The dust has settled on the month-long novel writing-fest that is NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) – and… I finished!! The first couple of weeks weren’t too bad, but by week three I was stalling a little. If there’s one thing I learnt from participating in NaNo, it’s that consistency is key, and a little bit each and every day soon adds up to a lot. And if you stick to the doable word count each day without skipping a few, you won’t have any 7000 word days to get through (can I sleep now?!).
As for what my book is about – it’s a fictional foray into expatland in Southeast Asia, with the 20-something protagonist torn between life in Newtown with her ever-serious boyfriend, surrounded by friends who are starting to ‘settle down’, or heeding the call of a life of adventure, travel, exciting job prospects and potential new love against the backdrops of Thailand and Cambodia. I’m thinking it’s the literary lovechild of Emily Barr’s Backpack and Emily Maguire’s Fishing for Tigers(!) And that it also needs much, much work if it’s ever going to be seen by anybody at all…
Overall I loved the NaNoWriMo experience, as torturous as it felt at times. If you’re thinking of doing it next year, I would say go for it. It ultimately helps you develop a writing habit, and prove to yourself that you’re capable of churning out lengthy work, even if it’s not of the greatest quality – and a 1500 word essay or story will never seem daunting ever again.
Did you attempt NaNo? Here’s a few tips now it’s over:
– 7 things to do when NaNoWriMo is over
– 5 tips for NaNoWriMo: The post NaNo re-entry process
– 6 step program for life after NaNo
And finally, all is not lost on the ‘all things produced during NaNo are destined for the scrapheap’ idea. Here are 8 bestsellers started during National Novel Writing Month.