Category: NaNoWriMo


Not counting, of course, Camp NaNoWriMo June 2011 or NaNoWriMo 2009 and the two novels that never made it past the first day. First of all, NaNo 2009 was my first and I wasn’t aware of anything other than I needed to write a novel. No goals, no planning, no motivation, so it’s not surprising that I abandoned it almost immediately. NaNoWriMo, in reality, is pretty awful. You have to trick yourself into it and continue tricking yourself until the end or you’ll never make it. You have to lie to yourself a lot, sometimes saying that it’s all about the word count or that plot holes don’t matter. I wasn’t smart enough to lie to myself that first year. CampNaNo in June 2011, I got a huge cold on the first day and then I had to go on tour with my high school orchestra. I pretty much maintain my speed throughout the month, so if I start out not writing anything, I lose all motivation.

Anyway, that isn’t what I want to talk about. Those months have nothing to do with my success months. This June 2012 was a success month, but it very nearly wasn’t. It didn’t start well. I didn’t make the word count for the first two days, but I picked up my act and made the minimum word count up until day 13. That’s perfectly acceptable, but it was looking more like the trends of my two failed months rather than my three successes. My first success saw my daily word count at 2k or higher every single day (I even wrote that NaNo novel with pencil and paper). I planned out the novel a month in advance and then I wrote according to the plan. Pretty straight-forward. The next success, the August after my failed June, saw me writing nearly 5k every day and finishing on day 12ish, though I think I was channeling my excitement about Pottermore into my writing and that helped. The November after that, I finished on day 14, with school every day and I even had a math class that trimester (not that math is particularly terrible, but I procrastinate like nobody’s business).

This June was nothing like that. My worst setback happened on day 14 when our family went camping. I even took a notebook with me so that I could write, which is a joke because I knew I wouldn’t do it. We left on a Wednesday and were supposed to come back on the Sunday after that, but of course I decided to visit some relative afterwards, not getting home until Monday with my older brother in tow. As nearly always happens when people come to visit me, I forget about all the things that I meant to do and instead end up eating far too much food and playing video games for hours. Plus, he brought the first three seasons of Castle on DVD with him and told me to watch them, so I did. Writing whilst watching Castle doesn’t work very well. At this point, I lost my motivation, though, after my brother left a few days later, I did get back to writing (though I was still watching Castle). Mostly, it was because I was very excited about the story-line and because I felt guilt. No surprise there.

Then, a lonely five days before the end of the month, I realized how behind I was and kind of panicked. Despite two more visits from relatives, one of them the last two days of the month, I decided that I was going to finish. Truthfully, I wanted to finish the story and if I didn’t finish in June, I would have had to let it spill over into my July and I really wanted to relax during July and maybe casually plan for August’s Camp, so I resolved to finish it in June.

This time, I only sat in the same room as the video games with my laptop on my lap and Castle playing in the background. Fortunately, I wasn’t really into the game my cousin and brother were playing, so it wasn’t hard to tune that out. I stayed up until 2am every morning except for my final day in which I woke up early and told myself that I could nap when I was finished.

My mistake was that I thought that I couldn’t write unless I started out fabulously. It nearly prevented me from winning, so don’t give up, NaNoers, even if you’re fifteen thousand words behind on the 25 day of the month.

The really stupid thing was the ending of season three of Castle. I can’t believe I almost lost Camp NaNo for it.

Only two days into my June NaNoWriMo experience, I’m officially giving up, but, despite what people think, this doesn’t mean I’m going to stop writing the novel. For June NaNoWriMo, the rules were the same as they would be in November. 50000 words for the month, 2000 words a day, blah blah blah. I’m sure I might have done just fine if I hadn’t started the month with an illness, so instead of June NaNoWriMo, I’m going to do NoMoRhino, which doesn’t actually stand for anything. Brother Mickelson just can’t remember NaNoWriMo, so this is what he says instead. I have now decided to make my own, less painful, less stressful, NaNoWriMo and call it NoMoRhino instead. There is no word count goal, which sounds like it isn’t going to motivate me to work like a goal would, but I’m more motivated than one would think. Also, due to having neck-muscle pain, my doctor recommends that I only spend around a half of an hour on the computer each day, which does NOT give me enough time to type 2000 words, so…. blah.

The difference between November of 2010 and November of 2009 was preparation. I mean this in the biggest way possible. I FORGOT ABOUT NANOWRIMO WHEN IT STARTED IN 2009. I totally forgot, so I didn’t do it, even though they encouraged you to try, even if you were late. I don’t even remember the idea I had for that NaNo.

In 2010, I was sitting around on a Sunday (probably in between the sessions of General Conference) and I had the fleeting thought that November started in a month and that maybe I should think of an idea. I originally based my novel on a dream that I had, though, after I finished preparing it, it was extremely different, but almost similar.

For the first half of the month of October, more out of boredom than anything else, I started jotting down ideas that I had. The second half of the month, my story began to take shape and seem actually possible. Having been a failure for my whole life as a writer, I got pretty excited and more than a little obsessed with the idea that I could actually finish a novel if I wanted to (Sounds dumb, but this was a foreign idea to me at the time). Becoming obsessed in advance was one of the things that carried me through November.

The last week of October, I had filled out a billion character charts and sheets and I’d completely mapped out every scene of my novel, except for the end. I knew my story so well, that I dared have a tiny shred of confidence (until the night before November actually started. I was pretty nervous and I couldn’t sleep. I was scared out of my mind).

I don’t really remember much about November except for that it was easy and hard at the same time. It was easy because I was so prepared that I knew exactly what was going to happen. I even had some of the wording ready to use. It was hard because it consumed every second of my time. I went to school in the morning and wrote as furiously as I possibly could until school started. I was so obsessed with this that I had to stop myself from not paying attention in Seminary so that I could write. The only class that I had a problem in was Human Biology. It’s not that I neglected my work, it’s that I put it off because my novel was my number one priority all month. Mr. Cox was NOT okay with me writing while we were watching movies (that I’d already seen, might I add) or coloring diagrams (lame)(I also recall him being the only teacher in all of Intermediate school that ever gave me a “green slip” which I ended up getting out of because Mrs. Lynch thought that I looked innocent enough…. okay, she didn’t say that, but she said that I sounded pretty sorry and that if I stayed out of her office for fifteen days, she’d just throw the green slip away….. YEAH!…… I don’t even remember what it was for… whatever).

Of course, during Orchestra it was impossible for me to write during class. Plus, Miss Dunn outlawed books and homework during rehearsal. Anyway, the rest of my day probably doesn’t matter (I’m too lazy to type it), but the point is that I took my NaNo binder with me EVERYWHERE. I didn’t put it in my backpack, I carried it in my arms. Even when I had to set it down and concentrate on something else, it was still a presence in the back of my mind (cliche) and I thought about it a lot.

On the bus when I couldn’t write, I familiarized myself with the next spot I was going to write. I played it out in my head, imagined dialogue, talked to myself. When I got home, I locked myself in my room (Not really, my bedroom door has no lock) and I continued to write until eleven or twelve. Then, the next morning I would start again. I only had one moment of real writer’s block during the whole month and even that only lasted about a half an hour, so it was fine. This was able to come about because of how well prepared I was.

The writing part of it was fun, that’s why I do it. I liked the imagining and the planning (see Paper Towns for awesomeness surrounding the idea of the fun being in the planning of a thing). I REALLY liked the finishing at the end (new experience). I liked the weaving of the story. I really liked NaNoWriMo.

So, doing it again for my June NaNoWriMo should be easy, right? Not in million years. I’m not as prepared, I’ve failed to write two novels since November and I’m even more ready to fail again. Of course, I’m not going to let this stop me, but it might keep me from succeeding, seeing as I keep hesitating. I need that confidence and I need that obsessiveness. This is going to be…