The writing frenzy is over, and now it’s time to reflect on what I’ve achieved during NaNo2015.
In the final week I rediscovered my enthusiasm for what I was writing. I suspect partly because I knew I was running out of time, and going to have to resort to a lot of ‘then somehow they knew how to solve the problem’ and ‘she probably says X, and maybe he doesn’t like that’ to get everything onto paper by the 30th of November. I finished up with something that was half-draft, half-outline. It does have an ending, and not just notes on who was where and when, but also how the characters feel about things. I managed to resist the lure of editing as I wrote, but I did make notes on corrections and ideas which occurred to me as I went along, ready for when I come back to it. Oh, and I finally came up with a title, which I hate, because I wasn’t about to put TBD on my NaNo Winners Certificate!
Typing straight into Scrivener, rather than drafting longhand first, still feels unnatural to me (I like the way my thoughts roam when there isn’t a backspace option), but I’m glad that I pushed myself to do this, as it made keeping on top of my word count much easier. The routine I settled into helped me to keep motivated, and build momentum – even on the days when I gave myself a break, I felt compelled to sit at the computer for at least half an hour, and add to my total. Since I didn’t make it to any of the local write-ins the camaraderie on Twitter was a lifeline, and, along with blogging about the experience, helped to keep me accountable.
I’m also impressed by how many other things I achieved in November: I read 8 books, completed a MOOC on John Calvin (in French), watched 5 seasons of Community, got 30 hours into a new game of Dragon Age: Inquisition, and kept on top of the housework, while parenting solo for much of the month. I’m not just telling you this to boast, but because I clearly waste a lot of time in the non-NaNo months of the year; I certainly can’t use the excuse that I don’t have time to write anymore.
I may (I hope) have something worthy of turning into an actual novel this year, but the most important thing I hope to take from NaNo2015 is a work ethic. I won’t be pushing myself to write 1667 words a day, but I want to build on the daily writing habit I’ve acquired. I’ve yet to decide whether to give myself a word target (possibly the 350 target Chuck Wendig suggests in his post on writing a novel in a year), or a time target (perhaps an hour each day). I may trial both in turn, and see which works best for me. So I will continue writing in December, but at a comparably leisurely pace, and on a different project.