November was a unique month for me, so though this is not something I would normally do on the blog, I wanted to take a post to reflect on the month.
What happened in terms of…
Reading: I didn’t read, at all. It wasn’t weird at first, since I used to not read all the time, but probably about halfway through the month it started to feel weird. Especially when I realized how much everyone in the blogsphere had read in those two weeks that I hadn’t.
TV watching: I haven’t watched as much Fringe thanks to live TV shows and basketball season. So my husband and I are still very slowly making our way through the final season of Fringe, which is short, and have also been keeping up with Castle and Agents of SHIELD. And then I watched Almost Human last week and I think I want to start watching it too. Still need to catch up on the first two episodes of that.
Movie watching: I saw three movies in the theater, which is also unusual: Ender’s Game, Thor 2, and Catching Fire. I reviewed them all on here. I was hoping to watch The Book Thief but it just now came into theaters in my area, so I hope I can catch it before it leaves (especially since next weekend for me is SLAMMED).
Writing: Well, I exceeded my NaNoWriMo goal of 50,000 words! Yay! *Confetti!* I might have technically written some of those words in late October, but they were edited and typed/pasted into a new word document starting November 1. And come on, writing even close to that many words in one month was a super major accomplishment for me. Writing a story from beginning to end (well, mostly, I did skip around just a little) was also quite a feat for me. Is most of it crap? You bet. But I’ll worry about that later. The point is, the words are written down at all, and that’s better than where they were a month ago.
Blogging: It was hard to keep up with blogging as well this month because of my focus on writing, but I did better than I thought I would. I loved doing Sci-Fi Month and am so glad I participated, even if some of my posts didn’t turn out as grandiose as I had originally planned because I didn’t write them far enough ahead of time. I wish I could have read more posts from the event from bloggers I don’t normally follow. As it is, I’m still trying to catch up on posts from bloggers I do follow posted a few days ago…
My personal life: I got some news that was hard to receive. It’s not about an illness or anything like that, it’s just a change in my life that is going to be hard for me to get used to, but I am extremely thankful for God and for people in my life (particularly my husband) who will help me through the change.
My thoughts on the NaNoWriMo experience…
Would I do it again? Maybe, if it felt right. It is stressful, and it is hard. For some reason, I wanted to give up on the SECOND TO LAST DAY OF THE MONTH. You would think it’s so close at that point, and that I could see the light at the end of the tunnel, but for some reason, I was about to crack. Thankfully, my husband encouraged me to push on when I didn’t want to! In addition to his encouragement, I also feel I was able to meet this goal thanks to some holiday time off, my strong intrinsic motivation to meet goals, and all the sweet Internet people who encouraged me along the way! THANK YOU!
It was a good exercise for me to do this year. I needed it as a kick in the pants. I am very glad I did it this time.
What did I learn? Just write something. Don’t worry about perfection. Things can be cleaned up later. It can’t be cleaned up if there’s nothing there at all. And I learned that I am capable of pushing through Act 2, where my story always struggles and I always give up. And of course, it’s way easier said than done! I kept reading and hearing, Push through it. It’s OK to write crap, just write. But sometimes it’s hard to just write when you have no idea what your character wants or needs or what should happen next or you don’t know what day of the week it is (either in the fiction world or the real world) and your brain’s gone to mush. I’m going to let my story sit and cool for the month of December, focus back on reading and get through the holidays, and then in January I’ll come back to it and see if I think it can be redeemed. I think I had some good ideas but I ended up with more cheese and less dynamic scenes than all the feels I was hoping for. I feel like I have written a lot better, more dynamic scenes before, but I suppose when you’re just trying to grind out content it’s hard to get as good emotional writing as I expect myself to write. Hopefully when I go back, I’ll find I can totally refresh these scenes and make them much, much better.
Will this novel become more than a NaNoWriMo project? I hope so. When I started, I really wanted this to the book that I would use to query agents, possibly as soon as next year (probably later in the year though). But as I mentioned in the previous paragraph, it’s pretty craptastic right now, so we’ll have to see. I did lose a lot of interest in the story too, but I’m going to attribute that again to the force-able churning out of content I was doing for it. I hope I love it again next year when I read over it with new eyes. And I do think I have good characters.
And it feels good to be a NaNo winner!
Honestly, for anyone who tried NaNoWriMo this year, even if you didn’t hit the 50,000 word goal, if you kept chugging at it you’re still a winner because you wrote your heart out and attempted something most people never will: novel writing! So congratulations to us all!