Nanowrimo Winner

Until We Meet Again Nanowrimo!

November is over, meaning I survived Nanowrimo! It was a tight finish but I managed to win a day early. This was particularly important to me because I knew I was getting sick. I was convinced I wouldn’t be able to write at all on Nov. 30th. It’s now day three of being ill so I am glad I rushed myself there at the end. It was the hardest writing day. I was already feeling icky but I wasn’t to the point of needing to be in bed so I pushed through.

It probably sounds like I’m proud of myself, but I’m more relieved than anything. At the beginning of Nano I was convinced I didn’t care if I won or not. I was right until the first day I fell behind. I had somehow managed to stay ahead until right around the holidays. When I lost my lead a switch in my head flipped, or maybe a breaker blew. All the sudden I cared very much if I won.

There were a few times toward the end where I was writing 3000-5000 words a day. I must have smelled of desperation and crazy because even my dogs avoided me.

I have to stand by what I said last year at this time: Nanowrimo messes with your head. However, it’s not necessary a bad thing. After all, I did write every day, even if it was only a couple of hundred words. I did meet my goal and I managed to finish a complete first draft, after switching projects in the middle of the month. Word of advice if you do Nano: Do not switch projects in the middle of the month! I’m lucky to have held on to my sanity, mostly.

Will I do Nanowrimo again next year? Yes. Will I switch projects mid-month? Probably since I’ve done it two years in a row. It seems to be my M.O. Will I take a break from writing this month? Only some tiny ones. I tried to write yesterday and was unsuccessful due to some lovely concentration killing fever. I won’t try today because I need to rest and get better. I have a procedure for my back on Friday so that day will be shot for writing. My birthday is in the middle of the month. I’ll probably at least take the evening off.

And most important of all, fully justifying a break from writing for a day before and probably a few days after — Star Wars. I won’t go on opening weekend. That would be crazier than trying to write fifty thousand words in thirty days and I only have so much I can take of people. Perhaps I’ll go on New Years Eve, in the morning.

Other than those occasions, I intend to keep writing most days. I understand wanting to take a long break after so much writing crammed into so few days but it’s not worth it. There is no reason to give up the good habits developed during all the madness. Speaking of insanity, I’ll probably keep the same word count goal, 1667, but only on days I get to write. I don’t need to Nano every month but getting close wouldn’t hurt.

I do not intend to edit during December! I don’t even want to look at my story. I’m going to work on my regular WIP and ignore the fairy tale for now. I’d like to stay in creative mode for a while.

One last thing. I have a suggestion for anyone doing Nanowrimo next year. Write something new. Three times I tried to work on a something I’d already started. The first time I only reached half my goal. The second two years I switched projects mid-stream because I got stuck.

A new project comes with excitement, anticipation and a lot of words! If you’re already half-way through something you’re probably also half into editor mode. Taking a break from your WIP for one month won’t be bad for you. It might even make your muse happy, something all writers should strive for.

Congratulations to everyone who participated this year. No matter how many words you wrote, you got them out of your head an on paper, which is good!

I Won!

Yay! A few days ago when I only had 11,000 words left to write I was absolutely sure I would win. The day before yesterday I was not so sure. Thanks to medical junk and Thanksgiving I had fallen behind for the first time all month. It wasn’t that I wrote 1667 every day, I didn’t. What kept me ahead was a series of really good days that made up for the really bad days.

Still, I was worried. Then yesterday I was cautiously hopeful. I managed to write over 3000 words, getting me back on track. Then today happened. I woke up in a lot of pain, more than normal and my first thought echoed a common phrase heard in my household full of teenagers: Of course! I got up, ate and watched the latest two episodes of Doctor Who (wow!). Then I cleaned off my desk and dresser, which was extremely necessary. It wasn’t all that much work but I was exhausted by the time I finished.

Between my weakness, several sneezing fits and a general all around yicky feeling, I was forced to acknowledge something was wrong. I’m hoping I’m wrong but I suspect I’m sick. Tomorrow will probably be much worse if it goes the way it normally does when I get colds.

This mean I absolutely had to finish up Nanowrimo today. I worked in small bursts and part of the writing I did using dictation software (Dragon NaturallySpeaking, which is on sale at Amazon right now). I only got it yesterday so I’m still learning but it was helpful when I scrunched myself down in my desk chair and babbled out a scene when I didn’t feel well enough to sit up and type. It can actually understand my Texas accent, most of the time. I really do need to learn to say want in a way that doesn’t sound like won’t.

I’m only willing to use the software with my door closed and when my husband is not here. Since he was only gone for a while I switched to regular typing during my next try to write. He was in another room fixing something electronic but I won’t even order a pizza over the phone if I think someone might hear me!

I had to stop typing frequently because as the day wore on my head got more foggy and I was a bit light headed. I didn’t know it at the time but I had a tiny fever, just enough to mess with me. So if this post seems a little disjointed, you’ll understand.

I’m trying to work up some enthusiasm about winning but what I really feel is relieved. I am happy but any celebrating will have to wait.

On the super, wonderful, spectacular plus side, I’m actually happy with most of what I wrote. I know it needs some serious revision but that’s okay. I have something to improve upon instead of a hunk of junk I’d rather burn.

Nanowrimo Messes With Your Head!

In a recent post I said that Nanowrimo was for crazy people. I must amend that. I’ve decided that it’s Nanowrimo that actually makes one crazy. I think each participant becomes several different people at once. There is the person that deals with family and friends. There is the writer that is actually writing. There is the nut job (at least for me) that throws in insane ideas and asks questions that are designed to change everything in the story. The depressed person in the middle of the month that believes they will never finish makes an appearance. Week three either deepens that or brings out a frantic happy person that can hardly stop the words to sleep. We can’t forget each character that’s being written about since they each have a part of the writer in them. Oh and whoever the hell that is that can’t their mind on the project at hand!

In the beginning of November everyone is enthusiastic and idea are flowing freely. It’s an amazing time and can make your story grown and evolve and become rainbows and unicorns. Then, if you win Nanowrimo, you go back and look over what you’ve written and realize you were just as crazy in the beginning as you were in the end, just a different crazy.

For me personally, I feel relieved, happy and slightly let down. My husband was awesome and amazing. He bought me a card that made me almost cry. The other people in my life that are not writers basically gave me a golf clap when I finished. My kids were more happy that they don’t have to eat only Spaghettios, ramen and slow cooker meals anymore. The people in my nano region were like ‘good job, now leave me alone so I can finish.’ Then I looked over what I’d written. Luckily it was more bare bones than awful, but I realized something. I had written half each of two stories. There was just too many things happening for one. That’s not a terrible problem to have I suppose. Except now I have to go write the other halves when I thought I would be getting into editing mode. I feel lucky that I don’t feel the need to throw anything out completely. Also, the habit of writing every chance I get is pretty ingrained now.

If this seems incoherent, well that just proves the point.

Did that really just happen?

I got on a roll today and really into what I was writing. I’ve barely moved in the last five hours. My daughter interrupted me to ask if I was making dinner tonight. I got to a stopping point and went to see what we had. I got that all worked out and started and came back to my laptop. I was a little thrown off and had trouble getting back into it. I decided to check my word count. I figured if I was on track that I would stop for a while and either pick back up tonight or start again in the morning. My word count was 50,436. I almost fell out of my chair. I scrolled up and looked over what I had written today, 5607 words worth, just to make sure I hadn’t lost my mind and written gibberish. Last week I decided there was no way I could possibly finish on time. I don’t even know what came over me. I’m ridiculously happy and I hope all the good feels I have going on carry me through editing next month. I’m going to keep going but soon I think I may have to take a few days off from writing. For now I’m glad that the ugly tense feeling I’ve had since the beginning of week three is going away. I’ve decided that everyone who does nanowrimo, myself included, must be crazy. Crazy feels pretty good right now though!

Good luck to all the other Nano’s out there. Congrats to the other winners