An overview of my participation in the November National Novel Writing challenge
The ups, downs, triumphs, failures, and
benefits of writing a novel in a month.
(NOTE: Check the appendices for links to groups, resources, and materials mentioned in all chapters.)
What have I gained from doing National Novel Writing Month (Nanowrimo) four times, being a winner two of those four? I got lots of writing done, even in the years didn’t win. I also saw that I could consistently write on a daily basis, and even finish manuscripts.
I had many unfinished manuscripts. Some of these unfinished manuscripts were ones I had been working on for as long as twenty-four years. However, the greatest thing I gained from Nanowrimo was a new-found confidence in my abilities both as a writer and other realms as well.
For example, I have committed to submitting at least six major works this year. Also, I plan to complete all my unfinished works, at least to the rough draft stage, before the year's end. I have been working on these for years.
Another, really major project I have begun, due in part to the confidence that Nanowrimo has given me, is the decision to apply to our local university to work on my MFA in Creative Writing, with a teaching fellowship included. I will be teaching COLLEGE people. I would never have had the courage before to attempt this.
I believed I had a personality defect that prevented me from finishing anything at all. I am an adult with ADHD, and I get quite scattered with numerous unfinished projects. Nanowrimo has changed that. For the first time in my life I can say I have finished major projects.
Have I been disappointed along the way? Yes, I can say I have been. For one, I still don’t submit my writing. That will change during the current year.
Also, one great disappointment was this past November’s Nanowrimo. I had done all the preliminary things to get ready. I am Municipal Liaison for my region. I had some great plans, both for my personal production and for encouraging others. Of course, my plans were thwarted.
We found the perfect house at an excellent price. So, mid-November we began a move. Finances fell apart,so nothing went as planned. My brother, who is terminally ill, got worse, and I took a whole week out of November to go visit him. He had no computer, plus I spent most of the time on the road between his home and my sister’s home.
I was not able to get much writing done at all, though I did continue to write a bit each day (on my Alphasmart).
Then, to top it all off, right after I got back home, my computer died. It just seemed that Nanowrimo wasn’t meant for me this year. This year was meant to be significant year to me, as I had won the last two years in a row. I wanted to keep up the pace and be able to say finished xx number of years in a row. That is not to be, now.
Thanks to my new-found concepts gained from past Nanowrimo’s, I knew it wasn’t the end for me. I just immediately found a year-long writing challenge group, and set my goal for 250,000 words this year. I also committed to finishing all unfinished projects by year’s end. The year-long challenge group is the National Novel Writing Year (Nanowriye). See Appendix B for the link to join them.
I would have to say that Nanowrimo has been well worth the effort. It is through that effort that I have come to see myself as a professional writer. It is due to this effort that I now have a published work, and three more about to be published. (For my published Nano book, see Appendix B)
NOTE: If you have bought the ebook, you are entitled to personal coaching. Send me your assignments at the end of each chapter. I will send a frequent email for encouragement. I DO have your name. If someone else bought it for you, such as for a gift, then send me their name when you submit your first assignment. It is not necessary to do so each time. I will make note of your name.