NaNoWriMo 2010 Mission Accomplished

I survived another November… And, man, was it full of awesome. Another NaNoWriMo done and dusted. Another 50,000 words to show for it.

The highlights:

  • Much more challenging than last year (a good thing!). I didn’t have much in the way of an outline or plan, so for the most part I was just winging it. Or, in NaNo lingo, pants-ing it. I’m a big-time planner, so it was good to get out of my comfort zone for a change.
  • About twice as fun as last year. Two main reasons for this: I’d done it all before so I knew what to expect, and I actually liked the story I was writing. That last one makes a big difference in terms of motivation, as you’d imagine.
  • I discovered the genius of word sprints (setting a time limit and just going for it with the aim of writing as much as you can). Writing in 300 to 500-word blocks several times throughout the day is waaaay more achievable and less of a brain drain than sitting down and doing the 2,000-word hard slog until you’re finished. Also, I ended up writing more words per day when doing this, which was a nice side effect.
  • About half-way through, I realised I wasn’t writing book one of my trilogy, it was more like book two or three. Yeah, that was an interesting discovery. I’m actually pretty damn excited to expand on what I’ve already written and figure out what came before it.
  • I found my passion for writing again and realised I hadn’t actually lost it, it’s just that I hadn’t maintained the habit of daily writing. I plan to continue with my story, but first I need to spend some time organising what I’ve already got (it’s a huge jumbled mess) and doing more brainstorming and worldbuilding (the fun stuff!) before I can continue the writing part.
  • Reading while writing influences my writing style waaay too much. I think it’s because I haven’t found my own voice yet, my own writing style, y’know. Then again, when a book is so good that you can’t put it down, you’re at its mercy. There were a few days when writing definitely came second.

If you participated this year: Good on ya! You took part in something that takes a lot of balls, attention span, and time. Most folks who say “I want to write a book someday” never do, so be proud of the fact that you actually set out to do it, no matter what the end result was. And if you won this year: Yeah, yeah, don’t let it go to your head. You’ve got December to look forward to… The month of editing. Muahahaha! (But more seriously, congrats!). I’ll be doing it all over again next year if anyone wants to join me (I hope I won’t have to bully too many of you into it… Ahh, who am I kidding, that’s half the fun).

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