So, NaNo 2015. I did it and I’m super proud of myself.
2015 has been a funny year for me, writing-wise. I revised my novel and submitted it to a few agents right at the beginning of the year, I got a few rejections back and decided to keep working on my skills as a writer before I try submitting again. Things with work got busy and I took a step back to focus on that for a while but an idea popped into my head at the end of October that had me so excited I couldn’t ignore it.
And so, I signed up for this year’s NaNoWriMo. I’ve taken part in NaNo three times before – in 2010, 2011 and 2012, and I always come away having learned something new about myself and how I write. This year the main thing I learned is that I need to keep the momentum going to get my first draft finished quickly. If I dilly dally for too long and fall out of the routine of writing daily it’ll take me months and months to get a draft finished but if I strike while the iron’s hot I can get it down in a month.
I don’t have the time to write every day year-round but I can squeeze in a few hours a day for one month a year. It’s tough, it means I go without sleep, but the pride I feel at getting that story written outweighs being a bit tired for a couple of weeks. It means I can revise and rewrite at a more leisurely pace and really enjoy the process of crafting my story. The luxury of writing for myself and not having any deadlines is that there doesn’t have to be any pressure unless I choose to put it on myself – and that makes me very happy indeed!
My plan is to leave my first draft untouched until the beginning of next year, when I’ll read it through and see what I want to do about the next draft – or even if I want to do another draft right away. I know I need to do a lot of work on character development and description (as always!) but, for now, I’m just going to enjoy the fact I conquered NaNoWriMo 2015 and look forward to catching up on some sleep.