Camp NaNoWriMo Update and Reflections

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Okay, I am more awake now so I can finally do this update.

As you all probably already know, I failed NaNoWriMo. If you want the numbers, here you go:

Day 29: 28,900 words

Day 30: 30,450 words

Day 31: 33,061 words

So, as you can you see, I was writing a fair bit but unfortunately, it’s because I hit a wall with the fan fiction, just like I did with the crime novel. I also spent part of day 31 procrastinating and not actually, you know, writing.

So what have I learned over the last month?

Firstly,  whilst being able to rewrite a book quickly and efficiently is the mark of a professional writer, I cannot do it whilst doing NaNoWriMo. It’s a logistical nightmare to count up new words written, check up on information from other parts of the novel and do a bang up job of rewriting the novel properly.

Even if I had written a crib sheet of important and a running order of what happens in the novel, I don’t think it would be possible for me to actually write the novel in NaNo.

Secondly, planning what happens and doing a bit more research beyond a certain point helps to actually write any story of any type. This is what stopped me in both the crime novel and the short fan fiction story.

The short story was just badly unplanned and written out of boredom. In the case of the novel, I only actually planned up to and including the trial. I did not actually think the second part of the novel through properly. Shame on me and I have attempted to learn this lesson for the past year or so when I realised this personal flaw in my method in working last year.

Still, another bump on the road. Another lesson to learn.

Thirdly, I need to stop procrastinating and writing too late at night. Well, within reason.

Many writers procrastinate and it can be a good thing (providing it doesn’t go to the extreme) but I seem to spend a lot of time not writing and thinking a bit too much over the last month. It wasn’t even spent productively! This was especially the case on Day 31.

As for writing too late, that’s more about the fact I seemed to START writing too late at night. If I am on a roll, then I will keep writing beyond midnight as I will eventually tire and finish but I really need to actually start writing earlier in the afternoon. I might actually get more written! I struggle to settle and write in the morning but can get work done in the afternoon.

There’s probably a few other lessons I have learned that I haven’t realised yet but those three, they are certainly the most important ones.

So here’s to learning lessons and improving as a writer.

Here’s to those amazing people who finished July and to those, like me, who didn’t.

Here’s to the fantastic staff at the Office of Light and Letters who have run the event and the website.

And here’s to the next session and the one after that and the one after that to challenge and improve everyone as writers of any kind.

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