NaNoWriMo: The Memoirs – 2007

2007 – shitty year, par deux.

Not that I want to drown everyone in pathos, but damn, 2007 was another painful year. House selling, ex-partner shittery, changing from low paying service to job to low paying service job, dealing with children, moving, and deaths in the extended family all made for a lot more stress and emotional overload.

Thank the deities, or at least the randomness of the universe, for NaNoWriMo.

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If I was feeling down, or filled with grief, I thought about my nano. If I was having to deal with ex being a ginormous asshat, I thought about nano. Some people would probably have turned to their favourite video game, or alcohol, but I was (am) just selfish enough to want my own private thing. Plus I suck at video games and I just can’t drink all that much.

By the time October rolled around, I was ready for NaNoWriMo. In 2006, I had forgotten to mention that I had had a good little plot, which I abandoned as too hard, instead settling for something that was crap. I didn’t want to repeat that, so I reminded myself and stuck to the program. I had a story I liked, I had an outline, I had characters, I had solid scenes blocked out, and while I wasn’t quite sure of the ending, I figured I’d be unlikely to hit that, so I was okay*.

I hit the forums in October, which are like candy to me; I can’t stop at just one. That year, I designed a book cover and everything! I had my forum banner, cover, all the good stuff. I commiserated (already) with others and basically enjoyed myself immensely. I dislike sharing personal troubles when I’m going through them, but hearing about all the problems others were going through made me feel a bit better. We were all in this together.

G Barbier

Inspiration for my 2007 novel. By G Barbier.

I’d been worried that this year would be as horrid as the last, in terms of writing only crap. Thankfully, the story was strong in my head, and the words flowed out in all the huge amounts one hopes for during Nano. I went off on several derailments, adding new directions and new subplots with abandon. Though I wouldn’t realize it quite yet, I was beginning to observe a problem with my Nano novels; I would be so busy throwing in as many words as I could that I was rarely actually advancing the plot**.

Thanks to a solid storyline and inspirational art from the Art Deco period, I was able to keep writing and piling on the words. And I had also discovered Word Wars! Thanks to an MSM account, I would add fellow Nano’ers and whenever we needed to write, we would check to see who was online and battle to see who could write the most words in a set period of time. I could rack up a very respectable daily wordcount just from these word wars; it definitely helped me to finish. And one-on-one chatting with fellow Nano fanatics? Priceless.

By the end of that November, I had finished another marathon of 50k words, felt a sense of accomplishment, and was able to think of myself as a bit of a writer. Maybe.

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*And I was right; I got perhaps a quarter of the way into the story.

**This would be a recurring problem over the years.

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