That’s right, I wrote 50,000 words in 30 days. Well, 22 days to be exact. I finished my first draft with around 60,000 words, so not too bad.
The Key to Success
The number one key to me winning with NaNo, and, I imagine, any future book I decide to write, is to write every single day.
I know this is hard for some of you to even think of, but it really wasn’t that hard – it just took sacrifice. From November 1 to November 22 (when I passed my 50,000 word goal), the only TV I watched was a total of three movies with my family, and no TV shows or video games. I sacrificed my time with media to write, and I did it every day.
I didn’t always reach my goal of 2,000 words. Some days, I only wrote 100 words. Other days, I started with only 100 and then made myself do 1,000, and then 1,200, and then 1,647 (the daily NaNo word count requirement), and then pushed to 2,000 words. Some days, it came easy I and wrote 3,000 or more words. Every day, though, I wrote.
Have A Writing Buddy
Another huge contributing factor to my beating NaNo was to have a writing buddy. My writing buddy was Joseph D. Slater. Every Wednesday and Saturday, we would meet up in the same place and write. Those days were not always the most productive (I like to socialize…), but being around others was a great way to keep me motivated throughout the week.
Plus, having Word Wars with someone who writes a lot faster than you really makes you focus on those short-term tasks to try and pump out a chapter of your story as quickly as possible.
I realized that I did not do nearly enough planning on this novel before I began writing it. I knew about the characters and had a general idea of where the story would go, but a lot of things changed as I went, due to a lack of planning. There were a few times where I just felt like the story was floundering along, which makes thinking about editing the story now a daunting task.
So, since I am a new author, and even newer to this whole novel writing thing, I’m going to try something different next time. For my next book, I am going to put more thought into planning out the story before I begin writing. I might not have every detail created, and may add scenes as the story writes itself, but I will know the main plot points and where the overall story arc is going.
The number one thing I can pass on to anybody who wants to write a book is – just do it! Every day that you do not write is one more day that you are not working towards your dream.
Did you participate in NaNoWriMo? Did you win? More importantly, what did you learn from it?