NaNoWriMo 2013 – Taking the plunge

November is finally here. The days are still hot (above 30 degrees Celsius) and the sun seems to burn a hundred times brighter now that the rainy season is over. The air is crisp and the humidity gone for the most part. That’s nice. It actually means I can go for walks outside and not sweat in the first five minutes. But the weather is not exactly what got me excited this month.

NaNo pic I’ve heard about NaNoWriMo some years ago – thirty days of writing abandon fuelled by the desire to have a book ready by the end of November. It sounded like a lot of hard work, and fun, and a task for courageous people with lots of time on their hands. In the past I told myself I had neither the time nor the courage. Especially the courage. But then something happened this year. I had a “now or never” moment and decided to see if I could be one of these courageous people and finally write that book. To prepare for it, in October I wanted to test myself and see if I can actually sit down and write every day, more specifically, for a certain amount of time every day. So I set the alarm on my mobile phone for thirty minutes and got busy.

I had a vague idea of a story and no end in mind. I managed to write for thirteen days, with two days off in between. I tried to make up for those two days by writing more the next day and it worked. And that elusive ending came to me as I was writing and made me really happy. Suddenly, I had hope, and so decided that the time for writing that book is now. I have no idea if I will finish but I will do my best and then some. Most of it will probably be nonsense but if I can excavate something out of it and work with those bits, I’ll consider myself lucky and quite content.

The story I’m writing is not new. A couple of years ago I had an idea that I really liked and started on the story but a few weeks later I abandoned it. Why, well, because I love to procrastinate and there were a million things that seemed more enjoyable at the time. Like a new TV series or a book or just surfing the net. So I’m giving it another go, keeping the main characters but rewriting it from the beginning. The story is going to have some horror elements, possibly some supernatural dust thrown in and a pinch of fairy-tale. That’s the plan as of today but by the end of the month I may end up with a different thing altogether. That’s fine, I don’t mind a bit, I’m actually very excited to see where the story will take me and what the characters have to say.

If you’ve taken part in NaNoWriMo before, feel free to chime in with your impressions. And if you haven’t, your encouragements are more than welcome. I may come back with more posts about NaNo and my writing adventure, but that depends on the available time I have – writing 2,000 words a day is my goal and it would be great to keep that up. It’s still a long way to the required 50,000 words but I hope to get there, putting one word after another, like Neil Gaiman said. Wish me luck.

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10 Responses to NaNoWriMo 2013 – Taking the plunge

  1. Vishy says:

    This is wonderful, Delia! Hope you have a wonderful time at NaNoWriMo! 5500+ words in the first few days is really awesome! Great going! It is nice that you did a test drive last month and checked whether you can stick to a schedule. That is one of the things I struggled with when I did NaNoWriMo for the first time. It is so hard to keep time aside everyday to write. Sometimes we tend to procrastinate or try to tell ourselves that we can make it up tomorrow. So very glad and happy to know that your test run went well. Also it is wonderful to know that at some point your story took you to places you didn’t know and the ending rose out of the story on its own. That is one of the great joys of writing – when our story takes a life of its own.

    Looking forward to following your NaNoWriMo adventures! Wish you all the very best! Happy writing!

    • Delia says:

      Hi Vishy,

      I didn’t know you tried NaNo in the past! Did you finish it? Did you do it again the next year?

      Right now the biggest challenge I’m facing is running out of things to say. Sitting down for two hours to write every day is exciting and fun but I find myself asking, now what, and after I finish this scene what’s going to happen, and so on. So far I’ve been able to come up with the next phase of the story while actually writing and have a vague idea what the following step will be but I can’t see much after that. I guess I’ll just have to keep writing to find out.
      Thanks for the nice words, they are very much appreciated.

      • Vishy says:

        I participated in a creative writing workshop a few years back, Delia. My creative writing teacher told us about NaNoWriMo and I participated in it at that time. I managed to finish the novel when I participated the first time. I participated in it once more, but haven’t been able to do it after that.

        It is nice to know more about your NaNoWriMo adventures. It is wonderful to know that you story keeps evolving as you continue writing. Hope you have a wonderful time. Happy writing!

        • Delia says:

          That’s great news, Vishy. Didn’t know you have a finished novel – do you have any tips for a first time participant? 🙂

          So far I’m having a great time but something tells me it won’t last forever so I am taking advantage of it as much as I can.

  2. Brian Joseph says:

    Best of luck on your endeavor. Your blog posts are so well written and interesting, undoubtedly you will succeed at this if you continue to put in this effort.

    I think that you make a good and useful point that is even if you do not have a 100% ready to go text at the end of the period, you will likely be well on the way to having a book complete!

  3. Delia says:

    Thank you Brian, it’s a great feeling to start my day with encouragements from blogging friends. If I get a message like yours every day that should keep me going through the month. 🙂
    A deadline surely helps, I’ve started stories before and given up but this time I’m trying to see this to the end, wherever that would take me.

  4. TBM says:

    I wish you the best of luck and I hope you have fun. Sounds like you are cruising so far!

    • Delia says:

      Thanks TBM, so far it’s been really exciting and fun. I wake up in the morning ready to write and I look forward to the evening because I get to write again. Sometimes I wonder why I didn’t do this sooner.

  5. Deb Atwood says:

    Your goal is awe-inspiring. I wish you the best of luck!

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