NaNoWriMo 2013 – I did it!

2013 NaNoWriMo Facebook Winner Cover image

I’m a NaNoWriMo winner! Which just means that i wrote a 50,000-word “novel” this month. Whew!

I hadn’t even planned to do this, but on November 1st i saw Erin Morgenstern (author of The Night Circus, i.e. my idol) and a couple of other people tweeting about it, and i thought man, i really want to do that. I wish i had a story to write! And so, in the true nature of NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month, by the way), i decided to fly by the seat of my pants. I took about an hour to come up with a story that had a semblance of a plot, with a protagonist and a sort-of antagonist and something of a conflict/mystery and a beginning and a middle and an end, and then i signed up and started writing. And i made myself write every day, just like they told me.

It wasn’t easy. My dog feels very neglected. The first week was easy, and then the second week was much harder. I thought getting past the halfway point would make things easier, but it didn’t. The third week was the worst; i was swiftly running out of story and i felt like i was writing total crap and that my story wasn’t even worth finishing anyway. There was one day when i was feeling so miserable about it that i decided that i needed to donate $10 to NaNoWriMo and get my halo so that if i felt like quitting i would feel crappy about giving money to something that didn’t work for me anyway. And that strategy worked, because i damn near quit that night but then i saw my halo, and i got to work.

Why is it a halo, by the way? All the cartoons i watched as a kid trained me to associate halos with dead people. So, looking at the NaNoWriMo site, it looks like half the participants are dead because they have halos over their avatars.

Anyway, i powered through it and i got through week four slowly but surely, adding little scenes here and there to fill out what was already a finished story. I never fell behind. I gave myself the day off yesterday for Thanksgiving (which was a fantastic meal hosted at our place for the first time and cooked almost entirely by Nathan!). And then this morning i got up at six, went beer shopping with Nathan, came home and putzed around a bit and then started writing. I had about 1800 words to go and nothing to write, so i added one more playful scene, hit 50k words, validated it on the WriMo website and earned this nice little badge! And it’s not even 1:00 p.m. now.

Now i can read books again! I’ve fallen behind with my reading goal because of this, so i need to read four more books in December. Wish me luck!

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2 thoughts on “NaNoWriMo 2013 – I did it!

  1. YAYYY. I’m glad that you did this, even if you don’t ever look at it again. I know two people that would gladly edit it for you on the cheap (or free) if you’re interested.

    Also, do you count listening to audiobooks as “reading” a book? I’ve been doing that lately at work instead of listening to the radio. It doesn’t stimulate your imagination quite like reading a book, because you don’t get the time to pause and think about things. But I like this option because I can devour more stories this way. In fact, it’s been a nice way for me to “read” some of the books I’ve been stuck on for a while (‘Salem’s Lot put a major damper on reading Stephen King’s works).

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    • I don’t count books that i listen to towards my reading goal; i’m not exactly sure why but to me it just seems different somehow. I do count books that i listen to part of, though, so i should probably figure out where my cutoff line is. Half, maybe?

      I can’t listen to words at work because i’m usually writing or reading, so i can only concentrate on one set of words at a time. I used to be able to listen to podcasts and such when i was a designer, but unfortunately no longer.

      This gives me a great idea, though… I could totally listen to the Twilight books at the gym and not feel like i’ve wasted my precious time on reading them. 😀

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