I thought this was a fitting gif.
IT’S OCTOBER 30th.
MEANING NANOWRIMO IS IN 48 HOURS.
*quietly* so I haven’t finished my outline… *totters away, throws up in bushes, and then stumbles off to outline some more*
My sweet friend Liv sent out her NaNo blog post last night, and since I had no idea what to do for today, I decided to do likewise. It was one of the most relatable things I’ve read. You’re a genius, Liv.
What Happened Last Year?
So let’s take a little walk back to last year.
I was so hopeful. Young, naive me.
Ooh, I forgot an adjective.
I was stupid, too.
I was in my freshman year of high school and I had a bunch more homework from co-op because, ya know, high school. And I didn’t realize that I had a social life until I wanted to stay home and write??? Like apparently I left the house??? That was a revelation. I literally had no idea.
Also, a tip for y’all, (it’s a little late but hey) whatever you do, DO NOT go from absolutely NO WRITING AT ALL to ATTEMPTING 1,667 WORDS A DAY. As much as they made it seem simple in the encouraging emails leading up to it, for a person who was barely writing at all and didn’t even consider herself a writer yet (because this was way before YWW and blogging and etc.), this was creative suicide.
Luckily, I had been spending the past two years on a story idea that I had no idea how to write so I’d been putting it off until an opportune moment. My dad heard another adult talking about NaNoWriMo at our co-op and he is like “Maddy, apparently, there’s a thing where you write for a month?” and I was like “whoa.”
And thus began my horrific experience.
For one, I made an account like two days before it started. Then, I forgot that we had a prayer conference down South (where I live now) the first two days of November. Great start, right? So like November 4th, I had probably 1,900 words. *screams for freshman self*
Things got better in the middle of the month where I got used to the system. My only problem was I had set my mind to reaching 50k. Don’t get me wrong, goals aren’t bad. But if you expect your baby to go from keeping his head up by himself to pole-vaulting, odds are you are going to be disappointed.
In the middle of the month, I had roughly 15k. I was kinda getting no sleep, but school work was getting done and I was balancing things responsibly…
Then Thanksgiving hit.
I was so mad at Thanksgiving. I literally was like “CAN WE MOVE THANKSGIVING TO ANOTHER MONTH PLEASE THANK YOU. I CAN’T EAT PIE RN. I’M WRITING.”
Well, and it was worse. I had to go to a social gathering. *gasp* That’s right folks. Madeleine was forced out of her habitat and forced to interact with mortals.
(in the end, I was glad I went but gosh dang it I lost my day)
So, the last week began, and my stress level elevated. I was frantically trying to write as much as I could and things were so much fun. The second to last day came and I began strategically planning the last day.
“Okay, guys, so I know we have co-op from 7-3:30, but when we get back home, I’m grabbing my computer and going to my NaNoWriMo hut. The only reason someone can disrupt me is if you guys have food.”
My NaNoWriMo hut wasn’t actually a hut. It was a giant pile of blankets on the floor. I had my notebook, computer, and best friend on speed text. (shoutout: she was so encouraging and like bribed me the entire way ❤ ) Needless to say, I figured out a loophole in the system (I’ll tell y’all in a second) and even though it technically closed at 12, I stayed up till 2:30 writing. At that point, I was just like “yeah that was nice I’m sleeping now”
In the end, I got 33k.
My panic-induced writing spree on the last day got me 4.8k. That is the most I’ve ever written in one day. Holy smokes.
So What’d I Learn?
I learned so much. Honestly, it was such a learning experience. Even though it was frustrating, I wouldn’t swap it for anything else. Let’s go through all the things I learned:
- Sometimes having a plan is not what you need. I had spent so much time writing things down using a writing book that wasn’t very helpful to me. Sure, I used it for reference, but after a few days, I kinda abandoned the plan. I’d spent enough time thinking about this story to know what I wanted to do. And a lot of it ended up changing. But that was okay because I knew the heart of the story.
- Always have a good writing playlist. Whether it be your staples that you know aren’t necessarily for your WIP, or songs that are the anthems for your main characters, always have some tunes to pull out at any moment. I swear, I had headphones in all month. Personally, writing takes music. I kinda can’t write without music. So with a good playlist or two, you’ll be able to take on NaNo.
- Someone on the NaNoWriMo threads said something to this effect last year: “if you need more time in a day, change your computer’s time zone. If you are a late night writer in New York City who just started working on her wordcount at 10:30, change your timezone to Los Angeles time. You get three extra hours because they count the day over at 12am. You can keep going and have it count for the previous day.” This saved my bum.
- Have a good group of people who will encourage you/sprint with you. I didn’t have YWW last year, so I’m looking forward to having my people to support me. Wordsprints are crucial. They are so good about that.
- WORDSPRINT WORDSPRINT WORDSPRINT.
- read #5 again.
- Get some dark chocolate. It’s a good idea. (unless you don’t like dark chocolate. Or chocolate. Then don’t do that. Get something else.)
- Drink water!!! “Because you basically are a houseplant with more complicated emotions.”
- Learn to manage your time well. I know this isn’t something I’m good at, but when you know you need to reach a certain wordcount, it pushes you to finish things quickly.
- Learn to take breaks. Pause and walk around your house. Just breathe. Take little breaks. It’s a good and needed thing, friend.
So that’s what I learned.
What Are My Plans For This NaNo?
The project I chose for this NaNo is my WIP Mirage Of Shards!! (check out the snazzy new cover I made)
It’s so beautiful! You can read more about it here. I’m planning on adding it to my “In Progress” page after NaNo.
I’m hoping to win this year. I want to reach that 50k. Honestly, I think this WIP is gonna go beyond 50k. It’s turning into such a beautiful story and it feels like it’s gonna need to just run on the pages until my brain is dry.
I’m really excited about this story. God’s been working things into my outline that I need to learn myself, and it’s so cool seeing things form into a masterpiece. I love it. I can’t wait to get writing.
It’s true that waiting is the worst part of anything that’s stressful. Like the moments before big recital, the butterflies in my stomach, as the senior pastor at my church says, “are the size of buzzards.” JUST LET ME START. THIS IS KILLING ME.
But you know, hey. It’s okay.
Whatever happens is gonna be beautiful. I just keep dedicating this story to the Lord and keep moving forward. I’m staying alive so it’s all good.
Once again, Peej says it best.
And to wrap this up, I have some semi-sad news, friends.
I’m taking a small hiatus from The Introverted Raconteur.
*collective gasp of horror*
I know. I’m sorry. But it has to be done. *melodramatic stance and sigh*
I want to devote as much attention as possible in this next month to my writing. It’s gonna be pretty difficult as it is, you know, with school and all. This isn’t gonna be a permanent thing (heavens no), I promise. I’ll be back December 4th with a spectacular blog post. Believe me, I’m planning it right now. It’s gonna be FABULOUS.
(that gives me enough time to catch up with my sanity after NaNo. we’ll see if I can find it.)
Forgive me, my dears. It’s all for your safety. Believe me, you don’t want me writing blog posts during November. 🙂
I love you all so so much. I will see you on the other side.
Now go forth, mis amigos and amigas, and smile. Your day is just beginning. Make the best of it. Don’t procrastinate. Work hard. Make me proud. 🙂
Love you all,