Saturday, 28 November 2015

I'm a NaNoWriMo Winner!

When I started the National Novel Writing Month challenge, I wasn't at all sure I'd be able to make it. Writing the best part of a novel (50,000 words) in 30 days seemed an insurmountable task.

All my previous NaNoWriMo attempts had produced less than 20,000 words, and those novels that I'd started then had taken about a year to write and another to edit and perfect. But then I was working full-time, and didn't have any kind of routine with my writing at all.

Now I had more time, but was editing another novel already, and worried I'd not be able to concentrate on two manuscripts at the same time. During the first week in November my back went, which made sitting down and writing quite painful at times.

But I was determined, and together with the support of my family (as always) and of the wonderful Driven Women group, I started a routine, waking up at six am and making myself sit at my desk by 6.30am. Every day. On most days by 9am I had written about 2,000 words, and could get on with research, marketing, layout and design issues with the other books during the rest of the day. Sometimes, the morning stretched onto 10am, but my one limiting factor was my terrier, who had to be taken out - there's only so long you can ignore a dog sitting in front of you asking for a walk.

During the past 28 days, I've missed my 6.30am appointment with my desk on one day only, due to a unscheduled wine tasting evening with a friend (you know who you are!). I also had to take three days out to do some major edits on the current novel, The Navy Wife, but during those non-NaNoWriMo days I was still writing, even though I was getting behind with my word count.

Next week, I'l post some of my tips for how to speed up your writing, in the series of Advice to New Writers, and in it, I'll include lessons I've learned from this NaNoWriMo experience.

But today, later, I will have a glass of something bubbly, and enjoy my winning ways!

Me this morning - no make-up, in a dressing gown, but happy!


Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Helena - well done! Love the photos ... and a terrier walk is such a great way of getting out and about ... enjoy having achieved NaNo ... Hilary

Natalie Davison said...

Bravo Helena - what an achievement!!! You should be so proud!