This year, I decided to participate in National Novel Writing Month for the first time. With Black History Month around the corner for many (it’s always black history for me), I am pushing to finish the first draft by February. Because it requires a lot of research, this is one of those books with a source page that will probably be thick enough for its own mini book. The discipline required to get this done made #NaNoWriMo more attractive this year to hold myself accountable.
My goal was to write every day and have 50K words down by the end of the month. Let’s see how I did.
Word Count as of 11/30/2021: 30,168.
Sources Page: 3,747 words, 15 pages
While I did not cross the 50K threshold, I am proud of making it this far because I wanted to get 25K down if I could not do the fifty.
I did not write every day. I spent days traveling, and even on returning, I did not get right back to writing immediately. The interesting thing is that I rested a lot, which helped me do more when I was writing. Taking days off actually helped, not hinder me. To quote the Nap Ministry on Twitter: “This idea that you gotta grind yourself into exhaustion and make work the center of your entire existence is not liberating.”
I found the word count ticker and badges (I won 7) on the website motivating. I would look at it and compete to see if I could beat the previous day’s count.
The most significant thing, though, has been ghosting social media for much of November. I am not a good multitasker. If I am to focus on completing something, I have to give it my full attention, and right now, that’s this black history book. I was not posting as much or blogging. I will probably continue being missing in action, except the remaining book review posts and NWW, until the draft is complete.
I’m not gonna lie; I looked at National Novel Writing Month sideways a couple of times. I didn’t think it was for me. I am not for the whole “write a book in ten or thirty days” kind of thing. And while it’s not something I would do every year, having participated, I can say that I enjoyed the push it has given me.
If there is one thing I would do differently, it would be to set my own word count goal and try to stick to writing a little every day instead of sitting at the computer for hours. That ain’t healthy.
Who else participated in NaNoWriMo? How was your experience?