Yet something within me told me I could do it! And I did it. 50,000 words slayed during November 2014 and finished with 3 days to spare!
Today I thought I would celebrate with a small wrap party and give you an insight as to how I was feeling throughout the month, as well as HOW I kept going.
After the first week, I was 3 days ahead and feeling darned awesome about the whole project. I felt as though it may be entirely possible to cross the finish line. Regardless of a sinus infection of epic proportions and having to take a strong course of antibiotics to combat it (which in turn made me feel icky) I wrote on. I would NOT recommend taking this road - I daresay my writing in the early days will need MUCH editing.
Total Words Written: 17,653
Week two dawned and the PMT that had been building while I battled the sinus issues hit me and my body gave out. THREE whole days spent on the couch moaning and groaning and feeling the weight of lifting my pen all too difficult. I came close to not bothering, but something within me pushed me on. I still wrote. The words will NOT be the best, but I soldiered on and ended up ditching the index card system I had started (which I regretted almost immediately and am STILL kicking myself over today!) I continued to eek out as many words as humanly possible.
Total Words Written: 10,270
After the struggles during week two, I knew I had to get back on track, the weekend was promising with a further 3,512, followed by and EPIC count of 3,714 on Monday 17th. I kept up the pace until I hit the 40K mark and that's about the point it all started to fall apart. Negative thoughts crept into my mind. Why bother? Who would ever read this story? What was the point?
Back and forth I went and I could not seem to pull the distant threads of my story together, but I wrote on. I kept telling myself word count first - edit later. I knew there were too many dialogue scenes and not enough action. My action scenes felt they were starting to repeat while I desperately tried tying it together and still I wrote on. So close to 50K I could practically SMELL the finishing line. When my pen snapped in two on Friday I nearly gave up, lucky for me I found a nearly identical pen and kept on writing.
Total Words Written: 14,213
NINE days to go and my words dried up. I hit a wall of writers block and less than 8,000 to finish. Knowing I had a long weekend away & that I needed to organise several things - I was becoming super stressed. I could see the glow from the finish line and still those words WOULD NOT COME! I plodded through the week and it wasn't until Wednesday night that I finally managed to push on & hoped I had enough for a finish. I awoke eager on Thursday morning at a silly hour and typed up my words... I was short by 237 - I quickly scrawled them across the page, typed them in and copied them into the NaNo validator.
Total Words Written: 7,872
According to NaNoWriMo word count: 50,361
According to my Word Count: 50,019
(ironic that I could have saved myself those 200 words on Thursday morning!)
I was thrilled & yes I simply had to share the winners badge twice!
How am I feeling now the words are done and my story is well on the way to being written? I am exhausted! I take my hats off to many of my fellow winners who are now looking at editing their stories or writing on to finish their stories. For me - right now - I am taking a small break. I will return to it in the new year and see if there is any substance in it worth saving and editing.
Doing NaNoWriMo and actually completing it showed me that I AM capable of focus and I am capable of writing a story under pressure. While I wouldn't say it is the best way (or only way) to write a story, it does get words on paper. Words that had been floating around inside my head for a year or two. Words that would have remained still a dream.
I've been calling myself a writer for ages, but it wasn't until now having completed and WINNING NaNo that I feel I have earned that title!
The good news is - I really, really enjoyed writing my story! And I am not sick of writing stories yet (which is always a good thing!)