Thoughts At One In The Morning. I hope you don't mind my highjacking the post a bit Jessica :) I'm a bit brain dead at the moment.
The good new is that I did it! November was going to be an insane month anyway regardless of NaNoWriMo. I had two weddings that I was heavily involved in, work was (and still is) complete bedlam and to top everything off, I was sick for a big chunk of the month. Still, I forced myself to find the time to write. Sometimes I'd spend whole weekends in front of the computer at the expense of friends, family and household chores. Take away was as familiar sight and I missed out on a lot of good TV. But the result is that I pushed past the 50,000 word limit and won at approximately 11:24pm on November 30th!! Woohoo!!
NaNo has officially been over for three days and the effect is quite noticeable. I don't wake up with an impending sense of urgency or the uncontrollable urge to disregard all else but my writing. In a way it's a bit of a relief. In another way, it's really killed my momentum. So anyway, here comes the discussion on all the things I've learned:
Without the motivation of NaNo I wouldn't have even started my novel. I keep mentioning this point because I know it's true. Usually, I suffer from a complete case of being overwhelmed by an idea to the point where I know what I want the ending to be but have no desire to go on the journey. NaNoWriMo essentially solved this problem for me. The constant pressure to keep writing ensured that I pushed past the proverbial glass wall and once the writing started it usually flowed well. The other amazing thing about NaNoWriMo is the feeling that though I was sitting cramped in my study all by myself, all over the world, other writers were doing the exact same thing and that was really comforting.
The Not So Good:
I think the pressure of making word count made me a little sick. On top of the constant cold I already had. Mostly this is due to my poor planning. I spent a great deal of time being excited about NaNoWriMo and much less time planning what I was going to write or preparing a proper plot. On the physical side of writing, sometimes I couldn't sleep because all I could think about was my story and sometimes my back really hurt from hunching over so much.
-At one point, when I was 10,000 words behind with only two days to go, I considered giving up. My brain had accepted that it wasn't going to happen. My husband said it was a good effort with everything that had happened and I thought so too. Yet I continued to sit in front of the computer regardless and wrote and wrote and wrote. Lesson learned: obsessiveness pays off sometimes.
-My spelling and grammar are atrocious. Seriously. To the point where I will no longer call myself a writer. I'm a story teller masquerading behind an established and accepted means of telling said stories. Thank goodness for spell check and Google.
-No matter what I do, I cannot write a proper love triangle. Even if the characters want to go that way I just can't write two distinctive male leads. Am now contemplating a very early death for one of these guys.
-And finally, unlike other hobbies I've enjoyed only to find I hated when I tried to turn them into a business, I love telling stories. Despite the sleepless nights, the sickness, the physical discomfort. I love it.
It was a wild ride. Would I do it again? For sure. Now that I'm a veteran, I know what the score is and will be much better prepared. Next year I'm going to be crazy and see if I can write an entire novel (some 80,000 words usually) in one month. I'm going to be good and start planning for it very early on indeed.
To all my fellow NaNos, whether you did or didn't win, it's been an awesome experience and I'm grateful for all your support. To all my blogger friends, thanks for putting up with my sporadic posts and comments. I feel somehow wiser all of a sudden.