On the 26th November, I completed 50,000 words of NaNoWriMo. I finished it! With much encouragement, tears, sleepless nights, and dogged determination, I pushed my word count bar past its finishing point.
Things I’ve come across (and maybe learned) in the past month:
- To avoid sitting in front of the desk and your mind blanking, always be thinking of the next scene when on the go. Whether it’s showering, cooking, driving (if safety is achieved!), on the toilet, etc., always think about what’s happening next. That way, you hit the ground running when you sit down to write.
- Because of the above, there is always time to write no matter how crazy your schedule. Whether it’s during a work break, toilet break, commuting (if you’re not driving), if during hands-occupied periods you’re thinking of what happens next, when you do have hands you can start writing right away.
- The NaNoWriMo Facebook group is very friendly and helpful. The people there are always chirpy and encouraging and they come from all sorts of backgrounds, so there are lots of ideas to bounce off and funny stories.
- Real life camaraderie is great fun. I found out through pure coincidence that one of my work colleagues also write and is doing NaNoWriMo (looking at you, Jenny) and it’s great fun when over lunch or driving home with her we can chat about writing and NaNoing.
The last (and first) time I did NaNoWriMo, I was a medical student and spent much of my clinic sessions (which involve me sitting inconspicuously in the corner trying not to fall asleep) writing in my notebook. I had time. My work days were mostly 9-5 or 8-6, no nights, no weekends.
This time, I did two sets of 7 shifts in a row, which were both 3-4 day shifts flipping immediately into 3-4 night shifts (totalling 80-ish hours each), and some long days interspersed with office hours in-between. Quite a few of the days I left work late as people became unwell. It was really hard. Granted, I have no children or pets so I didn’t need to look after anyone but myself out of work hours and I didn’t have long commutes from work. I didn’t need to do much tidying or cleaning. It could have been harder.
Still chuffed about my progress. Rock on NaNo2017!