Well I finished NaNoWriMo, aka National Novel Writing Month, a day early and a thousand words above target. While at times it was a hard slog and I had to drag myself kicking and screaming to the computer, it was overall a fantastic experience and a very different way of writing for me.
Usually when I am stuck over what comes next I give myself time to mull things over and move at a more leisurely pace until the solution presents itself. I couldn’t afford that luxury with NaNoWriMo. I found myself waking in the middle of the night with ideas and trying to dictate them into my ipad or phone while still half asleep. Sometimes I found it hard to go to sleep because I was churning the possibilities around in my head.
One of the things most people claim to love most about NaNoWriMo is the social aspect – with meetups, parties and write-ins taking place all over the world, and virtually, during the course of the month. I didn’t get involved in any of this because I had too much else going on (I was selling my house!) and I’m used to the process of writing and know I can work better in splendid isolation. I did however find several writers I know who were participating and the NaNoWriMo website enables to track your buddys’ word count. When I felt myself lagging, a quick look to see how Debbie, Patsy and Helena were doing, was enough to spark my competitive spirit. Patsy didn’t quite make it – but there are no losers in NaNoWriMo – she now has almost 35,000 words of a new novel she wouldn’t have had so quickly otherwise. Congratulations to Helena Halme and Debbie Young who both made it across the finishing line. Looking forward to reading their books (A Marriage Adrift and Best Murder in Show) when they come out some time next year.