Yay! I've done it, 50,000 words in less than thirty days, so I am feeling very happy right now; but that hasn't been how I've felt throughout November. Last year I loved, loved, loved the whole experience, I flew through 104,000 words and just had the best time, you can read more about my 2011 experiences here...
This year did not get off to the best start; I managed 800 words at midnight on 1st November and then proceeded to come down with a horrible cold that stopped me doing anything for over a week.
Day 7 I managed to write a little and then increased it slowly as I started to feel more human and the cotton wool of cold and ME shifted from around my brain. I wondered if there was any point, since I was nearly 10,000 words behind; but I didn't want to give up without trying, so I just did what I could, because I knew I had a story I desperately wanted to tell.
It's been more of a struggle; I've had to force myself to sit in front of the computer, unlike last year when I could barely tear myself away. The words have been dragged out of me a lot of the time, until I found my flow and out poured several thousand at a time. It was definitely stop and start, much more of a chore and there were days I wondered why on Earth I was bothering; but I'd set a goal and I don't give up easily.
I've learnt different lessons from 2011. I've realised that if I set a small goal and reach it I feel like a rock star. It's easier to focus on doing 2,000 words than working out how much of 50,000 I have left. Or how many days I have to do it in - that's just scary! It's a lesson I intend to apply to other big projects in my life.
I also learnt that it is possible to achieve big goals, even if they seem monumentally impossible and low-self esteem and doubt are whispering in my head to say there's no point, it's just too difficult. Nuh-nuh, voices you were wrong!
My novel isn't complete; but it's nearly there. I've written the end at least! It's going to take a huge amount of editing and re-writing; but that's okay. This year I realised I have to write things in long hand first and then go back and boil it down, reduce it to what I want.
I feel a little sad that the motivation of the NaNo deadline is over; but lying in bed last night, thinking back on the past month I got inspiration for another story. It won't be such a frantic experience; but hopefully the high from winning will carry me through for a few weeks at least.
Will I be doing NaNo next year? I hope so, because who knows what I'll learn from it. One thing's for sure, no two years will ever be the same!
I won the Good Housekeeping Novel Competition. My novel, The Box, is going to be published on 25th July 2019, by Orion