It’s November 25th. Whatever happened to National Novel Writing Month? Well, I tried my best and managed just over 25,000 words by Saturday and decided to leave it at that for this year.
I started out great during the first week. I hit the daily wordcount average easily and it looked like it would be a breeze to reach 50,000. I started to wander why I didn’t just write this much every day. By the second week I had started to struggle and was behind on the word count when I had some other work to catch up on. I was told this was normal and to carry on anyway. I’m glad I did as I managed to write a lot more but at the end of the third week I had just managed the half way point of 25,000 and I knew it was time to stop.
I don’t see this as a bad thing. Up until now my writing output was so poor that I said I would be impressed if I reached halfway. It was my first year doing the challenge after all. I’m pleased I put my all into it and wrote so much in just a month. I’m about half way through the first draft of my book now and I want to finish the whole first draft by May next year.
But right now I’d really like to catch up on some more work. With Christmas coming I could really use some more income. I hope that some fellow novelists will need some editing work after Nanowimo. And I’ve become enamoured with a new project that I want to start on. And I really need a rest as well. On several days I woke up with a headache that wouldn’t leave. At least I can get some rest over Christmas too, since this year I’m not working a crummy retail job.
There is one thing I did learn during Nanowimo about the nature of creativity. I went for a long time barely writing anything and my creativity all but dried up. I had no new projects I wanted to work on and it was hard to motivate myself to start anything. But during Nanowimo I’ve had lots of ideas for new things I want to try. Although I’ve given it a rest for this year, I’m still thinking of a lot of ideas for my novel that I want to get around to writing.
I think that creativity needs to be fed constantly in order to grow and grow. This comic by The Oatmeal says much better than I can. If you leave your creativity alone, it becomes a stagnant pool. But if you constantly feed it with inspiration and effort, it will flow like a river.
I’ve already decided on a very different project for the next few months, based on an alternative Nanowimo prompt. I’m going to watch 30 films I’ve never seen before and write down my thoughts on them, how the story is constructed and the characters are written and so forth. Then see how that can be applied to my own book. It’s similar to what I had to do as part of my university assignment, where I had to do the same thing with every book I read throughout the year.
If I don’t see you again, have a great Christmas and New Year!