Am I still working on my novel?
Yes, I actually said the “n” word. The one word you could not get me to say out loud for most of the year. It was always a “project” and it still is, don’t think twice about that. I’m only answering this question because I’ve decided to do something either really dumb or smart. I’m still debating on which one to use, but it’s pretty early to making up my mind! I’m doing NaNoWriMo this year, so yes I am still working on it. To be honest with you that despite the fact that I stopped writing it in February, I did come back to it one morning in the middle of June that kind of surprised the crap out of me. The reason why it freaked me out was because I figured out how to start it! #winning
So now you’re probably wondering what the hell NaNo is?
Well, NaNoWriMo is a whole month dedicated to writing your whole novel in thirty days. My fellow writing buddy Katheryn of Our Wolf Song asked me if I was going to do it, but I wasn’t even thinking of it at the time because writing something like this in that short amount of time is scary! And then I read an interesting post from somebody who has done it TWICE! Marie of Drizzle and Hurricane Books wrote a blog post documenting her struggle writing her novel during NaNo but instead of saying things like “it sucked” or “don’t do it” to her viewers, she came back saying she rocked it and gave us some tips to hopefully ease the pain too!
I literally read the entire post and left an interesting comment that kind of shocked me in a way. I told her that I was going to do it too, all thanks to her post.
Later that day, I posted a tweet asking for more advice from other writers who have done NaNo in the past. Everybody was so nice and I got a lot of helpful advice like do NOT edit until your are finished and somehow in the mist of things, I found another site that had a batch of different NaNoWriMo posts, and one of which inspired me to map out my plot all over again as an outline instead. If you want to check out what I am talking about, click here.
Here’s a little backstory of my struggles of writing this past year.
The spring of 2016, I was inspired by both of the The Hunger Games and Divergent movie franchises enough that I had an idea that kind of just never left me. And then on top of that when both the Olympics and Paralympics were in progress, the idea kind of continued to grow and by the end of October I had started researching information that went with the many layers of the idea. And then when November rolled around, I wrote out my second plot (because my first one sucked!) and I proceeded to let myself go.
Unfortunately, I never really started writing out my novel.
For five straight months, I spent time researching intensively and never got to a point where I felt ready to write it yet. And then March came, I stopped everything. I kind of wonder if the date of my papaw’s passing was part of the issue. On the good side, the ideas never went away completely. They still came to me every once in a while, so it wasn’t like I just gave up on it.
It wasn’t until I saw Marie’s blog post that I felt like I was ready to get back into it. I pulled out my blue notebook of my plot and looked at it with wonder. In the course of a year, some of the material I had written inside I didn’t want to include anymore. And then I realized again that it’s been a WHOLE year since I started figuring this out. I’ve had ideas stay with me in the past, but nothing has been gnawing at me to be released as much as this story.
So I’m doing NaNo this month, I’m writing over 1,667 words (or whatever I decide to write) a day to reach the 50,000 goal that many other writers will want to make this month too. I have decided that if I continue on the cycle, that I will post an update in two weeks and if I’m still going, I’ll give one other post on the last day of the month if I’m not tired of writing by then!
Are you doing NaNoWriMo? Have you ever considered devoting a whole month to an idea you’ve had stuck in your mind for a while?