So, December has started. NaNo is officially over all around the world for a while now, I hope everybody was able to catch their breath. So how was it all? To be honest, it was a huge blur for me ;)
Looking back on my NaNo posts I realised I totally forgot to put up one thing. Why did I do NaNo?
NaNo to me is quite a huge thing, writing a whole novel in a month. To me it's one of the things to try when you're a writer. Just to see if you can pull it off. I can apparently, it was hard but I did it :)
I also set myself a goal 2 years ago, I wanted to finish at least once in the next 5 years. I failed the first year and now completed the second year, also I won't have the time the coming 2 years as I'll be doing my dissertation next year and (hopefully) a masters the year after that. So that would only leave year 5 after that. I did have to sort of make space to actually do NaNo, I had to sort through my life and to learn new mechanisms of living.
So, what did I learn during NaNo?
It's good to make sure you've got food in the house that need little preparation, I had my freezer stacked with home made soup, spaghetti sauce and some frozen veggies. This stops you from preparing meals that are quick but not really good for your body. I did slightly gain during NaNo, but that had more to do with not going to the gym for the last 1,5 week of NaNo than with my food. So that was one thing that went really well.
Trying to force yourself to write 200 words an hour does not work and takes up a lot of time, doing 10 minute word wars does work and you get in 10 minutes about the same as you would otherwise try for in an hour. Plus, well, I'm competative ;) word wars is where you set a timer for a certain amount of time and you try to write as many words as possible in that time. This little trick had me write 5k in one day 3 days before the end of NaNo. I had a lot of fun with it too, having session sometimes for a few hours which were 10-10, 10 minutes writing, 10 minutes rest. Which worked wonders ^^ If you are looking for a fast way to get to a better word count and you are competitive like me this might work for you too!
Getting involved with the community might be distracting but it also helps you to get through the hard parts of the month. And those will come, you might have a hard time at the start, or at the end or like some at the middle of the month. There will always be people who are having that same problem at that same time. Get involved and you might learn a few tricks.
You will be tired for the beginning of December. I honestly didn't think I'd finish NaNo when I started so when I did finish I got in trouble with my uni work, which was a bummer. In the end I slept about 10 hours over a 4 day timespan to finish everything on time and even then I did not have time enough to learn for my exam... Not a good thing, interesting experience, but I'm not keen on repeating it.
But the main thing I learned was that I can write a story in a month and finish it! Which might be the best thing to happen to me. It gave me a surge of good will to actually get some work done on other things and projects.
Which brings me to my next point.
How I'm going to finish 2011.
For now I'm working on putting together a few sources to put up my main story Black Sheep. I've finished part 2 before NaNo and have started to get my ass into gear to start part 3 some time soon. Which will be interesting and sad. I've got a few plot points that I want to get into there but I'm afraid I need to get to a few more points before I can finish up this story. When I compare it to NaNo I figure if I get my pre-work done well enough I should be able to finish it in about 1 or 2 weeks, that is IF I get my outlines done well enough and IF these characters work with me (they are more headstrong than my NaNo characters).
I'm also working on digitalising my NaNo project since I wrote it by hand first. I'm trying to get this done as soon as possible so I might be able to actually publish this story next year around this time, which seemed reasonable to me as it takes parts from slightly before Christmas to slightly after New Year eve. I haven't done this before so it will be interesting.
I've got a busy time ahead, between this, reading a couple of books for uni and Christmas and New Years eve. So I'm going back to work.