December 1 – NaNoWriMo Recap

I’m a winner!

Goal 1: I will work on my writing every day.

I have done this. NaNoWriMo was a struggle, but it forced me to do a LOT of writing every day. Now that it’s over I have slowed down a bit, but I am still writing. I want to finish the story I started by the end of this year, and it feels like I have a long way to go.

Goal 2: I will participate in NaNoWriMo in November.

I logged 50,113 words on 11/29. I didn’t bother updating my official tally yesterday, but I did get a few more words in after that, ending at 50,270. I worked on it some more today, so the story is currently at 50,499 words and I plan on doing some more writing tonight.

But before I start my writing, I thought it would be useful to go over my NaNoWriMo experience and let you know how I felt about the last thirty days.

First, let me say that I didn’t enjoy the experience nearly as much as I did last year. There are a lot of reasons for this, and I’ll try to go over several of them now.

  1. The shine has worn off. Let’s face it, last year this was an all new experience for me. I had a challenge to face. I didn’t know if I was going to be able to do it, so I threw everything I had at it and I pulled it off early. This year I knew I could do it if I could manage to stay focused, so it wasn’t as much of a challenge for me. In short, I didn’t really care if I finished or not, because I had been there, done that.
  2. All the planning and preparation I did before November didn’t work out too well. This was no different from last year, but this year it seemed more of an issue than last year. One of these days I am going to do a proper outline before I start writing and see how much easier the story is. This year wasn’t it.
  3. I wasn’t really excited about my story. This is probably the biggest reason for my disappointment. If the author isn’t excited about the story, he can’t expect the reader to like it. This, along with the lack of an outline, may be why…
  4. The story felt like it was rambling and unfocused. My characters were going all over the place, and doing interesting things, but there weren’t really any character development reasons for them to go those places and do those things. For example, one of the last things I was writing was a wedding scene. Somehow my Valkyrie ended up getting married at a racetrack. How did that happen? And why? I have no idea, and that is a big problem.
  5. The local participation seemed to be not as good as last year. We had about twenty people show up for a kickoff write-in, but I never saw most of those people again during the rest of the month. We invited everyone to join us at our regular Tuesday meetings, which had been converted from critique sessions to writing sessions, but nobody came. This week even the rest of my regular group failed to show up, and my wife and I were the only ones at our regular table in the restaurant. I don’t know where everyone was writing, but I’m guessing that most of the time they were doing it alone, and one of the best things about NaNoWriMo is getting to know other local authors. This year I just didn’t feel the love.

Don’t get me wrong. I am thankful for NaNoWriMo and all it does for writers everywhere. It is a great program and I will continue to participate as long as I can. Just because I was disappointed this year doesn’t mean I’m going to quit. And a big part of the problem was with me and my lack of interest in my own story. I have eleven months to come up with a new story for next year. Hopefully I will be able to come up with one that I can get excited about.

Goal 3: Diet and exercise to lose at least 10 pounds by the end of this round.

Today I walked to work. I drove to work for all of November, as I was lugging my laptop in to work on my book during my breaks, but since NaNoWriMo is over I don’t have that excuse anymore. So the car is parked and I will be trying to walk as much as I can. I just have to make it through the next two weeks before I start my Christmas vacation. I should be able to do that easily. I’ve also got my exercise bike at home. I plan on dusting it off and getting some more miles in before the end of the year. With luck I’ll be able to at least get below 240 by the end of the year.

How about you? Did you finish NaNoWriMo? Share your story with me, I would love to hear it.

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3 Comments

Filed under About Me, Fiction, NaNoWriMo, ROW80

3 responses to “December 1 – NaNoWriMo Recap

  1. I am not brave enough to start NaNo, but congrats on your 50,270. That is something to be proud.

  2. It’s good that you’re writing everyday 🙂 Don’t feel bad about NaNo. I’ve been participating since 2004 up until this year. When I first did it, it was exciting and challenging. As the years have progressed, winning wasn’t ever a question. But over time it lost its luster. Last year I thought I wasn’t going to do it anymore but my ML and friend strong armed me into doing it again. I blew past 50k mid month and the rest of the month was just adding extra word count for our region. This year I decided I wasn’t going to do it, strong arming me or not. You know what? I didn’t miss it. I’m enjoying ROW80 and the consistency it brings. I still love NaNo and I continue to donate to them but for me, the challenge isn’t there anymore. Good luck on the weight loss!

    BTW, it looks like you’ve got some code/URL strings hanging out in your Google+ widget.

  3. I hear you about being disappointed in the story. I had two ideas bouncing in my head and I was just ‘eh’ about them both. I finally picked one and while I wanted to work with it as it’s a second book (kinda sorta) to the one I did in Camp NaNo, I wasn’t feeling the characters. I was sitting there writing and I was already seeing what I was going to rip out in the edit phase.

    I’m glad it wasn’t me with participation this year. I don’t know if it was because our area got hit with bad weather in September and then Halloween weekend, we got our first snow or what. I was lucky to have 1-2 people for a few hours. My Co-ML had better luck with hers. When there wasn’t a fire at one of their write in locations and they had to leave. 🙂

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