Samantha’s NaNoWriMo Experience
Ok, I swear, one year I will make it to the elusive 50k word count! Until then, I’ll keep trying. Nevertheless, I did write more this year than I did last year. A part of me thinks it’s the time of year. It’s so close to the holidays and in the past I was prepping for exams.
NANOWRIMO WHY CAN’T YOU HAPPEN WHEN LIFE IS SLOW?!
Excuses, excuses. Ya, ya. The one upside of this year’s experience is that I finally prepped my story like I never had before. It’s really frustrating to be honest. Here I am with a FULL plan, and I struggle to find time to write. I swear, even with COVID, November flew by. Remember June? Ya, that month lasted 20 years. UGH. Well there’s always next year, right?!
What I Learned During NaNoWriMo 2020
- I need to stop editing while I write. I could not for the life of me just leave what I wrote alone. It could be because I have big gaps in between writing sessions. I felt the need and pull to reread what I wrote last time, which only made me what to rewrite. Pfft, that isn’t helpful and it certainly won’t help me increase my word count. I think next year I’ll open a new doc for every session. I can’t edit what I can’t see, right?
- Get yourself a writing buddy. There is nothing quite like a little friendly competition. Even if you know you are going to lose. (Ya, I’m talking about you, Amber. I see your final word count. SMH.) Anyways, nothing will light a fire under your butt and get those fingers moving across that keyboard like knowing your friend is making some serious progress.
- Separate work writing from pleasure writing. Guys, if I could count all the blogs I wrote here and all the copy I write for work (Advertising/Marketing), I would have BLOWN 50k words out of the water. My plan next year is to find the time to decompress from all of the writing I do for work and schedule specific time for writing. I have a bad habit of making work an excuse and wanting to read a book over writing a book. Oh, the dilemma!
To give you a little idea as to what I was working on, here is a mood board. I had plans on making one for each character, but I never got around to it. Be sure to take a look at Ambers, too, and you’ll undoubtedly see a common theme – ha! Maybe one day we’ll share what we’re working on with all of you.
Amber’s NaNoWriMo Experience
Okay. There is it. My final 2020 NaNoWriMo word count: 15,169. As you can see I didn’t make the 50,000 word goal. I didn’t even make my own personal goal (30,000), but this NaNoWriMo was not a fail.
And here’s why.
It wasn’t a fail because while I only wrote 15,000 words, that was 15,000 more than I had before. I knew I wasn’t going to make the 50,000 goal (I just didn’t have the time), but my goal wasn’t to pound out a bunch of words, it was to rekindle my passion for writing and make progress in this story I wanted to tell.
This story began in last year’s NaNoWriMo and I’ve been sitting on it for a year now. I’ve started other projects and tabled this one because while I wanted to tell the story, I couldn’t figure out how I wanted to tell it. And it didn’t feel right to write this story until I could give it what it deserved.
During one of my and Samantha’s many writing brainstorming sessions, we both found inspiration at the same moment. Like two big bright light bulbs literally going off on top of our heads. Finally, I figured this story out. All the pieces of the puzzle that had been missing finally made themselves clear.
So, while I didn’t reach the 50,000 word goal, I now have a story that I’m passionate about, characters I love, and a rekindled love for writing that has been missing for a long time.
What I Learned During NaNoWriMo 2020
- Stop editing every word as you write it. For the first time in my life I wrote to write and not to edit. I’m a perfectionist, so I couldn’t move on from a chapter without making sure it was perfect. But this year I decided that wasn’t allowed and it was freeing. I actually wrote more than I ever have. My theory now is I can’t edit a book that I haven’t written.
- Write with friends. Honestly. Know how to hold yourself accountable to a word count? Find yourself a friend (thank you Samantha) who will check up on you and harass you to write if needed. Or, start a blog. Something about saying to a bunch of readers I was doing NaNoWriMo really helped hold myself a bit more accountable. Couldn’t come to this wrap-up saying I wrote nothing, right?
- I’m not a pantser. I’ve never outlined a book in my life. I hate the outlining process and it saps all my creativity. But, not having an outline has also always been my mistake because I never know what to write next. This time I made an outline. Okay, I made part of an outline. I’ve been doing it in pieces so it doesn’t sap my creativity as much. But just having the next ten scenes mapped out has made moving from one chapter to the next so much easier. Knowing where I need to be and not just winging it has helped. So, I’m not a pantster, I’m more of a plantster.
As a final note, here’s a mood board for my book. In one of my bouts of lacking inspiration but wanting to be productive nonetheless, I threw this together. Think Jack the Ripper meets blood witches meets English aristocracy.
How did everyone else’s NaNoWriMo go? Please share your books with us! We’d love to hear what everyone else is writing and support our fellow writers!