I do not recommend NaNoWriMo to any writer who has been writing for a while, whether published or unpublished to partake in NaNoWriMo unless they are used to writing more than 1700 words per day under pressure. In fact I would even stretch to say, unless you are used to writing at least 2000 words per day, because when you do NaNoWriMo you become obsessed with having certain amount of words rather than good quality work. This can be especially true for those writers out there (and I am one of those writers) who are highly competitive outside of writing in every other thing – this feeds my competitive nature far too much.
The work I have done on NaNoWriMo is shockingly awful; it is the worse stuff I have ever, EVER done. It will take me much longer to edit the first draft than would have been usual for me. I am dreading to re-read what I have done and for the record, no, I haven’t won NaNoWriMo and I will not by Wednesday, simply because I stopped writing the novel altogether last week at 37,504 words. I am disgusted at myself for the quality of work I have done; I am not used to creating that kind of garbage. With that said, the novel in itself isn’t too bad an idea; there are many wonderful things that have happened during the NaNoWriMo challenge, some of which are pleasantly surprising and helpful to enhance the richness of the plot as a whole, but in practise, the story is unemotional and I missed several key points in my plot because of the word count.
I suppose the speed of NaNoWriMo assisted mainly in the brainstorming phase of my writing; I certainly had a brainstorm for something interesting to happen in the novel outside of my key elements as often as once every ten paragraphs approximately. However, simply sitting back and doing my daily journal does that if I concentrate purely on the current novel I am working on; something of which I hadn’t had the energy to do throughout the challenge. I had no energy to do any other form of work in writing or art; it was starting to burn me out. I had no energy to read books or even update my personal diary and morning pages.
The entire challenge zapped me; it absorbed me and ultimately slowed me down. I wrote less per day than I would normally, ironic because of the word count obsession, but it did indeed; slow me down by 800 words per day.
I think I could have kept with the challenge despite the shoddiness of work, if there was more support. However, my region seems to be a ghost town, hardly anyone has been seen on any of the forums or the chatrooms provided, the only support I had got were from people who were not doing the challenge and were writers who look at the challenge with a sympathetic eye. I spent ages sitting around waiting for someone to talk to from the NaNoWriMo site, even trying to seek out NaNoWriMo writers from twitter and other places to come up against a social brick wall.
NaNoWriMo although was a terrible experience for me, was still fruitful in its way. I brainstormed through the toil and was provided with small gems to make my plot as a whole sparkle. But I have a lot of extra unnecessary work to do, when editing comes around. Let me put this into plainer terms… The first chapter of the novel will be completely deleted and replaced with only a nice, neat three paragraphs and that is only the first chapter. Something I am not used to doing, I am not used to creating that amount of rubbish.
I am bored with the novel at the moment, I won’t continue with it perhaps until way after New Year. Meanwhile I will start reviving my blog again and work on the other two novels I wanted to do during the challenge, without the panic that I shall be a failure unless I reach 50k for just one novel in 30 days.
As I said before, I wrote more outside of the challenge, than I did within it.
So, will I be taking up NaNoWriMo challenge 2017? You must be joking? Of course I won’t.