This last November (and October…and September…and maybe August) I have been really slacking on this website. I really don’t have much of an excuse for August and September except for the all to common “I was busy.” However, in October and November I had (somewhat) of a legitimate excuse. This year I decided to participate in the National November Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) so for the second half of October I spent it deciding what story I wanted to pursue and planning it out. Then in November I started writing.
NaNoWriMo started in 1999 with 21 participants. Since then the event has been steadily growing until this year which had more than 430,000 participants! It’s a pretty simple concept: for the month of November you need to write at least 50,000 words that cumulates into some sort of story. Basically, you speed write a short novel. It’s quite a challenging task and I’ve never done it before so I figured why not try it.
At first, I figured it wouldn’t be that bad. I mean 1667 words a day doesn’t sound that hard. On the first few days the words just flowed. I did my 1667 words and then some. Of course, after about 4 days of that it all came to a screeching halt. After the opening scenes the story just sort of stopped. In all my planning I only really got the skeleton of the story together. I had all the big scenes planned, but I realized I never finalized the bridges that linked the scenes together. I slugged through the first 10,000 words. I kept hoping that once I reached a certain point in the story it would start flowing again. Well, I kept holding out hope and it never came. At the end of 30 days I ended up with the slim 13,530 words. Quite an impressive amount for me, but a colossal failure for the challenge. Even though I wasn’t able to successfully complete NaNoWriMo I did learn a lot.
For starters, writing a book is hard! I mean, I always knew that it was hard but now I have a tiny glimpse of how authors actually work. I know it’s a bit presumptuous, but on a slight level I can sort of understand the troubles authors can go through writing their stories. The worst book I’ve ever read was still better than the drivel I wrote.
Which brings me to my second point, I thought about sharing what my story is about but, in the end, I’ve decided against it. I’ve had this story idea for quite some time, but it was always just sort of a fleeting idea. The basic summary has always been the same, only the filling has changed. My story ideas and the way I write reveals my inner most thoughts and the way I think. I let my readers see the world as I see it. It’s somewhat of an intimate experience. That’s what happens when I read other people’s work (for the most part). I would imagine it’s not like this for all writers, but for me that’s how it is. I’m a bit wary of people reading my story and judging it, especially in it’s unfinished state. Having someone reading my story is basically sharing a part of myself.
Bottom line, participating in NaNoWriMo was a wonderful experience. I didn’t finish but I certainly don’t intend to give up now! It may take a few months (or probably more), but I will continue until I hopefully finish. I hope that one day, maybe when the story is finished, I will be confidant enough to at least share what the story is about and maybe the whole story in and of itself. It may not be any good, and it probably won’t be publishing worthy, but that won’t change the fact that it’s mine. And next November maybe I try again with a different story and hopefully be able to complete the challenge!