I did it!

Well guys, even though it’s been three days, I’d like to announce:

I COMPLETED CAMP NaNoWriMo! 50,000 words in one month.

Did I think I could do it?
At the beginning, yeah, I did pretty well. 1,600 words a day isn’t too difficult. However, life started to get busy, what with my internship and a trip to Florida for my grandfather’s funeral service, and random busy things happening in life. I started to skip daily writing and I got about 30,000 words behind.

That’s when I thought, “Crap… I can’t do this. What was I thinking?! But I SAID I’d do it. I have to.”

So I started writing like a maniac. Conveniently, it was about that time that I recalled I’d come across something called a “writing scrimmage” on Twitter. Basically what that is is a 30 minute slot of time in which you do nothing but write, trying to get as many words on the page as possible. That became my strategy to getting the thousands of words I needed to get written in about ten days time.

And let me tell you, word scrimmaging is extremely effective. I started off clocking between 600-800 words per thirty minutes, but by the end, I was going at 1,200-1,300 per 30 minutes. You learn to get past the horrible writing that’s coming out of your fingers. I had to keep reminding myself that it’s only a first draft. Over and over again.

Technically, I finished a day early, and this was because the website said July 31st at midnight. I hate midnight deadlines because you never know if they mean, literally, when the day turns, or if they mean the end of said day/beginning of next day. It’s confusing. So, just in case, I finished on July 30th around 11:15 pm. I started writing at 2:30pm and marathoned through it. Am I glad I did? Yes. I’ve got a substantial novel to… keep working on. Once I hit 45,000 words, I realized that it wasn’t even close to being finished, and I’ll blame it on the way I write. I’m a long-winded writer, so it takes me awhile to get to the real juicy stuff. I have to write everything that’s in my head, whatever needs explaining, in order for me to proceed onto the real story. First drafts have a lot of explanation/telling in them, and more often than not, there’s a LOT to go through, especially if I’m writing about 3 characters. Geez. That and the story kept doing twists and turns that I didn’t plan for. By the end of the novel, the characters I had originally started with were on vacation… figuratively AND literally. Such is the life of writing a novel though… it writes itself if you let it.

Over all, Camp NaNoWriMo was an excellent experience. I learned a lot about my writing style and the issues I have. Research is one of those things I resist doing until I absolutely need to. I tend to write about menial action, and I have issues summarizing whatever is happening. I have to write it out exactly how I see it in my head (where the hands are going, his expression and the way it changes. It’s super mediocre). There are more weaknesses I came across, but they don’t come to mind just yet. Regardless, I’m glad that I was able to just WRITE and not worry about making it perfect. Now, whenever anyone asks me what it’s about, I panic and scramble to piece together what exactly it is that I wrote in July. Because, in my opinion, as it stands, it’s only just a three-week old fetus that hasn’t any particular shape or form. Honestly, do I know where it’s going? Maybe. I can almost guarantee you that it isn’t about the characters I originally started with, though.

Will I do it again in November? Keeping my fingers crossed… I plan to. Most certainly, because, if I have people to keep me accountable, and what with my ability to get at least 1,300 words down in thirty minutes, I could devote 45 minutes to the novel in a day, and that’s not much, even for a college student!

Anyway, ’til next time!


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