Trials and Tribulations of NaNoWriMo

So, what exactly IS NaNoWriMo you ask? Its simple really.  NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month. People from all over the world get together on the internet and pledge that they will write a 50,000 word novel within a 30 day time frame. 

I know crazy right? In order to be successful you have to write 1667 words a day.  The cool thing about NaNoWriMo is that its main purpose is to get the words and ideas floating around in your head onto paper or in most cases a computer hard drive.  Quality doesn’t matter!! You could have horrible grammar and 1500 spelling mistakes and no one is going to care!! Once the month is over and you have your minimum 50,000 words in you can go back, reread what you’ve written and make changes, fix spelling and grammar issues and even cut complete scenes out!  NaNoWriMo is strictly a first draft process.

I know, I know, you’re asking yourself, but what do they win?  The answer to that question is this: a 50,000 word novel written by yourself! What an amazing achievement that is!! Granted if you make the 50,000 word goal there are sponsers that offer you discounts on products, but the main prize is bragging rights.  How many people do YOU personally know that have written a novel? Exactly.

Now, you might be wondering why I titled this post “Trials and Tribulations of NaNoWriMo. Well to start with when I signed up I did it on a whim. A friend had signed up last year and when she mentioned it this year I said “Why Not?” I had two weeks to come up with a plot. It took me probably a week and a half to come up with an idea and then a half a week to panic.  I mean could I really write a 50,000 word novel in a month? I barely write fan fiction for world of warcraft on a regular basis! I can’t even commit myself to exercising on a daily basis! Yet here I was deciding that I was going to write at least 1667 words per night!!

The first thing I had to do was tell my fear to take a hike.  I didn’t need it around and it could just take the self doubt along with it. Then when November first rolled around I opened up my laptop, started up Scrivener and just started typing.  I began by typing out a flashback for my main character and I just kept typing.  I knew where the story was going to start and I know where its going to end so I have just been writing the logical progression to get to the end. 

So what’s the problem? Well the first week I ended up working ten hour shifts at work then I would come home, eat some food, and start to write.  I refused to let myself go to sleep until I had my minimum word count in.  I didn’t care how tired I was.  You know what? I surpassed my goal every single night.  By the end of the week I had written over 10,000 words!! What an amazing feeling that was!! I also had decided that I was going to start this blog to write about everythig I was going through during NaNoWriMo. Turns out one of the biggest problems I have run into during this process is finding time to blog after I have done my daily writing for the Novel!!  As tired as I am right now I decided that I needed to finally make a post.

Is my writing good? Probably not in its current form.  I know for a fact that there are some plot holes and contradictions, but I had previously joined a writers group to get my writing Mojo in gear and they have been providing me with some awesome feedback!!

I am really astonished at how well I am doing even though we are only 13 days in.  I have already passed the halfway point of 25,000 words and I am excited to hit the 50,000 word mark.  I have no doubt that my novel will exceed the word count goal of NaNoWriMo, but that’s okay.  This challenge was exactly what I needed to get myself motivated to write something I enjoy writing about.  I love writing even more than I did when I started and even though I know my novel won’t be perfect at the end of november I do know that I will continue to work on it throughout the year; refining and editing it.  Once I know that it is polished and complete I am going to take it and pitch it to an agent.  There is a writers group here in CT that has a conference every may.  During that conference you can make an appt to speak with. Publishing agent and show them your finished product.  If your lucky and your novel is good you may get picked up and published.  I don’t know about you, but I can’t think of anything cooler than being a published Author. 

So, if you have been on the fence about NaNoWriMo I encourage you to take the challenge and discover the writer within. If you yourself are not a writer but you know someone is and they have decided to do NaNoWriMo don’t discourage them.  They most likely already realize they are crazy, and that’s okay.  What NaNoers really need is support and encouragement from their family and friends.  To know that even though they might very well be weird and crazy, you still love them and you feel as though they can accomplish anything they set their minds too.

Oh! And Mini Cupcakes….they need lots of Mini Cupcakes and sporks,  lots of sporks.

~Kristina

P.S. – To learn more about Scrivener visit: http://www.literatureandlatte.com/scrivener.php

P.P.S. – If there are any horrible grammar and/or spelling mistakes or just plain odd words that don’t belong I apologize. I am posting this first blog from my Android powered Motorola Droid X thanks to the WordPress Android app, but it isn’t always the easiest thing to write a blog with. 🙂

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