Thirty days. Fifty thousand words. I DID IT!
So we’re four days into December and I am just now able to sit down and share my experience of doing NaNoWriMo this year! I’m still in shock that I won despite everything and I’m incredibly proud that I was able to motivate myself throughout the month.
For those of you who don’t know, NaNoWriMo is an international event where writers from all of the world try to write 50 THOUSAND words in 30 days, averaging to about 1,667 words a day. Last year I ‘tried’ to participate when some of my blogger friends convinced me, but wrote like 5,000 words before giving up. It was a pretty ridiculous attempt and I had no idea what I was doing, so instead of figuring it out I just quit.
Then in July I was set on trying to do Camp NaNoWriMo and even started planning a story idea I had based off of a dream. However July came and went and I didn’t even log onto the site at all that month. In October, when everyone was buzzing on Twitter about their plans for NaNo I was dead set against participating since all my past attempts were laughable, but Michelle Madow (author of The Secret Diamond Sisters series) convinced me to give it a shot. I did and I owe her so much now!
Here is my ‘novel stats’ on NaNo for this month:
As you can see, I was off to a really good start! I managed to stay on track and even got ahead on Day 5, but then the inevitable happened. NaNo started on the only week of the month that I didn’t have a paper/test/presentation due so I put most of my time and effort into working on my story and whenever I needed a break I would either post an update here or start working on my assignments.
Then week two happened and I fell behind, big time. As the month progressed I spent a lot of time working on my final papers and presentations or studying for tests and finals. To give you some perspective on why I fell behind here is a brief list of my assignments:
- TWO Brit Lit to 1798 test (questions + a paper) – got A’s on both
- A 6 page paper on the book Passing – got a B on
- An American Lit presentation on Latino Lit (includes a paper) – got an A
- Microbiology exam (which was really hard to study for!) – still haven’t received grade
- An 8 page paper on Brit Lit and satire – still haven’t received grade
- Microbiology Final – got a B on
Add in the fact that we went to Miami for Thanksgiving and I was emotionally and mentally exhausted, I’m so surprised that I managed to pull it together the last two days. I spent all day of Day 29 working on my book, with like 4 breaks to help around the house and eat and managed to write ~8,000 words! That left approximately 9,000 words for the last day and I ended up validating 51,111 words!
I was exhausted, happy, and so excited. This month was an absolute roller coaster between NaNo, school, and my attempts to be social. Unfortunately I had to abandon my blog and reading, but looking back I really don’t regret it because I wrote 50,000 words! My story is still incomplete but I decided to take two weeks off of writing to focus on finals, but I have every intention to finish my first draft before the new year!
For me, the best part of this achievement was the fact that I proved everyone wrong. Last year and this year I constantly heard people telling students that it was impossible to get A’s and win NaNo, but my grades were even higher this semester despite the fact that I was writing every day.
Because of my crazy achievement, I want to participate in Camp NaNoWriMo next year. I want to get more serious about it because November proved to me just how much I really love it. If I stick to my goal this is going to be the first book I’ve ever written and I’m so excited to finish so I can move on to the next step, revisions. This is all such a new experience so I’m hoping my excitement will outweigh the frustrations I’m bound to face.
Did you participate in NaNo? How did you do?!