Well, this is one new thing I definitely did not see coming!
Every year in November, NaNoWriMo a.k.a. National Novel Writing Month begins. The aim? To write 50,000 words (the equivalent of a completed novel) in the eleventh month of the year. I’ve known about this challenge for years but never felt confident enough to give it a go until now. This isn’t a new thing I completed in a day, but it is something I finished today, making it the biggest something new to date!
I didn’t have a story burning inside me that I couldn’t wait to get down on paper, this was something that I created a rough outline for on October 31st. Yeah, I didn’t make it easy for myself. It turns up coming up with a whole book from scratch isn’t that easy! 50,000 words over 30 days works out at roughly 1700 words a day, which some days I could do easily, and others I barely managed half that. My book, a murder mystery/crime story, involved multiple characters in multiple storylines and was very easy to get lost in. When I would inevitably write a character into a corner that I didn’t know how to get them out of, I would leave them there and start writing a different part, flitting around throughout the story so I could get my word count in for the day.
I’d started the challenge with a friend who was struggling to keep up, so around halfway through we started having a set time every day where we would write for non-stop for an hour or two, racing each other to get as many words in as we could. This “sprint” was the right amount of stress for us both to stay on track as we never had time to overthink anything for too long and just wrote and wrote. As the days went on, I found it harder to try and string everything I’d written together, and although I did finish my story (I clocked in at 52,000 words!) I definitely need to revisit and sort out the structure.
Never in my life did I think I’d actually write a book, and I think without the time pressure of NaNoWriMo, and the daily support of my fellow writing friend, I wouldn’t have been so successful. My new day challenge has only proven to me that I can try and succeed at many things I’d never imagined, and try and fail at others without much consequence. The successes and the failures together have given me the confidence to try this very big thing, and I am incredibly proud of myself for actually writing a book! In a month!
Writing this now, the day after finishing, it seems hard to believe it actually happened. I’m determined not to leave it in its first draft stage and will revisit it soon to spend more time fine-tuning it, but I’ll be very happy to not thinking about it for a little while at least.
I WROTE A BOOK!!