NaNoWriMo – The Confession

Big cheers please, my friend Michele from Savannah Photography completed the 50,000 words  in 30 days for NaNoWriMo.

I’m expecting that when her book is published the dedication will read “To my dear friend Janine who provided the link (literally) to NaNoWriMo that enabled me to produce this bestseller thereby rescuing me from a life of poverty and obscurity – I hereby bequeath half the profits”. What do you think are my chances?

Well that’s that – NaNoWriMo done and dusted moving on – what? You want to know how I did? Gosh you people have memories like elephants! Yes I did have a go, sadly I was defeated by the process, although apparently that’s not uncommon – who would have thought? I made a miserable 9,000 words and am hoping to salvage a short story out of it.

However, along the way I learnt some valuable lessons, which due to my generous nature I intend to inflict upon you.

  1. Check your diary BEFORE you commit to writing a novel in 30 days. Attending conferences in other cities and states taking six days out of the writing month makes the task that much more difficult .
  2. If you are going to be away for six days of the month for god’s sake purchase a laptop so you are not trying to handwrite your darn novel.
  3. Only write your novel on a computer that is NOT connected to the internet. Twitter, Facebook, blogging are all distractions you cannot afford during this process.
  4. Spend the two weeks before the challenge madly cooking every dish imaginable. Freeze. Teach family how to defrost.
  5. Do Not and I repeat NOT try to complete two writing challenges in the same month. Of course it was madness to undertake both NaNoWriMo and NaBloPoMo at the same time, you all knew it was madness, you were just too polite to say so.
  6. There is a chance I may suck at writing fiction, I’m not saying for sure, but it’s a possibility we can’t discount.
  7. For goodness sake work out a plot BEFORE the 1st of November – I was 4,000 words in when I realised I didn’t like these people, they were going nowhere and I had no idea how to get them out of the mess I had created for them.
  8. If you have never read a war novel in your life DON’T try to write one. Although as I mentioned in a previous post writing what I know meant shopping lists and teacher notes, so help me, I got so desperate at one point I made the mother in the story write a shopping list. Getting a sense of the quality of the piece now?
  9. No matter how strong your desire to write, and how supportive your family try to be, you cannot remove yourself from the machinations of daily life, there will be dance recitals, band performances and school display nights to attend.
  10. Writing a novel takes a LOT of time and effort. If you are serious about getting to the end you HAVE to schedule daily writing time.

So technically my first failure for Project 44 – although it is a twelve month exercise in self-improvement, so if I can revisit the writing a novel thing in the next eleven months I may still have a chance of success. I’ll let you know (but only if I get it done).

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8 thoughts on “NaNoWriMo – The Confession

  1. Janine – “Aim high,” they say, and you did. “Be aggressive.” You were. And look! You have 9,000 words to show for it! If you hadn’t attempted this crazy process, you would have thought 9,000 words was impossible. (Also, you have all those lessons.)

    It was time well spent, I say, and I’m proud of you for trying.

  2. Janine, you’ve come up with some really good advice here. Honestly and truly, and lessons learned certainly do count for a lot.

    I have a new challenge for you (although I cannot figure out those crazy acronyms!!) It’s NaNoAdviseMo. See if you can come up with one little gem of wisdom, formed from life’s folly, to share each day of the month! 🙂 Then, maybe in your next life you can be a therapist.

  3. Pingback: A New Year Begins | Shambolic Living

  4. Pingback: 7 x 7 Link Award | Shambolic Living

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