5 Lessons I Learnt From NaNoWriMo

Writing


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This year, I did not complete the NaNoWriMo. At the beginning of November, I was so so sure that I would nail it this year. I had a story line with the plot twists and turns, characters straight in my head  and even the book cover down.

In the first three days, I did more then 5k words… then…. came travel, injuries, sickness and distractions… all of these stood their ground in blocking my way and kept me away from completing it. On 30th November, I knew I could not complete it and gave up. I was heart broken. The impact of this failure was so much that I fell sick. Physically sick. I spent the day lying up curled in my bed and was throwing up every few minutes. No, it was not a good place to be in.

Not knowing what was bothering me and attributing it to bad posture and unhealthy eating, I went off to work the next day. It was a long, mad and satisfying day at work. The morning after, I was sick again and wondering why. I realised that my eating was erratic, my posture was consistently bad but that is something I have dealt with before. What kept bothering me this time is the constant nagging thought at the back of my head that I did not complete my draft this year. Was my falling sick a sign self inflicted misery at a metaphysical level?

I do not know. What I do know is that the story I wrote last year is half crap. The manuscript lies discarded and the characters do not speak to me anymore. This year, I wanted quality too. May be that is what I did wrong. Maybe I am not meant to write a novel in 30 days. Maybe this is what it means to fail. Once I was done wallowing in this misery I told myself that I have yet to find the writing style that is best suited to me. I am experimenting to see that works for me and what does not. There is nothing wrong in failing at something if you are able to bounce back and give it another shot. There is nothing wrong in not being successful in your attempt if you learn fom each attempt and do things differently. That is what I plan to do. Here is what I have learnt from attempting the NaNoWriMo in 2015 and 2016

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Writing Milestones #MicroblogMonday

NaNo-2015-Winner-Banner

On November 30, 2004 I tried something new. As someone who is alwasy excited to try new stuff out, this was not a big deal. What is a big deal though is I am still doing that thing. 11 years have passed and am still blogging!

Today, is my eleven year blogging anniversary. My first post was published on my blogger blog and it was a story. I had always been a story teller in my head but writing it on my blog was the first step I took to putting my stories out there for the world to read. It was the start of my story writing.

Fast forward to 30th November 2015 i.e. today and I once again did something amazing. Allow me to gloat a little people while I tell you this…

I won NaNoWriMo 2015!!!

Here is what I wrote in the WriMo India group after winning it and I mean every word of it!

On Thursday, 26th November I was on 16,063 words and toying with the idea of giving up. I will try next year I said to myself. If it were not for the fabulous, amazing, awesome people in this group I would have.

So let me start by saying thank you to Sonia Rao – the super amazing mother goose of WriMo India. Her energy, her motivation and her capability to motivate are a league of their own. She is still cheering on those in the running and even though she has completed her 50k words, is waiting to validate after every one else is done!! When I read she was waiting for me, I actually teared up. Sonia, I can not thank you enough and really owe this to you *hugs*

To all the other WriMos Disha Narain Khemchandani Vidya V. RaghavanChristina Daniels Shweta Garg Mithila Menezes Neeraj Bhople and everyone else who my hands are too shaly to tag, thank you… you have inspired me, supported me and in the last two days, cheered me on. This is my first novel and you helped me shape it. For that, I am thankful.

Last but not the least, I have to acknowledge my awesome family. They pretty much left me alone for the last three days, as I chased a himalayan target. Even though they would never read this, I am deeply grateful for having them.

I am not finished with the book but the skeleton is pretty much there. Tomorrow, I may start the edits but for now, it is time to bring out the bubbly!

So basically I wrote 21757 words today and that does not include the 450 odd in this blog post and hundreds others in the WriMo India group. My fingers are lead, my shoulders are dead but my heart is as alive as could have ever been!

I plan to talk about my NaNoWriMo experience but that is a post for another day!

ps – 30th November seems a big date for my writing milestones… hoping it will continue to be!!