It’s November! You know what that means! It’s novel writing time! Kinda.
Each year of this event goes differently for me. As someone who loves to write, I always find November to be an exciting month. Brief explanation for those who may not know what this is: National Novel Writing Month is when you try to write a novel, or 50,000 words of one, in a month. You keep track of it on the organization’s website. After reaching the goal of the word count my second year, reaching it again hasn’t been all that important to me. I enjoy that the event makes me want to write every day, and that’s all the inspiration I need to be happy.
The first year I ever attempted it was 2011, when I was fifteen. Like I normally do with events in my life, I went into that month with no plan of what I was going to write. I actually started two days late. Overall, it went well at the beginning. Around day 20, I was at 30,000 words, but I quit after that. If I remember correctly, I think my computer wasn’t working. My first year wasn’t a success. That’s okay though, because I still have that story I started then. I’ve gone back and revised it, even adding more to it. It’s something I’ll finish one day.
Like I said before, my second year was the first time I completed the challenge (and the last, so far). I wrote a story that, like the year before, I didn’t plan. However, I found making things up as I went worked well for me at the time. Going back and editing it later was a different story. I really enjoyed this month of writing. Reaching that word count goal on the very last night after being behind for days was such a satisfying feeling. It made every day that I struggled to keep writing worth it (especially because that was a pretty awful year in general for me). However, since it was a novel I wrote in a month when I was sixteen, it’s not something I want to publish. I keep it as a reminder that I can do what I set my mind to.
2013 was the year I started doing the camp NaNoWriMo in April and June along with the month of November. I found I really like the camp better in some ways. The June camp is during the summer when I normally have more time, and I get to set my own word count goal. I mean, I didn’t write all that much in this year, but I enjoyed that it was a little more relaxed. That November was kind of a flop as I didn’t even make it over 10,000 words. I can’t remember why.
Camp 2014 was better. In April I reached my goal of 18,000 words, which started out as 15,000 but I raised it when I hit that too early. In reality, this wasn’t for the same story, but rather for a bunch of random parts of stories, but hey, I wrote a lot. That’s all that matters to me. June I wrote about 16,000 and quit halfway through the month. I really wish I remember why I did these things. November was also a flop, but let’s not talk about that.
Oh, 2015. Camp in April had a goal of 25,000 words, which I reached! By once again writing for many stories but hey, that’s what camp is for. I actually didn’t do June camp of this year because I was working at Safeway so much (which is a story of its own). November… I got halfway to the goal. I always start off strong and then fade of about halfway into the month.
And now, this year. Once again, I only did camp in April…and by that I mean I made the novel on the website and wrote for one day. I’m really not sure what happened with this one, I think I forgot about it.
This all leads up to right now. Today is the second day of November which means it’s the second day of the challenge. Because I’m abroad, I’m really not expecting to reach the goal. All I want is to try to write at least a little every day. My main point in all of this is that this event doesn’t have to be exactly the same for everyone. I bend the rules and make it my own, and it works for me. I like it this way. I go back and edit what I write during those months and there are some gems hidden in there. Whatever gets you to write! Have fun with it.
My best tip, which I’m sure you’ve heard a million times: don’t edit anything! Which is really hard to do, I know. Just write and write and write and don’t look back. You can make it make sense later!
Good luck to everyone participating. Friend me on the websites so we can force each other to keep going! For those who are interested and haven’t started, it’s not too late! Go for it!