couple of days to spare. I probably even could have done it sooner, but I never wanted to rush myself and get burnt out before I completed it, so I didn’t force myself to keep going as long as I had at least written something that day. It obviously worked, and so I finally got my second metaphorical crown. Would you like to hear about my experiences and what I’ve learned from it?
Of course you would – otherwise you would have just skipped over this post! Either that or you stumbled upon here by accident and feel obligated to read this just to be nice – thank you, I know the feeling, and I appreciate it none the less!
>> 1. My Attention Span is Awful
I really did want to write my original story, Act Like I’m the Best about a girl who has anxiety and is writing a journal about it. For the first weekish, I did write that story, but I quickly ran out of steam and it turned into me rambling with very little plot in sight. It wasn’t working, and I was just writing to write, not to tell an interesting story. I’d certainly like to get back to it, but I decided that there was a reason I started multi-tasking in the past couple of years: I have trouble paying attention to just one book. Yes, I need to change this at some point, but for now, I think I work and write better when I can focus on whatever is interesting me at that point. Sometimes I think I might get some good ideas from other stories, or great ideas just come to me that might not have if I kept forcing myself to keep reading so that I’d finish one draft of a story before moving on to a different story. So, I think that multi-tasking writing works for me, at least for now, and I think I’ll keep doing it for future NaNoWriMos.
>> 2. I Need to Be Amazing At the Beginning If I Want to Make it to the End
I can get easily discouraged. If I do really, really well at the beginning, as I did this year, then I’m more inspired to keep up that great momentum. The years that I start off just barely making the minimum requirement every day, I eventually run out of steam and get kind of bored and don’t really care because I never felt like I was really successful – I was simply doing okay, not amazing. I tend to feel a lot more inspired and invested when I have lovely, super-high numbers at the beginning.
>> 3. Pretty Graphics Are Quite Motivating
I love creating all kinds of graphics, from pretty chapter headers to inspiring aesthetics. You can see plenty of things I’ve made on my writing Tumblr because having them all together is even better. But basically, having pretty things to look at makes me very happy and inspired to write plenty more.
>> 4. Healthy Competition is Great
I’m not a super-competitive person, but seeing where other people are with their own NaNoWriMo progress can really motivate me to keep up. Now, it’d be stupid to compete with people who are far off from my own pace, but comparing myself with those who write on a similar pace can be quite inspiring because I want to win. Writing is not about winning, but it still helps a bit.
>> 5. It’s Okay to Talk About in My Real Life, Too
It’s scary, but sometimes I talk about my writing in real life. When I completed 50,000 words, I posted a screenshot of my success on my Facebook, and even though it was terrifying, it was nice to get some likes from people who actually know me in real life. I also mentioned it to my family since Thanksgiving happens during NaNoWriMo and I had to keep writing during that time if I wanted to reach my goal. I’m still much too scared to show my writing to anyone, plus they’re all rough, rough drafts at this point, but it’s nice to know that people actually know about my writing. It makes me feel responsible for it, which means I’m less likely to give up.
These are just a few of the observations I made during NaNoWriMo. Hopefully next year will be even more of a success!