NaNoWriMo: Halfway Update


This is not my first NaNoWriMo. It is my third attempt, and the only time I succeeded in finishing my story was the very first year. I liked the story at the time, but if I read my words now I realize little in terms of a story. Last year I had no idea what to write so I wrote barely 2k words before I gave up.

This year I had a great idea, I loved the idea so much that I woke up from a dream, made a note of the idea and slept back again. The dream is vaguely fresh in my head.

I knew early on that I might not be able to keep up with the daily goal. I knew that I wouldn’t be able to finish my story this month. When I sit down and write the words do pour out but I hardly have time to write daily. I would rather read a book, which I wholeheartedly do.

According to the site, I am supposed to have 25k words down by today. I have about 6 to 7k words down yet. In fact, I am only through to the first three chapters of my supposed story.

There has been one good thing though: I know that if I have to keep writing, all I need is a half hour sprint. I was able to maintain a daily half hour sprint a month ago and I am sure I can do it again. I might just finish this story eventually so I couldn’t ask for anything more.

NaNoWriMo Winner!


I heard about this contest a year ago while reading someone’s blog. Then it seemed a gigantic task: complete 50,000 words of your manuscript/novel in 30 days. This year when Alisha asked me about this, I jumped at the opportunity. Obviously, I have written about this previously too: My writing goal is to get published.

 

So after deep thinking of less than one second, I went ahead with this. All I needed was a story.

Mid October to 31st October:

I decided to use the idea, boy meets girl and things go wrong. Simple idea, simple plot and leaving everything else to just conveniences. Just to make sure that I don’t loose my way through the novel, I made loose plot lines and decided in the beginning and end of the novel. I felt ready, I purposely chooses to reduce my workload and tell less people about this.

Untitled

1st November:

Unfortunately, I do not remember where I wrote this novel. I have a habit of writing on my mobile and my computer so I do not know where I wrote it first. I had a daily target of 1700 words which will amount to an exact 51000 words. First day, I finished my prologue. My mind was clear and focussed and I guess that is why my prologue turned out to be the best. I wrote 1700 words and thought, wow this is so easy.

I could not be more wrong.

2-10th day:

I fell back. I tried to keep up and I just could not do it perfectly. I renamed my novel from ‘Started With A Date’ to ‘Convenient Caliber’ and tried looking for some ideas for covers. Oh and 9th November, my office colleagues gave me one of the best birthday surprises ever!

11-20th day:

I picked speed again, catching up and finally reaching the daily target. I wrote now mostly during travel time on my phone. No more games and no novel readings. Only writing and more writing. I refrained from all sorts of distractions like twitter, Facebook or my own blog!

It finally got easier.

20-27th day:

I joined Twitter and read up on people’s experiences. I was shocked to see other writers reach and cross 50k mark during those days. Even more dumbfounding was the fact that these novelists were aiming for 100k. Meanwhile, my writing suffered a little but I kept it up. I was so used to writing on my phone by now that whenever I sat on my computer to write, I fell asleep.

It was during this period that I read a tweet saying take the proposed end of your novel and bring it to to the middle of the novel. I used that advice, or tried to use it.

Day 28 & 29:

I finished and verified a huge 50164 words! Then, because only I knew the content of my novel I looked for a cover. I found an online cover designing website called Canva, free registration and free good resources. I kept my design minimalist and made my cover. There is an exact scene like this in the novel.

Book Cover: Mayur Wadhwani

 

I shared it on Facebook and twitter. Congratulations kept pouring in, because they thought I had published my novel, which was far from the truth.

The hardest part was sitting to write. Not because I did not knew what to write but simply because I lacked the will to do so. Easiest part was writing. I was shocked my brains ability to seamlessly cultivate words and scenes which I had not even thought of before. I would be writing and the words kept flowing.

I had a lot of things happening in November. Amidst the worst time, I wrote because trying to make a fictional character’s life better was something of an excuse to do something. Unlike so many other great writer, I did not spend countless hours on character development and backgrounds. I kept it easy and I finished. It is the best feeling to set a goal and then finish it. 15 chapter, prologue and epilogue and I finished. I have not touched the manuscript(I think) from that time because the words are too fresh in my mind to try and revise the book.

Will I do it again? Definitely!

Should you try it next year? Hell yeah! There us no better motivation than watching your progress on a graph.

2

 

Quitting Blogging, Missing Birthdays and all the rest


Around the time I started working, I was out of ideas, I had nothing to write anymore and even worse I was hesitant to share the things I used to share so bravely when I was back in college. Moreover, I was frantic over the fact that my blog, something that I am dabbing with my soul for so long is simply refusing to fly. So a month ago, I decided to quit blogging. That seemed like the perfect solution to things, no more blog posts and then no more stats to worry about.


In the last two months six of my friends had their birthdays. Before I had left college I had promised all of my friends I will keep in touch with them. Now almost six months later (where did the six months go!), I cannot even remember their birthdays. I missed six birthdays, I never checked birthdays on Facebook. Some of them understood, some of them cursed me playfully. Although I am never the one for partying I do intend to be there for friends especially on the big days. I couldn’t even remember my best friends birthdays.


I hated my decision to quit, but when I knew the only way for me to enjoy this again is to make sure I stop looking at the page views. I even gave a trial run of writing in my phone for a couple of days as a personal journal. It was good, that made me realize what is more important when I blog here. I ended up catching up with the bloggers who I follow and I loved what they wrote. I read and I read more than I can ever.


I called up my friends, apologized for not being there with them on their day. To my best friend I offered to buy a gift. And I never do gifts, the entire idea is highly overrated to me. But the guilt that rode me made me offer.Luckily, friend here never thought too big of it. So did all the other friends, they understood. I must have done something right by them, otherwise I have seen friendships broken with such little thought.


Another one of my blog friend quit blogging around the same time I contemplating to quit. She started blogging when I started and her blog I really enjoyed. Even though she wrote only about nonsensical things (sorry :P) I liked her blog. With her leaving this place, I felt bereavement of sorts. We are still in touch but she hardly ever blogs anymore, regardless of the fact she has a new blog.


I was afraid moreover that my own blog can be used against me. It took some will to convince myself that the only people reading this will be the ones who actually want to know what is happening in my life. My blog is going to be updated today after almost a month. Only yesterday did I realize that maybe I do have somethings to say. I will always have new things to say. I just need to stop making excuses to not write here.


I did meet my friends again. Not all of them, but with them the old familiarity returns however tarnished. I speak less with them, I speak less with everyone. I think I did make some new friends again, actual friends and not bullshit ones. I always had a plan to get my shit together so to say, only tonight I am beginning to try.

Now, as I proofread this I realize my writing is still very bad. My thoughts muddled and yet I am going to try big things like #NaNoWriMo. I have no idea how am I actually going to achieve that. Neither do I know how I will actually continue writing and how am I going to prioritize things in life. I guess I should say I am sorry for almost deleting my blog, I should say I am sorry to my friends for forgetting birthdays. But enough self-pity for a day.