Whew – I just about achieved this with a few words to spare!
Fortunately, this month I planned my time out well: I knew in advance when I was busy, and that meant I could plan dedicated time slots for writing.
What did I learn?
I learnt three lessons over the past month that will stick with me:
- That I can be quite motivated to write when I dedicate time to do it.
For the past few months I’ve been under the impression that I just lacked the drive or the “inspiration” for writing as I was setting it as a goal every month but not really getting round to doing it. This month I learned that by spending a bit of time figuring out when I’m busy, I can plan my writing time in blocks and get a lot more done that way.
- That I needn’t worry too much if the words don’t gel together the first time I put them together, because that’s what editing’s for.
The first draft is where you lay down the plot, get familiar with your characters, and their relationships, thoughts, goals, and everything else around them. It doesn’t matter if it doesn’t read well, or if you haven’t quite figured out what it your character is doing exactly: just use the best words that come to mind in the moment. The main aim of a first draft is to get your story to exist outside of your own head!
- That I work well when I splitting down the mammoth monthly goal into smaller weekly goals.
Doing this gave me a better view as to whether I was on target week to week, and gave me a kick up the bum when I started to lag behind. If you’ve ever read any of my monthly goals posts, you’ll know this is something I like to do in my life generally, so this process naturally translated to my word count goal, and acted as a good motivator for me to continue.
What’s next for this writing project?
Now I have 20k words with a clear plot outline and a better understanding of my characters and the challenges they’re going to face, I plan to comb through what I’ve gotten already and see which places I need to revisit, build up, research, and amend. There’s actually a lot more of the story to write as well, and while it feels like I’ve only go the bare bones of it written up, there’s a fair amount to add, so hopefully I’ll get to focus on that after I’ve cleaned it up a little.
So, thank you Camp NaNoWriMo for motivating me to make writing my primary focus for a whole month! I started with 0 words and a vague plot, and a month later I have some fleshed out characters, a story that halfway makes sense, and 20,000 words!
Did you take part in Camp NaNoWriMo this month? If so, how did you do?