NaNoWriMo: I Did It!



I took the longest time to decide to join National Novel Writing Month…five years! It was auspicious when I was laid off my full time job and I was looking for something else to do besides painting and crafting and writing poetry, or sorting out odds and ends I’d collected over the years and cleaning out pockets of junk from my apartment. I didn’t even sign up on the 1st of November, because I still wasn’t sure I’d be able to do it, but on the 2nd of November, I decided that if I really wanted to be a novelist, I’d have to sit down and do it.

I have several ideas for books and novels that I’ve been toying around with in my head for years, so I took the one that was most promising and that I’d been wanting to do something about since I became interested in Mythology, which was when I was a kid. I had always wanted to do something in the line of comparative mythology and my first opportunity actually came in a dance show that I produced with Benildanze in 2006: Mythos, which made use of creation stories from Philippine and Japanese mythology.

About a year ago, I was playing with writing dialogue and wrote a few pages of  dialogue that I adapted for the beginning of my first NaNoWriMo novel.

I had no outline, no plan, just a vague idea of how the story would begin, and on the 2nd of November, when I began writing, I put down over 8,000 words. The story just started flowing out then, and everyday, I’d sit and write for maybe two or three hours and come up with anywhere from 1,000 to 3,000 odd words a day. I did a lot of time wasting. I started the day with reading email then Facebook messages; then I’d get breakfast or lunch or brunch, depending on what time it was or how late it was in the morning and watch old episodes of NCIS, Seventh Heaven and now, Monk, on Project Free TV while having my meal. Only then would I begin to write, maybe an hour or two. Then I’d work out for an hour while watching more old TV episodes, shower, then write again for another hour or two. By the then, it would be time for supper and prime time TV, which I’d watch while writing or not writing. Sometimes, I’d continue writing for an hour after all the TV shows and the late news then turn in anywhere between 11 p.m. and 2 a.m., depending on my mood.

At least once a week, I’d start the day with doing laundry. A couple of times, I started with baking. Once, I stopped writing in the afternoon just to bake something because I was thinking of what sort of puzzle I could work into the adventure that was folding out in my novel. But every single day, I would sit down and write, even if it was just for half an hour, just so I wouldn’t lose my momentum. My aim was to finish at least one chapter a day. On a good day, I finished two chapters, which was really a good pace because I never reached a point of burnout.

After my first day of writing, the NaNoWriMo counter projected that I could finish by the 12th of November. By my second day of writing, it was up to the 16th, then the 19th, then finally it stayed on the 28th, which occasionally pushed back to the 29th or forward to the 27th. I completed my 50K words by the 28th, so I’m really happy about that. Now, I’m going to finish my novel, which could take anywhere from 5 to 15 more chapters. I know what I want to happen and it’s just a matter of writing it out. I still don’t know the how for the last third of the novel, but I didn’t know that for the second third of it and, while it took me one whole writing period just to come up with the how, once that had been figured out, the writing just flowed on.

I am fulfilling a dream I have had since I was a very young girl and I am loving it!