I made it to 50K on Saturday. Hunkered over my laptop as my husband and sons slept, I typed the final words of my 2013 NaNoWriMo creation. There were several times during the month when I wasn’t so sure I’d make it to my 50K goal. But I did and I learned a lot along the way.
Try New Things: I tried something new this year — writing a novel in stories. Originally I thought that would make things “easier” because I could just start a new story. That was not the case. I wanted the stories to link together (remember: novel in stories, not a collection of short stories). Remembering the details and starting the next story at the “right” place was difficult. The main character who linked all of the stories also wanted to take over the book, so keeping her in check was a challenge. Even though it was tough, I’m still glad I tried this new format. That’s some of what NaNo is about: permission to try new things.
A Commute and Lunch Hour Actually Help: In 2010 I was working full-time at a corporate job. I had a 30-minute commute to and from work on a train. As I searched for time to write this year, I realized that my one hour commute, as well as my lunch break, had really helped me meet my goal in 2010. This year I got creative about writing time, allowing myself 30-minute chunks of time to write when I wasn’t working on another freelance project.
Peer Pressure Works: I know another writer mom who also embarked on NaNo this year. Mid-way through the month we started sending our wordcount updates to each other via email. Seeing that she had hit 15K helped me get motivated to get there, too. And then 35K, then 42K, etc. The back and forth was like a relay race, where we were passing the “you can do it” baton back and forth. I think I may have given up the effort had it not been for the encouragement I found in sharing our wordcounts.
All in all, NaNo 2013 was a good time and I’m happy that I finished. Now I’m considering returning to my NaNo project from 2010. After three years, I think I might be ready.
As for this project, we’ll have to wait and see.