NaNoWriMo – A Truly Gratifying, Yet Terrifying, Experience

This guest post is from Bebe Knight! - If you haven't visited the Blog Roll yet, check out her blog at Reading Until I Fall Asleep

(And in case you didn't already know - NaNoWriMo 2012 starts in 3 days - 11/1/12.)


In 2009, after coming down from my Twilight-high, I started re-evaluating my reading selection. It wasn’t that Twilight was terrible… I just felt that Stephanie Meyer’s writing was below par. I was talking with my sister on my lunch break one day about this very subject when she said to me, “You should write your own vampire romance novel for NaNo.” And that was all it took for me to sit down and devise an outline!

Was I scared? A little. Not so much about trying to write 50K words in 30 days, but more so about failing. Be it my competitive streak or my sheer determination to complete what I set out to do, but a little part of me was petrified. That feeling intensified as November dragged on.

November 1st, I was golden. I sat down and wrote my whole first chapter that first day, kicking butt and taking names. It had to have been well over 3,000 words. The next day was much the same with my second chapter, and again the following day. It was when I reached the end of my third chapter I started to have a problem. I was drawing a blank and I ended up turning to editing to keep myself going, which turned into an even bigger problem.

Being the perfectionist that I am, I was nitpicking every little thing about those first three chapters and ended up redoing them about five times; this lead to me falling behind in my word count. My sister finally told me that I can’t dwell on the errors or problems that form from NaNo or else I would never finish. I just had to carry on and pretend they aren’t there until December 1st. And as much as it pained me to do so, I did just that.

I caught up pretty easily with my word count on my days off. Spending time in coffee shops to write sounds like a deliciously posh way to enjoy your NaNo experience, but I learned the hard way that I’m a people watcher. I spent more time observing the atmosphere around me and sipping my Vanilla Chai than actually writing. So back home I went and finished my 50K in the privacy of my own living room.

In the end, I had just over 50K words on November 30th, making me a champion! I pushed through hard times, learned my strengths and weaknesses as a writer and accomplished what I set out to do. I want to encourage anyone who has the writing itch to try it! The worst that could happen is you miss your mark, but you will learn so much more about yourself by attempting than by not trying at all. Good Luck! And May the odds, but ever in your favor.  :)

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