This November was rather different from the last. Last year I had a fairly chilled out November; this year it was somewhat more manic. Last year I finished 10 days early; this year I was typing right up until November 30th. Last year I had thrown together a chapter plan; this year I had the basic plot but essentially I was ‘winging it’. Both years I only decided I was doing it at the last minute. Yes, today I rapped out the end of my second novel in two years (utterly different from the first) and was verified as a NaNoWriMo ‘winner’.
Both have been very different experiences. Last year was certainly less stressful, but that was more to do with the external circumstances – this November we had a week where we were away in the middle, during which I also had my induction for the Magnet editorial team. I’ve also been working on an issue of the magazine for next year. The church magazine needed doing as soon as I got back. Plus, our kitchen has been remodelled – more on that in another post. Inevitably there’s been a whole lot of re-organising and cleaning needed in the wake of that. All in all, jobs and chores have arisen that I simply didn’t have to deal with last year.
But this novel is more ‘me’. In a sense it’s a load of implausible twaddle, but it has the quirkiness that I desired and I feel I’ve got something to work with.
So here at the end, I’m pleased I’ve done it, although my goodness did I need to discipline myself towards the end, when I was catching up on lost time. Writing at least 7,500 words yesterday was a lot for me.
But…a chapter plan might have been helpful. I think next time I’ll definitely try and do that. If I hadn’t loved this story, I’m not sure I could have done it with as little planning as I did. Thankfully I did love it, which gave me the required momentum. Just.
But I’d never have done it without the structure and motivation of National Novel Writing Month behind me.
So NaNoWriMo, I certainly do salute you. You’ve shown me what I can do.
Even if it is the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever written.
But I like ridiculous.
Reflecting on NaNoWriMo (2010)