NaNoWriMo 2015… Done!
Well, I did it.
At just a smidge over 50,000 words I became a “winner” in my very first National Novel Writing Month challenge.
I was writing right up until the wire on Monday to try and get everything done in plenty of time to get the rest of the Christmas decorations up with the kids and have a quiet evening without word count-related panics. Despite a computer crash and the loss of the last 1,000 words I wrote, I quietly tripped over the finish line in time to get the kids’ tea ready.
Regardless of everything I did it.
But would I do it again?
Well, yes and no. Or, at least, I am not sure. Ask me again in a few months when my fingers are less sore.
As I wrote in a previous post it was hard work getting the words on page, especially as a parent and with a full-time job getting in the way. However, it was a useful discipline to work through, learning to appreciate the importance of planning and outlining; skills that are transferable between novel-writing and screenwriting. So the effort was certainly not wasted. I am just spending some time now deciding whether to complete this as a novel and see where that takes me or adapting it into a screenplay. I certainly have a great outline to start from!
So was NaNo a good experience?
Yes, it was. It was hard work, but it was a great way to get me into a strict routine of writing every day for thirty days, showing me just what is possible when you put your mind to it. Working to a deadline does put more pressure on you to write and stops you getting distracted in the same ways you might without a deadline. I need to take that into my writing and start thinking about setting some more deadlines for myself that I can’t avoid – New Year Resolutions perhaps?
Would I recommend it to others?
Yes, definitely. For those reasons above and more. Regardless of your experience as a writer, putting yourself in that environment, with the deadlines and other writers offering support, you can’t help but have a good experience. Even if you don’t make it to your target, you can still learn something about your own writing style, practices and routines; knowledge that you can use outside of NaNoWriMo as you work writing around the rest of your busy life. Ultimately, it is a great way to just get words on paper, especially if you have been stalling in the past. Many writers who introduced themselves on the message boards said they were using it as a way to break the procrastination cycle and give themselves a kick up the backside. If you are one of life’s procrastinators, but want to give it a go, try it… what have you got to lose?
Would I do it again?
Possibly. I will finish the novel but, at this time, I am not sure if I will finish it in draft and use it for a screenplay treatment, or continue to edit it until it is “publishable”. Because I love the form and structure of the screenplay I want to get back to doing that and I have had my fill of novel writing… for now. Maybe next year, having left my story on a cliff-hanger, I may well be tempted back to NaNoWriMo to embark on volume two.
Never say Never.
If you took part in NaNo 2015, feel free to let us know how you got on in the comments below or, if you think you might try it next year, please feel free to ask me any questions!