For the first time, I decided to participate to the famous writing challenge, NaNoWriMo (short for National Novel Writing Month). For those who are unfamiliar with NaNoWriMo, it happens every month of November, and the initial goal is to write 50,000 words, so more or less the first draft of a novel. Initially created for aspiring authors, it is now a way for any writer to challenge themselves during a full month.
As I’ve been struggling to write these past few months, I decided at the end of October that NaNoWriMo would be the perfect opportunity to get back into a writing routine, whether my brain was okay with that or not.
I know some people prepare for NaNoWriMo during October, or even before that, but I… decided to do the challenge only a few days before November would actually start. So yes, please do not compare what I’m saying here to people who were well prepared haha. I’m going to do a few articles for NaNoWriMo, and of course it will be based on my own experience as a newbie, thank you in advance for your understanding.
So. What can you do when you suddenly decide to do NaNoWriMo ?
Make a word tracker spread in your bullet journal ! Here’s mine :
As you can see, I decided to work on several projects at the same time, which is why having a word tracker like this is so useful !
On NaNoWriMo’s official website where you can register for free, you can only select one project for the challenge, which is sad, really. But with this homemade tracker, I can do the challenge while working on all of my projects.
After all, stopping everything to focus on a single project for a month can be quite difficult and/or confusing for a writer.
I started NaNoWriMo quite anxious but also very excited, and now that the first week is done, I can tell you : I don’t care if I manage to reach 50,000 words or not, this challenge has been amazing for me already !
First, it motivated me to do an editing round on all my projects, to be ready to start the challenge in a good way. Second, I’m finally writing again ! Third, I discovered that I actually love to write in the mornings. Fourth, I’m not the kind of writer who writes religiously everyday, so this is hard on me but damn… I’m so proud of myself.
Here’s a little glimpse of the numbers.
I’ve spent months struggling with writing a few hundred words and… Here we are, more than 10,000 words in a week.
Honestly guys, I think that if I can do it, I feel like anyone can do it haha.
To be fair, the 4th project was brand new, I didn’t start it at all before NaNoWriMo, so maybe it’s easier to write for a new project ? (Brainstorming on October 31th had been quite an experience too. I literally tried to build characters and a fantasy world in an evening haha. I struggled the most with finding the right names.)
On the overall, I’m delighted to be part of this year’s NaNoWriMo challenge. The support from the community on Twitter and from fellow friends who participate too has been amazing, and it feels so good to be writing again. To push through the struggle and the doubts. I’m a bit disappointed by the official website though, I have to say. I don’t find it that useful to be honest. The buddy system (where you basically add your writer friends) looked like a nice thing, but in the end it only makes you compare your progress to other writers and… nope, not motivating when you see that some are already at 20,000 or 30,000 words after a single week…
Anyway. Let’s hope that the second week will also treat me well. I’ll keep you updated.
What about you ? Are you participating this year ? 🙂 How is it going ?
I hope you all have a lovely day.