12/02/2016

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About one month ago, I published a post called "I might write a novel this november".
Well, "might" has now turned into reality.

I participated in NaNoWriMo this year and wrote more tha 50.000 words. The average amount of words, one has to write every day to complete the goal in 30 days is 1.667 words. To push it a little, I set my daily goal to 1.700 words. I had composed an exel document to track my word count every day. I also had prepared an outline document and a still blank word document called "Written".
So, november 1st arrived. And I wrote a little more than my 1.700 words. I just had the outline and started writing. To be honest, it was a lot easier than I had expected it to be. I thought that I had to invest many hours a day and even cut my sleep to reach my daily goal, but it was way easier today. I just set "1.700 words for NaNo" every day on the top of my to do list and that was about it. I invested usually 70 minutes a day into writing. That might seem a lot, but within a 24 hour day, it is not that much time.
I was honestly surprised about how well my story was going. As said previously, I wrote a fanfiction and had a rough outline planned in beforehand. It turned out that this outline was extremely vague and I worked out a lot of parts of the plot as I was going along. Still, I had no problem keeping track of the overall story. It is not a complicated or conflicted story, the story is pretty linear, so I was able to put in smaller plot parts without damaging the plot.
NaNo definitely helped me being more productive. I learned that work was indeed taking significantly longer, if I was eating or listening to music while I was writing. Although it might create a tumblry photo to have a cake in a mug next to you while typing, it just hinders the progress and causes my keyboard to get dirty as well. So, I abolished this habit about halfway into NaNo, as well as the habit to listen to music. Silence is the best music for working.
Coincidently, I stumbled about a video that brought up a program called "Cold Turkey Writer". This program is a blocking site for writers, once you set your minute/ word goal, you are not able to use anything but the writing program, until you have finished this goal. Even though I was not getting too distracted from my computer while writing, this program definitely helped me focus on my work a little more. Since I used it at two thirds of the progress, I was constantly a little ahead of the daily word goal.
Because NaNo was something that I knew, I had to invest more than an hour of time in every day, I build up the rest of my day more efficiently, stayed more focused during other work and generally wasted less time. Still, I caught myself scrolling on tumblr, but it was at least not that frequently.
So, the end of the month was coming closer and I felt pretty positive about my a- little- ahead progress. It became clear, that I would be finished at november 28th or 29th.
At november 29th, I was 1.500 words away from the goal of 50.000 words and had the intention to finish this day. I came from home late by foot (I missed the bus by seconds) and immediately sat down to my computer. The end was the most beautiful part to write because there, all four main characters finally meet each other and there is a little hope spread. There, I also kept my story pretty close to the original story. I ended with about 50.270 words. Then, I had to sort the parts, what was a little annoying but necessary work in perfectionizing my story. I was blissed.
Writing was a lot more fun and a lot less pain than expected. I was stuck only a few times in the whole month and mostly enjoyed writing. Writing this fanfiction made me appreciate the novel, it is based on even more. I also contacted the novel's author and told her about my project. It was just a way of me exploring the original story even deeper and love it more.
Above all, reaching NaNo's goal was rewarding, because it was one of the things, I always wanted to do "sometimes, when I have more time." Truth is, you never have "time enough" to write a whole month. You make this time, restructure your day, become more efficient. I went to school while I was doing NaNo and it was in the start of exam season. I still enjoyed other activities.
More than just talking about doing this, I now just did so. I won NaNo. And it was an amazing experience.
Have a nice day.

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