This month aspiring writers such as myself, already established writers and those who just like to write for the fun of it are going ape crazy over National Novel Writing Month or NaNoWriMo for short.
I must admit, I hadn’t heard of NaNoWriMo since the day before it started! (Not much of the aspiring writer I make out I guess). I came across it on the ‘reader’ on my wordpress account. I had no idea what this strange concept of NaNo was and what it would entail so my good old friend google was the one I went to.
Google never fails to let me down and through the click of a button, I found that NaNo was an online task where writers are challenged to write 50,000 words in a month!
It’s sounds daunting to the average person I guess… Who in their right mind would challenge themselves to write 50,000 words? Well for 1) I am not entirely in my ‘right’ mind but merely I was in a ‘writing’ more (see what I did there?)
I had been writing my first novel ‘The Raven’s Cry’ in bits and dags for over a year now. I started around the same time as I started my OU journey of higher education but my damsel in distress that were my novel had to lay locked within the highest tower of Microsoft Word while I’ll battle the blood thirsty assignments of my course.
It was tough… I almost did not make it!
But my damsel weren’t to stay locked a way forever… No… after reading about this wonderful challenge, I thought now would be the perfect opportunity defeat that fire breathing dragon that is ‘open’ so I could open that tower door and start again and that I did.
Okay, so I admit, I had a little head start… My story was one that I had been planning for a long time… well since my A levels anyway (the opening 1000 words was actually my A level English coursework and earned me a beautiful A as my reward). I adapted these 1000 words and changed the story which, when I started writing it 3 years ago, was a complete different story as well as genre.
So, my damsel was set free and I had to lead her through a maze of 100 feet tall trees and swim through an ocean that never ended. (Okay them things didn’t exactly happen but you get my drift.)
Thankfully, I have been keeping ahead of my studies which gave me plenty of time to write until my thumbs started to miss the space bar! What a task I had let myself in to? Not only did I have 30 days to do this but I had to my birthday to do this and what better way to celebrate one’s birthday then to have the satisfaction of writing an entire novel in 30 days? Okay so getting pretty much wasted and devouring a huge chocolate cake would be nice but this to me is my cake and I pretty much got drunk on the journey my protagonist took me on… (he does get pretty drunk a fair bit too!)
14 days later, I have passed 50000 words and my novel is still not finished!
You’re probably wondering what is the prize for completing such a challenge? Well I’ll tell you… nothing! No publisher asking you to look at your manuscript… no deals or opportunites just the satisfaction that with a heck of a lot of determination, an aspiring author such as myself can achieve such a task.
I now know that I have the capability to write a novel within a month if I truly wanted to. I’ve learnt that when you get stuck with the great wall of writer’s block, there are ways to get to the other side. Whether it be leaving where you are stuck and write a chapter that you know is going to happen or whether you think you can add a little extra to another chapter or whether it means take a day off and watch some Breaking Bad (which helped in my case) then it just goes to show, anything is possible. Especially, if you’re the one with the pen in the hand.