This year has been a complete dumpster fire. But amongst all the anxiety, concern, pandemic baking and home schooling, there have been a few moments to celebrate.
I had one of those tonight at 5:42pm when I tracked my words for the day and officially crossed the 50,000 mark to win NaNoWriMo 2020.
This is my third time participating in National Novel Writing Month and the earliest I have ever finished. I have a few theories around why this year was special and dare I say, a little easier for me:
I wasn’t doing it alone. This year my oldest daughter, mum and aunt were all doing it as well. There is strength in numbers.
I’d done it before so I knew what to expect. I was prepared with an outline that at least gave me a sense of where I needed to go. I tried to follow a routine of getting up early and getting my word count of the way early. And, most importantly, I gave myself permission to write crap. When I felt like the world weren’t good, I didn’t stop or try to edit, I just kept writing. That really helped.
I didn’t start a brand new novel. This was the biggest game changer for me. I already had about 20,000 words in this manuscript so I was forced to write my least favourite part of the novel (the saggy middle) during NaNoWriMo. That made me keep pushing through sections I otherwise would have given up on with the idea of “coming back to it later”. I can’t tell you how many books I’ve started that I’ve abandoned at that point.
If I stick to my outline, I probably have about 7,000 words left to write in this book. Which means if I keep writing every day in November, I could finish this first draft and get to move on to the editing/revising stage where I get to turn it into something resembling an actual readable book.