Thursday, 30 November 2017

NaNoWriMo (a.k.a the reason I disappeared off the face of the planet)

So as you may have noticed, my posts have been pretty much non existent this month! I usually post around four times a month, but I’ve not managed to find the time even for one during November. Don’t worry, there is a reason for this. I’m not just abandoning my blog. This month, I participated in NaNoWriMo, and all my writing endeavours ended up being put into my novel. If you’re reading this, you probably already know what NaNoWriMo is, but if not, basically it’s a challenge to write 50k words in a month. The challenge starts on November 1st and ends on November 30th, giving participants just one month to get down 50k words. I usually participate in this every other year. I started in 2013, and have participated in Camp NaNoWriMo, which is a similar event that takes place in the summer that is a little more relaxed, as it allows you to set your own goal. The November event is the main one, and is a little more extreme. More people fail the target word count than those who “win,” so every time I do it I’m convinced I’ll lose! However, so far, I have somehow managed to win each time! My first draft is nowhere near completion, but I’m 50k words closer to my dream of one day publishing a book than I was at the start of the month, so I’m happy about that!

So what happens now? In previous events, I’ve actually managed to finish telling my story in the 50k words. This time however, I feel as if I’m only about ¾ of the way through. There is still a lot to tell. The characters still have a lot of development to go through, and romances are still developing. I felt as if I took a leap of faith with this one, as for the first time since I started doing NaNo, I went for a contemporary idea rather than a fantasy one. Now, if you know me you’ll already know that fantasy is my favourite genre. There are quite a few YA contemporary books that I adore, but most of my favourites are in the fantasy genre. I had no idea how to write contemporary, but I really wanted to give myself a challenge, and do something I wasn’t comfortable with to see if I could actually do it. It turns out I can! As with most writers, my first draft is messy. There are events that don’t make sense in the order that I’ve wrote them, there’s some very questionable dialogue, the formatting is all over the place, there’s typos galore, but you know what, non of that matters. What matters is that I have taken a giant leap towards completing a book that I can be proud of.

I have a problem that whatever I write, I think it isn’t good enough. I am truly my own worst critic, and my first two attempts at NaNoWriMo ended with me completely abandoning the projects once November had ended. Seriously, I have never once gone back to edit, or even to read over them. I just thought they weren’t salvageable, that they were so badly written that there was no point in trying to turn them into anything worth reading. This time, I don’t want to do that. I want to finish the first draft, I want to read over my work, and then start putting everything in chronological order. I want to edit, I want to write, rewrite and rewrite some more. I want to get it to the point where I feel it is the best I can do on my own, and then I want to show it to my friends, get an editor, maybe even get an agent! Of course this will take months, even years to achieve. I might decide that this, like my previous attempts just isn’t good enough, and next time, I’ll come back with a brand new idea. Whatever happens and whatever I decide, I hope that one day I will achieve my dream of being a published author. For now I’m going to take a little writing break and get back to what I do best, which is reading and reviewing books!