I thought that, with an extra week to write, NaNoWriMo would be a piece of cake.
My hubris got the better of me.
Last year, I was soooooo diligent in writing my novel, because I didn’t really have anything to do. Sure, I was dealing with Hurricane Sandy’s aftermath, but I also… http://katkatravels.com/?p=1913
Sardinal, Costa Rica. ©KatkaTravels
It makes you try out a new style of writing. While it’s awesome to be an expert in a certain genre, as writers, we should be challenging ourselves. That means diverging away from traditional travel writing, and trying something different. How… http://katkatravels.com/?p=1903
I briefly posted last week that I had achieved the goal of completing a 50,000 word novel by November 30th, 2012. This is exciting for me because A) my discipline was able to motivate me and help me forge ahead and B) it’s just proof that I can do it at all.
I recently had an argument with a former classmate on the concept of writing a certain amount of pages for an academic paper within a certain amount of time. Her excuse was that people have lives outside of school and when deadlines are not structured into the completion of the program, it’s nearly impossible to hand in an assignment on time. My reasoning was that if you care about something, you make time for it. It doesn’t have to be a long period of time even – during NaNoWriMo I was always able to find a solitary hour or two to write even during my hectic full-time school/full-time work/full time Hurricane Sandy junk. Why?
Because achieving the goal of NaNoWriMo was important to me.
The amount of effort we put into activities dictates our passion towards them. Think of a high school or class that you excelled in – why do you think you did so well? Because you cared about it enough to put the time in and get a good grade.
And there is definitely a difference between not being able to do something, and not full on not caring. Just because you don’t care about something doesn’t mean you’re a bad person, it just means that you are funnelling your energy and time into stuff that you do care about. I think that’s admirable and everyone has their own priorities. For example, I have math homework that I put off allllll the time to write travel articles instead. Am I the worst person in the world for not wanting to do math? No. It will get done. Just not as fast as I get my travel writing done…
So I am thrilled to have accomplished NaNoWriMo the first time around, and I can’t wait to participate next year. At this point, it’s time to revise and edit the content and see if it is worth publishing. I don’t have a lot of time to dedicate to that now – in the process of finishing schools and possibly moving. After this semester ends, things will be better.
How was your NaNoWriMo experience? Were you able to reach the 50k goal?
Word count: 44,253 Goal: 50,000
One more day to reach 50k! Although NaNoWriMo has definitely been harder than I thought, I think I’ll finish on time. Writing the content is the easy part, it’s finding the time to write that is the issue. After all the personal challenges I’ve faced lately I am proud that I’ve gotten this far, and created something very special.
I’m just pissed though, because I only discovered the NaNoWriMo website the other day. I could have been tracking my progress, connected with like-minded WriMos, participated in local write-ins and more. Oh well – now I’m registered and I can be more proactive next year.
So now that NaNoWriMo is over, I can concentrate on bigger things – like my new website! Be on the lookout for katkatravels.com, where you’ll find a more personalized version of this blog, along with some more professional information and links to other sources. Yay!
Did you reach your NaNoWriMo goal? Are you a part of the NaNoWriMo community online? Let me know your user name and we’ll become buddies!
Word count as of today: 41,006 (out of 50,000)
I’ve fallen behind on my NaNoWriMo schedule. The past few days were filled with several events that kept me away from computers for a majority of the day and I wasn’t able to meet my goal of 5 pages per night. I have a lot of catching up to do. I’ve also been engrossed in several projects, professionally and academically, which of course have to take precedence. I know it’s cliche, but there really aren’t enough hours in a day to do all of the things I need to do!
I’m satisfied with the work I’ve produced thus far however. Every day something new happens that I can add to my story and make it authentic. What I’m hoping arises from this project is how amazing people really are. The amount of resilience, kindness and power people have offered during this tragic time is truly astounding. It’s been almost five weeks since the storm hit but for many, their lives are starting to get back to normal thanks to help from others. People just want to help, and I, along with those in more need, are eternally grateful for this. It has really restored within me a sense of hope and acknowledgement that yes, there are assholes out there but when the time calls for it, people really band together and make good.
So I have to be more diligent about my work and try to cram in a page or two whenever I get a free moment. I’d really like to make a significant dent in this project just to prove to myself that I am capable of writing something cool within a short amount of time. Whether or not this goes on to be published, I don’t know, but at least I’ll be able to say to myself “You did it! Congratulations!” and maybe buy myself a drink.
Have you had any trouble with your NaNoWriMo process? What have you done to remedy the situation?
I can’t believe November is halfway through basically! Thanksgiving is NEXT WEEK hot damn. So only a few more days left of NaNoWriMo! How is everyone else coming along?
I’m about 50 pages/27,243 words in. Which means I have at least 125 pages to go. It’s tougher than I thought, but only because I missed the first two-three days due to Hurricane Sandy. I’m going to try and make those days up as much as I can but if I don’t meet the realistic deadline, I’m not going to be too bummed – hellO, my home was destroyed! There are more important things to deal with…
But for the most part, it’s been a lot of fun. I can’t believe how the words just flow onto the page. Goddamn, I love disciplined writing. Give me a deadline, and I’ll give you solid gold. Diligence and will-power are not easy qualities to obtain, but despite that just the practice of doing the same thing and having the same goal every night has really made a difference. Knowing I have to complete something in a certain amount of time, for some reason, makes me more productive than just letting me take my time.
I’m interested to see how things progress within the coming weeks. Now that school and work are back to normal, it’s been a bit harder to stay on target, but I make it work. I’m probably going to have to up my daily goal to about 8 pages/day, which isn’t terrible, but isn’t easy either.
What has been the biggest challenge for you during NaNoWriMo?
I meant to post an update last week about my NaNoWriMo process but OOOPS my home got decimated by a hurricane, and I’ve only JUST received power today. So far, I’ve been able to stick to my goal of about 5 pages a day, but the topic has changed. This past week has been both a nightmare for me and an incredibly inspirational time, so I’ve decided to write about my experience with Hurricane Sandy. I think my story is unique in that I’m somewhere in between “People who just lost power” and “People who lost their entire homes and have absolutely nowhere to go.”
Sometimes, you have to lose it all in order to gain more.
There are definitely some travel-related themes throughout the book as well. For example, I have become an actual vagabond, floating between homes with only the clothing on my back (or in a garbage bag – the flood took all my luggage). Many travel skills were utilized during this hurricane, such as living without electricity (I lived without in Ghana) and taking public transportation during the gas shortage (so much fun!). I am in the process of recovering my travel journals, which are oh-so-special to me and hopefully survived well enough for me to type them up and save them forever.
That’s all I have to say right now about that. Granted, I’ve had a lot of free time to work on this as my company lost power and they aren’t sure when it will be restored. So right now I am also jobless, which has its ups and downs.
How are you doing with your NaNoWriMo process?
National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) is creeping up on us. The idea is to write a full-fledged novel (175 pages, 50,000 words) between November 1 and November 30, 2012. People always say they are going to do this thing, but then they never do it. Why? Because writing a novel is hard as f*ck.
But this year, along with allllll the other things going on in my life (full-time job, full-time grad school, freelance writing gigs, etc), I’m going to do it. I am going to write a novel in 30 days or less. Here’s my plan:
Set Goals: I calculated that 175 pages in 30 days is about 6 pages per day. When you look at it like that, it’s hella easy! When I sit down to write, my average is about 10-15 pages a day.
Set Deadlines: Despite my fantastic page turnout, my problem is I don’t have any deadlines, so the content fizzles out until I’m bored with one project and move on to the next. A deadline of November 30 will hopefully keep me on-task.
Set the Pace: I’m super good at doing that. I’m not a procrastinator and I like breaking things up, so the 6 page a day goal is pretty realistic timeframe for me.
So what am I going to write about? A travel novel of course! I’ve been trying to put together an eBook for quite some time and this would be the perfect opportunity to hammer it out and make that happen. If not, I have another genre I’ve been tinkering with, but I won’t reveal that until I’ve met my goal…
Interestingly enough, NaNoWriMo is “all about quantity, not quality. The kamikaze approach forces you to lower your expectations, take risks, and write on the fly” (Gotham Writer’s Workshop). Basically, I’ll be writing a draft based on diligence, not a finished product at my leisure.
Does NaNoWriMo sound like something you’d like to do? Let’s hear your thoughts! Leave a comment below and let me know if you’ll be taking up the challenge! You can learn more about NaNoWriMo here.