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My NaNoWrimo Experience (2019)

This month I took part in NaNoWrimo, or National Novel Writing Month, in which participants are tasked with writing a 50,000 word novel, finishing by 23:59 on November 30th. I’ve known about this for a while and even took it on a few years ago but I didn’t get far at all on my first attempt!

I prepped more this year, getting information, characters and a plot outline done before November 1st. Even though I feel very weird right now and the thought of not having a clue what’s next is horrible, I was glad that I didn’t have uni or much else to occupy my time so I could put as much effort into writing as possible.

If you follow me on Twitter, you’ll have seen me Tweeting my progress. At the start, I got straight into the novel then restarted it a total of three times. Nothing felt like it flowed or went as well as it did in my head. Eventually, I realised starting again wouldn’t get me to the 50k word limit any quicker, so I soldiered on with the most recent attempt as a starting point and went with it.

By the end of the first week, I was on a total of 4,557 words. I wasn’t completely sold on my WIP but I liked that I hadn’t thrown the towel in early and that I was doing something worthwhile after completing my degree. By the end of the second week, I got to 10,000+ words.

I think I struggled a bit though. Halfway through I lost what I wanted to say, or everything I did say just didn’t look quite right and I had a few moments where I thought am I cut out for writing? Will I ever be? Seeing how other people were doing only made me get more and more into a slump, and the fact that NaNoWrimo coincided with a lack of development on the job front had me feeling strange. I was happy I was writing but I felt lonely, hopeless in everything else.

Now I’ve completed NaNoWrimo. I didn’t reach 50,000 words. I wrote as much as I could, devoted as much time as I was willing, and I finished on 23k. I think, looking back, I could’ve done more. Like a lot of aspects in my life, I know I could’ve put more effort in. Even though I’m sad I didn’t reach the goal, and it makes me question whether I could ever be a writer, I should be proud. I stuck to it, I wrote as much as I did and it makes me feel like – if I put my mind to it – I can write something I’ll be proud of soon.Did you do NaNoWrimo this year? How did you get on?

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