Camp Nanowrimo is over for the year. And, as it’s the first year I’ve ever participated, I wanted to share my thoughts on it. Surprise, it didn’t go as planned. But then, what does.
What I thought was going to happen
Because, you know, what I think is going to happen is totally always what happens, right? Yeah…
So, I thought I was going to edit my new wip for 36 hours. I thought that would be pretty easy, two hours on my days off, one hour on each workday, take Sundays off. Easy, right?
I guess I don’t really do easy when it comes to my writing. I guess I don’t really do easy when it comes to Nanowrimo.
So no, I decided four days in that this goal was too easy. Too attainable. So I moved it up to 50 hours, the official goal for NanoEdmo. I’ve done NanoEdmo before, multiple times. I totally thought I could do it.
What I ended up doing
Yeah, so I realized on the 23rd that I could probably make it, but it was going to require me to pretty much die.
I’d be willing to do that. I bust my ass to write, and I have totally pulled some crazy hours in order to make a goal before.
Then I took a look at my word count. And I realized that I was at 46,510 words for the month. On the 23rd. Which meant I would, at this rate, surpass the amount I write during November NanoWrimo with ease. I could take several days off and still make my goal. And I’d put in 36 hours already. That, if you’ll recall, was my original goal.
So I decided to change my goal to writing 50,000 words. I might have done more and will probably do more during next Camp Nanowrimo. But that’s still more than I would normally write in a month. So I’m still getting a ton more done.
What I realized about my writing practice
I don’t think we ever become masters when it comes to writing. I think we’re always just students, leveling up as we go.
I really struggled to reach my Nanowrimo goal this year. I struggle every year. That’s why it’s a challenge. And sure, I took a mini vacation in November. Sure, there was a holiday. But I took several days off in April too, and we can throw Easter in there for good measure. I was certainly no less busy this past month. In fact, there have been some new complications that made me even busier. So why did I spend November 30th hammering out words to meet my goal, then reached 50,000 easily on April 25th?
Well, there was one big difference; I was writing a second draft in April. That may seem like a cheat, but you have to remember some key differences between my first draft and my second draft.
The most substantial difference, I think, was that I write my rough drafts longhand and I type second drafts. So I was typing all month. I’m not a slow typist, but I am slow at handwriting.
Now, there are parts of a second draft that are undeniably faster. I already know most of the story, for sure. I have the outline pretty well hammered out, and the characters established.
Except that I largely threw out the first draft, added a whole new element to my main character and a slew of new characters. Oh, and all of this new required a ton of freewriting and research before I even started putting words to page. So how in the hell did I write more than 50,000 words in 36 hours, when a good amount of those hours were spent looking up sigils and the magical properties?
Because typing really is freaking faster!
Now, for literally all of my writing life I have balked at the thought of typing a rough draft. I have always said that I just don’t think the same typing as I do writing longhand. I’ve insisted that I can take a notebook anywhere, and so I have an easier time slipping into my work when I don’t have my computer. I’ve always had a slew of excuses that really just came down to I didn’t want to change.
And yet, again, 36 hours to write nearly 50,000 words. Can I also just say I thought that was going to take a hell of a lot longer? I had no idea that I could do so much work in such a little amount of time.
So it’s time for the takeaway.
What I will take with me from here
- I will try to type out rough drafts. I’m starting a new novella in May, and I’m going to try to type it.
- I will realize the insane amount that can be done in a little amount of time. Honestly, I can do so freaking much in just a few minutes. I’m going to be looking at my time differently from now on.
- Change is good. That is all. Trying things a different way can lead to some amazing results.
- I have grown as a writer, and I’m going to keep growing. The second draft of Broken Patterns took me six months. The second draft of this novel took two. I’m dedicating more time, my writing is improving, and I’m streamlining my process. It’s showing.
Will I do it again?
Just a reminder that Nano dreams do come true, this was my first ever Nanowrimo project.
In Devon’s world, magical work is as common as turning a pot or fletching an arrow. What isn’t common is a man with thread magic. When Devon finds that he is a seer, weaving prophetic tapestries, his family tries to keep it a secret.
But the family can’t hide Devon’s visions after he predicts a devastating plague in the dragon lands of Coveline. He travels there to help the dragon queen save her people.
Meanwhile, Devon’s sister Lenore joins the Church of Singular Light. As Lenore learns to serve, and falls in love with her city, she discovers a dark underbelly to the church.
Lenore fights for her city, and Devon rushes to find a cure to the plague, while an unseen enemy raises an army to destroy Septa from within.
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