by Maureen L. Bonatch
…But not having an empty, blank page is delightful. When you’ve only got a month to go, let words flow, let words flow, let words flow!
…Or How To Keep Writing that Novel Even When You Want To Quit.
Forgive my attempt at butchering what may be one of your favorite Christmas songs, but I am fresh out of National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWri) and high off a win. (A win meaning that I wrote 50,000 words in the month of November).
I’ve written about NaNoWri many times before and addressed things such as:
- How to bounce back from all that sitting by making a DIY standing treadmill desk
- Secrets to winning NaNoWri for pansters (raises hand) and procrastinators
- For your loved ones who must deal with the NaNoWri obsessed
- How NaNoWri is a little like being a alien
- The month after NaNoWri Poem
So I’m sure you’re wondering what else I could possibly have to say about National Novel Writing Month—don’t tempt me. I did just vomit out 50,000 words in a tight time frame.
But despite participating for the past 10 years, this year’s NaNoWri was a little different. Even though I love NaNoWri and look forward to it every year. This year was the first time since I started winning over the last 6 years that I was tempted to quit.
What Kept My Fingers on the Keyboard
You Can’t Edit A Blank Page (I’ve
tried. It’s Useless)
Peer Pressure (AKA: Find Your People)
- I may have a ‘hot mess’ of 50,000 words, but there is bound
to be some diamonds in the rough once I tear it apart with editing.
Be A Role Model (Moms Can’t Be Quitters)
- I joined several teams (SavvyAuthors NaNoWri Bootcamp and From the Heart Romance Writers (FTHRW)) who competed
for the most words for the month. There’s nothing like a little competition to
get me up and at the keyboard at the crack of dawn. The sprints, motivational
quotes and team spirit helped as well.
- Besides my teams, for the last few years I’ve not competed in NaNoWri alone. For two years both my daughters joined in, but didn’t make it
too far through the month (they were around 13), last year one of my daughters
did NaNoWri with me but she didn’t hit the word count, but this year she did! When I was tempted to give it up I'd see her determinedly pushing through the word counts. When I showed her my winning certificate on the 29th, it pushed her enough to finish over 5,000 words in one day and make goal!
What I Learned From This Year
- Prepare Before You Start: I don’t outline, but prior years when I wrote a brief summary of the story, or at least a list of plot points I ended up with a more coherent story—that still required heavy editing.
- Don’t Be A “Yes” Girl: I knew from the start of the month that I’d overextended myself with personal, professional and writing obligations in addition to NaNoWri. But I was too stubborn to miss my favorite month.
Kind of Like My Christmas Tree
As the final days of NaNoWri wound down, the story hung heavy on my mind as we put up our Christmas decorations. Our tree isn’tone of the ones that is color coordinated, or themed, it’s more of what I like to think of as a memory tree. I buy an ornament for my girls and husband each year to symbolize something from that year.
As I watched the tree spin on the rotating stand, with it’s collection of ornaments that didn’t quite go together, but each spectacular on their own. I realized that’s kind of how my NaNoWri story turned out this year.
Now to make those pieces mesh into a perfect whole.
|My 2012 NaNoWri Winner!|
|My 2013 NaNoWri Winner!|
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Author Bio: Maureen Bonatch grew up in small town Pennsylvania and her love of the fourwebsite, Facebook & Twitter