I’m back! Did you guys miss me?
Okay so NaNoWriMo is over and I’m trying to catch up on sleep again, so I thought I’d share about my experience! It was crazy, not to mention a lot of things happened in life outside of my computer screen as well, therefore doubling the insanity. It was equally painful and fun.
But it was worth it. Wanna know why???
*imagine that one gif of Kermit flipping out*
I WON NANOWRIMO.
I am still astounded. I don’t even know how it happened. Apparently, the book had more to it than I expected. *shrugs*
In case you missed it last time, I decided to begin a new project which you can read about here.
I won the month with 55,465 words! That’s a lot, folks! I’m not even done with the book. Which could potentially be a problem… XD Because I didn’t even reach the 25% mark… YIKES.
But honestly, it’s weird to think that this is the longest thing I have written. And it’s not even done. I think it’s really cool, though, because it seems like I’ve hit a vein of inspiration. There’s something here that I’m supposed to write about. I’m not exactly sure what it is yet, but it’ll show up soon enough.
Even though it’s been very difficult and annoying at times, I love this project a whole bunch and the characters even more.
So did I meet my goals?
Sure, I won NaNoWriMo, but did I accomplish what I wanted to accomplish? It’s funny because yeah, I got 55k words, but at first I felt like I didn’t get the best part of my mind out there. I don’t really know if that’s true. I could be crazy. Who knows. I’m just happy I got the words out because now I can go back and fix and perfect and add words as I see fit. And that’s something I am thrilled about.
That’s something that I love about writing. It’s also a reason I hate talking to people or giving speeches. I’m always paranoid that I won’t convey my brain properly. I know, it’s really crazy. But it’s always been a reason I love writing so much. You get to go back and edit everything you previously wrote. You get to make sure it’s really what you want.
I love that sort of freedom. Just explode on paper and then return after a month or so, cringe a little and fix it, but in the end, it gets so much better.
What did I learn this time around?
I actually learned a lot during last month, believe it or not. Some of them were kind of “duh” moments, but some were really insightful.
1. It’s okay to push yourself. Of course, there always is an unhealthy kind of pushing. But you can challenge yourself. You won’t die. I promise you. If you feel up to it, always push the expectations up a little. You are a very capable person.
2. The smallest things can be motivation. I had a tiny bag of dark chocolate on my desk for a month. It didn’t seem like much for a while, but I’d incentivize myself with little bits of chocolate, and apparently, I’m a sucker. It worked. Who knew. Another thing I used was YouTube. I would find a video I wanted to watch and then say to myself “hey listen you want to watch this right? K do the words and then we watch it.” As I said, I am a total sucker.
3. It’s okay to press pause on things for a while. I did this with my blog. Sorry, you guys, but I would have literally have lost my mind. I mean, it’s already kind of lost; we know this. But I would have lost it even more. It’s healthy and very much needed to know how to say no to certain things when you know you are nearing your limit. Maaaaybe you can do all of it, but if the worst happens and you end up dropping everything, that’s a bad thing, friend. You are going to never want to do all of the things again. Believe me, I’ve learned from experience.
4. Set realistic expectations. Honestly, I’m a person who tends to look at my capabilities with rose-colored glasses. Not so much the world around me, but I look at myself that way. I always feel like I can do more than I actually can. Does anyone else have this problem? You just wake up on day 13 of NaNoWriMo and go, “Today I’m going to write 10k words!” Well, if you’re anything like me, you do nothing all day and then when you have time, you look at the computer or writing material and go “eh” and then sleep. So yeah that was a thing that I want to cure next time.
5. Fifth and final thing, I noticed that I am capable of writing waaaay more than I feel like writing. If I set a timer for myself, I can get around 500 words in twenty minutes! It was kind of a revelation to my writer’s brain. Apparently, when I have a set time, I can trick my brain into working for me. Good deal, Madeleine. Good deal.
Also, do y’all want to read a snippet of the book? Obviously it’s the first draft but I thought it’d be cool to share.
Duncan smiled at him, then turned to Jaxen. Jaxen wasn’t quite sure of how he wanted this goodbye to go. He had said goodbye in his heart many more times than actually doing it out loud. He knew he wanted to say something, but how would it come across? Would it be weird? Who knew.
But the boy approached him, and all of the fear about it just seemed to disperse. Jaxen, for about the millionth time that day, wondered how the boy had the ability to do that. Duncan rested a hand on his shoulder and looked into Jaxen’s weird mix of brown and deeper brown eyes. He’d never really had people take time to look at his eyes, and Duncan was. The bright blue eyes seemed to gleam a little bit as he watched his friend.
“I’m going to give you the same spiel I’ve given to every boy who has ever come near my sister. Coran has gotten this one multiple times.”
The boy in the background piped up at this statement.
“It’s true! I probably have it memorized by now. Don’t worry, Jaxen, if you don’t catch everything he says the first time because I can recite it for you later.”
Duncan barely was able to hide his wide grin as he resumed his considerably serious facial expression.
“As a man who will be around my sister, I expect you to look out for her just the same as you would for a sibling of your own. I expect you to give her the hard truth when needed, and to protect her from attacks of any kind.”
“Really? Are you telling him that? I really think he should meet her before assuming that he’ll need to protect her from anything attacking her. Honestly, if he needs to be worried about anything, it’s gonna be her attacking him.”
“I’m not even kidding.” He paused and held up his fist. Tracing the large line down his wrist, he shook his head, as if terrified. “She did this to me. I made the mistake of choosing her as a partner for a hand-to-hand combat duel. That,” he paused again for dramatic effect as Duncan rolled his eyes, “was quite possibly the worst mistake I have ever made.”
“Coran, are you done? We’re having a talk here, and I don’t remember inviting you.”
The boy on the other bed sighed very audibly and flopped back into a lying position.
“Okay fine, you educate him on what you want him to do, and then I’ll amend the statements later when he’s on his deathbed because of some crazed female psychopath. I like this plan.”
“Oh shut up, will you…”
Duncan couldn’t keep this up for much longer. His face was red and he was shaking a little, but he kept going.
“You know what, Duncan,” Coran was laughing uncontrollably now. “It’s not my fault that I have to warn people about Zarah, okay?”
“Shut up, Coran.”
Jaxen wasn’t quite sure to make of all of this, and he especially wasn’t sure what he wanted to believe about Duncan’s sister. But the sight of these two bickering and laughing made him want to laugh along with them. He had a wide smile on his face when Duncan finally gained his composure back.
“I am serious, though. I never wanted her out in battle. I wanted her to stay at home, but then there was no home. She hated piloting school so she asked to be transferred here. I would never have agreed, except it was the only thing she truly loved.”
Jaxen was surprised that Coran hadn’t cut in yet, but he was sitting on his bed with his head down.
“I want her safe. If I lost her too, I couldn’t live with myself. Letting her go into battle…”
“It’s okay, Duncan, we’ve all promised to keep Zarah safe. I mean, never letting her know that we’re protecting her… because when she knows it’s bad news for all of us… but from a distance.”
Jaxen laid a hand on Duncan’s shoulder.
“I can see you care about her, and I promise.”
The light returned to Duncan’s eyes and he grew quiet again.
“But uh-” Jaxen stuttered, afraid to ask- “do I need to worry about her… I don’t know… hurting me.”
Duncan’s smile grew twice as large.
“Like Coran has mentioned, stay on her good side, and don’t let her know that you’re watching her. Because she will come after you.”
Jaxen felt suddenly less safe.
“It’ll be fine, she’ll like you.”
Despite Duncan’s reassuring words, Jaxen still felt quite unsettled. Coran jumped up off the bed and ran into Duncan, sending both of them against the concrete wall.
“Come on,” he whined, “I thought you said you were leaaaaving. Jaxen and I want to go find the people and the things. Leave us alone, Duncan.”
Duncan raised his hands up as if to protect himself from the other boy. If he had been trying to protect himself it obviously was too late. Jaxen found himself laughing along with them, which surprised him more than anything. But in the same thought, it wasn’t that surprising to him. These two boys were more kind and friendly than anyone else he’d ever met before. Not like he had met more people… but it was a start.
One of those characters didn’t exist before November. Apparently my brain decides to add characters like a crazy person when it has a deadline. I don’t even know…
So that’s what I learned and did this NaNoWriMo. It’s only the brief condensed version so I might bring up other things at later times. Hope that’s okay. 🙂
Overall, I had a great time with this year. It was an incredible and stretching experience. I’m so thankful that I had time to participate. NaNoWriMo 2019, here we come!
I’m glad to back with you guys; I suppose I should mention that too. I missed blogging and all of that jazz! But I’m back now! So WOOOOO! 😀
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,
P.S. I added Mirage of Shards to the project page. 🙂 ❤