Book Blog: Looking back on NaNoWriMo

Well folks, November is almost done and while everyone else is feeling the crunch of the end of the year, all I can feel is relief. It is the busiest time of the year, not only because it seems like every professor assigns all the quizzes, essays and presentations then, but also because I do this crazy thing where I try and write 50,000 words in a month, and I’m not the only one.

National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo as it’s affectionately known, is a yearly world-wide challenge to write 50,000 words in the month of November. Over 400,000 people across the globe come together to write the novel they always wish they could. I, along with three friends, run the local chapter, and host weekly write-in’s and events throughout the city. And we all write our own novels, all while working or, for me, during my schooling. I did say we’re crazy, right?

This is year is a special one. It marks 10 years of me doing NaNoWriMo.  Yes, you read that right. I’ve been writing novels every November for the past 10 years straight. I will say, that 2,000 word novel I did the first year will never see the light of day and the six or so stories after that never will either. But all of them brought me closer to writing a good novel and helped me practice and develop my writing skills.

So on this tenth year, I decided to do something crazy for me. Every November since I started I would either not finish or barely scrape by on the last day. But this year I set out to do the impossible: reach 50,000 words before Nov. 30. And somehow, I did. On Nov. 24, I reached 50,000 words.

Of course, dear reader, my novel is nowhere near finished. I haven’t even made it through part one and haven’t even thought about how it’ll come to part two, but it’s been an interesting ride so far. I set out to write one story and ended up with something much different than I had anticipated, which seems to happen every year. This year was the year of romantic plot lines, which I never write about. Romance is the stuff of my co-municipal Liaisons. Not me. And yet here I am with two of them, go figure.

What’s my secret to winning? No clue. I generally chug along the first week, beating the daily word goal of 1,667 words and then the second week I do a bit less, then the third week I fall behind and play catch up during week four until I win. True story, I once wrote 7,685 words in one day. I don’t recommend it. I will say, I used to write in Google Docs since it saves automatically and I can open it on any computer anywhere, but I tried using a writing software called Scrivener that I bought a few years ago as a winner goodie, and I do give it a lot of credit for my early win this year.

Alright, “blah blah blah,” you say, “but what did you write about?”

Well, it’s complicated. In a nutshell, the easiest way to describe my story is: what would happen if magic is real in our world and how would the reveal of said magic change things. There’s a lot more to it than just that, but since I’ve barely written anything I actually planned out, I don’t want to say it out loud in case it never actually happens.

So what now?

Well, I’ve come back to the real world and realized that I am still in school and actually have to do stuff, so that’s what the next couple of weeks are about, but then after that short break, I want to go back to my novel and finish it. That’s my next dream goal, after winning early this year. Actually write ‘the end’ to one of my stories. Wish me luck; I’m really going to need it for this. Look out for next year’s goal, if I finish this current one–edit the novel.

I’m not looking forward to it.

Someone send help.


Photo by Meagan Casalino