Writing a Novel in 30 Days: Reflections of a Newbie Wrimo
As many of you are aware, November is National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), and The Office of Lights and Letters (OLL) has been hosting this popular challenge since 1999.
For the “uninitiated,” here are some interesting NaNoWriMo facts and stats: http://www.nanowrimo.org/about/facts-and-stats/.
This year, I participated for the first time, and though it was grueling (30 days, 50,000 words, 0 excuses, according to OLL), it turned out to be a really fun experience, that enabled me to grow as a budding writer.
I’ve always wanted to write a novel, but procrastination has been winning. Taking the NaNoWriMo challenge forced me to carve out some writing time, so on November 1st, I took the plunge. 50,000 words seemed daunting at first, but aiming for the recommended 1,667 words per day helped a newbie Wrimo like me to press on.
The structure was a definite plus.
My motivation? I told myself that I couldn’t and wouldn’t quit (after all, I had already blabbed about it on Pen and Prosper, Twitter and my blog). Blabbing keeps you accountable. :-)
The camaraderie and encouragement from other Wrimos in my region, truly helped me to press on. Sometimes, I wrote well into the early morning hours, going well beyond the targeted word count.
Though I wanted to, I didn’t make it to any of the write-ins, mainly because of scheduling and in some cases, distance.
But I soldiered on with the help of countless cups of tea, soothing music and encouraging emails from previous Wrimos who are now successful writers.
On November 25th, with my manuscript validated, it was a proud moment for me to receive my congratulatory email, certificate and web badge. NaNoWriMo was an intense process which demanded a lot of time management and perseverance.
I discovered that I actually write better when I have deadlines. I would recommend the NaNoWriMo challenge, writers. And I just might try it next year.
Push yourself to new limits to reach greater heights. It’s a philosophy worth embracing for 2013.
Have you ever participated? Has it helped you to become more serious about your writing goals?
What’s your experience been with NaNoWriMo or other kamikaze type writing challenges?