Today, I want to share my final NaNoWriMo 2020 experiences. If you’ve been following me through November, you would (maybe) have seen my weekly updates. I’m going to conclude my thoughts today.
So, did I complete NaNoWriMo?
I got to 34,615 words. I’ve gone back and forth between being devestated that I couldn’t hit 50k and also being really happy that I made it to even 30k. Before this November, I hadn’t written any fiction for at least two years. So, to get back into the swing of writing this way and then completing 30k+ words is something I am proud of.
Going forward, I plan to keep writing this project. I got into the habit of writing again and I think I will probably return to the piece every couple of days. I have also had a breakthrough with this project and it’s something I am really inspired to write and I can’t wait to continue developing this story. If you’ve been keeping up to date with my weekly updates since week one, you’ll know that these characters have been with me for a long time and it feels great to finally write their story.
Writing everyday at this stage isn’t achievable for me. Even with a cleared schedule (thanks lockdown 2.0), I still couldn’t dedicate time every day to write or even find the motivation everyday to actively write. I think every couple of days or a few times a week is more realistic for me. Especially with me returning back to work this week, I am not going to be able to find too much spare time to write. I’ll probably be going back to writing on my break!
I’m surprised at how much I have learnt in November about my writing process. In the past, I have been someone who writes out of order. With NaNo, I really wanted to try and push through and write chronologically, however I think this is what caused a little bit of a burnout for me. This last week of NaNo, I have kind of found a little bit of a middle ground. I am writing in order, but skipping a lot. I am not returning to the parts I am skipping until the next round of edits and so far this seems to be working.
Like I said earlier, at the start of November it had been a while since writing fiction. As my fiction lecturer at university would always say ‘you have to keep writing fit.’ Well I was very unfit when it came to fiction. These last few years, I’ve been focusing on poetry and it’s a very different writing process for me. I found that because I was so unfit, in writing terms, I was really struggling with the description elements. I was writing pages and pages of barely any description, just very basic and awful sentences strung together. By the end of the month, it’s something I have definitely improved upon. Going forward it’s something that I am going to keep working on.
If anything, my first year of taking part in NaNoWriMo has showed me the areas I need to work on. Hopefully next year I will have more luck in getting to 50k, but until then I am very happy with my 34.6k! Let me know how your NaNoWriMo projects went, did you manage to win?