And my total word count for my inaugural NaNoWriMo attempt was….
I won’t call this a failure because I still feel like I accomplished so much, and I learned quite a bit from this challenge to prepare me for next year.
Make sure you aren’t working on any other writing projects that are a higher priority.
This is a big one, especially because I write for a living. During this ambitious NaNoWriMo challenge, I was also working on day job writing assignments, freelance writing projects, an original teleplay with a co-writer (that we plan to submit to competitions), my weekly improv class (which is now going to be a troupe! That’s a whole other blog post.), plus just having a life. My other writing projects were time sensitive and were also a much higher priority. Thus, this personal challenge was doomed from the beginning.
Family comes first.
I actually had two family emergencies come up just before Thanksgiving that required me to travel 6 hours away – on the very weekend I had planned to knock out a lot of my writing assignments. Fortunately, both family members are fine now, and I’m so entirely grateful that I got to reconnect with relatives I hadn’t seen in years, but that just goes to show life doesn’t always go according to plan.
Don’t choose an ambitious topic to write about when NaNoWriMo is already an ambitious challenge!
This should’ve been a no-brainer, but I didn’t realize how ambitious my own story was until I was actually writing it. My first attempt at writing and completing a novel was for a dystopian, science-fiction, eugenics type of idea that also required tons of research that I had not started on. Other than a summary and character notes, I did not prep. And since it takes place about 200 years in the future, I had to make up a lot of things that never even crossed my mind. Then, at some point I got confused by my own imagination, and I literally had to draw out a map of the building my story was taking place in. I lost track of my own ideas! But, I also became very fascinated with designing my own world that I look forward to getting back to this story when I have more time.
That’s pretty much the summary of my November and first attempt at NaNoWriMo. How did yours go?