Friday, December 2, 2016

My 2016 #NaNoWriMo Journey

The Starting Line

I've been participating in NaNoWriMo for a little over ten seasons and I've learned many things in that time.

  1. Always expect the unexpected. Sometimes the things you try to control are the ones that slip away from you the fastest.
  2. A little organization never hurt anyone. I used to relish chaos in my creativity but as I've gotten older and my writing style has changed, so has the way I have to get ready to write.
  3. I am not alone. It's always nice to be able to interact with those who have the same idea/goal as you. Unity and strength in numbers help keep the creativity flowing.
  4. 50,000 is just an ideal number to reach. Yes, it is the ultimate goal for those of us who participate in the "writing madness" but it is actually, in my mind, secondary to what I feel is the true goal of NaNoWriMo. You know what that is? To Write. At the end of the day, that is why we do it. We hope to get our projects going and set our minds free to accomplish that.
  5. Just because you don't hit the 50,000 goal, doesn't mean NaNoWriMo was a waste of time. I'm always telling potential and returning NaNo writers that they should keep in mind the true goal of getting into the groove of writing as the ultimate goal. And, that if they feel 50,000 is a bit much, that they should set their own goal and work toward it.

NaNoWriMo & My NaNo Process

I started off rather rocky this NaNo season and was WAAAAYYYYYY behind. But, once I got in gear, I stayed in gear. Even though I had an idea, sitting down and focusing was my biggest problem.

Once I let my characters take over, it was an easier journey. There were several things that helped me and I want to share them with you.

I love Yankee Candles and the one to the left I've had for several years. I was saving it for a special occasion and found that its gentle scent was rather relaxing. I burned it every single day until I had finished that day's word sprints (via my Facebook friends). I used the whole candle. Guess what  I'm buying for next year's NaNo?

Also, I have to thank my cover artist JD Hollyfield who kept after me every single day to write. In the beginning, it drove me batty because I was being such a sloth. But, once I got out of sloth mode, it was a great motivator.

Thanks also go to my friends Angela, Courtney, Jenn and my daughter, Alea (who participated and won in the Young Writers NaNo), because they all in their own way gave me encouragement.

My NaNo Finish Results

Drumroll please....

Final word count: 50,887

I feel truly accomplish and now I plan to continue building on the momentum that NaNo gave me. To all my fellow NaNo writers, I wish you success in your after-NaNo work.