Overall, how did NaNoWriMo go? What went well? What did not go well?
In broad terms, NaNoWriMo was a successful experience for me. I was able to avoid the “writer’s block syndrome” and keep each day’s writing following a vague storyboard established when I was brainstorming ideas. This, I think, was the key to my relatively high 17,558 word count. When I wrote, I devoted 30 minutes f0r my novel (give or take 10 minutes depending on the day of week), spending no time grappling for slippery ideas that seem to escape as soon as you locate them. As a result, each day there was 30 minutes of solid typing, and the plot evolved and took shape in a way that was satisfactory for me. I believe that this was something that went very well for me during my NaNoWriMo experience.
However, all ups must have downs. Even though I strove to find the time to write every day, it was hard to discipline myself to actually squeeze time out of my schedule to accomplish a feat of 30 minutes. Sometimes, my day’s schedule made it impossible for me to write, leaving me scrambling to catch up the next day. Nevertheless, the number of days skipped added up, and instead of the 30,000 word goal, I was stuck with a measly 17,000. When I run this number through in my head, I am met with surprise. For just short of half the month, I had failed to find time to write on my novel. This statistic was astounding, and showed how hard it was to keep a steady stream of writing over a period of time as long as a month. Therefore, finding time to actually write did not go very well for me.
What did you learn about yourself? (Did you grow in writing or discipline or any other areas)?
This question, at first glance, seemed impossible to answer. It seemed to me as if I was a robot, churning out a novel with a mindset designed specifically for ideas, not lessons. However, when I look back upon this experience, I see that the life lessons taught in NaNoWriMo crept into my brain without me noticing. Lessons such as “discipline is hard (duh)” and “writing a book could be fun (huh? sure…)” were all made noticeable throughout the course of NaNoWriMo.
As for lessons about myself, I became conscious of how jam-packed my schedule was and how tempted I was to spend my free time doing something rather than writing on my novel. For the latter, whenever I get the few small hours of peace in the evening of weekends, the last thing I wanted to do was spend more brainpower churning out a novel. Most of the time, the temptation to get a tutor’s homework over with or to open Minecraft got the better of me, and I lost a day of writing right there. I learned how inflexible my life really was, and how difficult it was to add a new daily activity in it.
But aside from free time, what about my normal day? Despite the few opportunities I got to work on my novel at school, my day after school was either occupied or late in the night. The same goes for weekends: After I wake up in the morning, I don’t get quality down time until after dinner. By then, I’m already completely burned out, and just want to relax. There we go: jam-packed schedule with little inclination in free time for an extra activity. That’s basically what I was made aware of when trying to salvage time to write my novel.
What is the end result? Are you cleaning up a short part to get published?
Frankly, I am quite happy with my end product. Although the plot is left dangling, incomplete, I am planning to compress the entire plot I have in mind into a short story to get published. I like my idea; I just don’t want to spend any more time on finishing it in the form of long chapters. This experience was enough for me. I’ll get my idea shortened and published, and I won’t want to work on my story for any more amount of time.