It had been an exhausting experience, up to a point where I felt I had to take a break from writing.
I know, I know, it is not a very professional thing to say. Pro writers write despite what they feel. I may not be “Pro” level, but having a professional mindset to what you are doing helps get things done. However, writing, as a creative process makes use of energy and emotions that far surpasses a professional mindset for fuel and motivation. I felt spent, empty and exhausted. I had to step back and take a break.
So, I failed the writing challenge. Big deal.
However, this year’s journey has been meaningful. This year’s NANOWRIMO has been my most successful, despite its appearances.
Here are why my 2019 NANOWRIMO was the best (so far)
- The most wordcount I had since I joined. This is my fourth attempt at NANOWRIMO. However, this was technically my third real attempt at accomplishing it. Last year, I was barely able to write anything. This year, I finished the month at 19,869 words. I wanted to end it at at least 20,000, however there was a point in the end of the challenge where I felt that I should just stop. The story was close to ending, I felt that I should probably jump to the first edit instead. I barely worked on it. On the last day, I had a change of heart, and punched in some words. My second year, I clocked in at approximately 16,000 words.
- I actually had a story. This was the first time I did not pants an NANOWRIMO attempt. Most of the time, I had a story in my head, a few characters, what traits they’ll have, and I just roll with it. Most of the time, however, I end up thinking “where in the world am I going with this?” That is why my 2nd NANO attempt, despite having 16,000 words, I felt like the story was barely done. It’s not a bad feeling for a novel, but it felt that I was not going anywhere. This time, with an outline, I felt more directed. I at least know where I am heading. When I felt stuck in a particular portion of the story, I would stop it somewhere, and jump my story somewhere ahead. “I’d fix it in edit,” became a useful mantra and I was able to move the story along.
- I wrote in a genre I like. Well, it’s not much of an achievement, but being able to write in a genre I like is a definite plus point. It is a fantasy adventure, by the way. Plus, I was able to loop in a few things I learned from writing mystery, but yeah, more of a fantasy-adventure, and it was fun to write and think about these sort of things.
- It’s not a novel, but a novella. Probably the best output this year’s challenge has given me is that I have a new writing project to work on. Last night, I actually started working on writing the ending part of the project – yes, the parts where I was not too motivated to work on. While it was only a few words which barely hit the 1,000 mark, I felt I was progressing. I felt like writing again. While I did not reach 50,000 words, my story is close to completion. Which means, what I achieved this year was not a novel, but a novella. It’s not bad, and once I get to the actual ending of this work, I can’t wait to get into editing this first draft.
How did your 2019 NANOWRIMO challenge go? Was it good? I hope you did better than my meager performance. Hahaha…
I hope I can actually finish this project before next year’s NANO rolls around. However, with the lack of pressure, I fear that I will slip into procrastinating on this project.
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