So I failed Nanowrimo.

Not just failed it, but epically failed it. You all knew that it was coming from my last blog post, when I wrote that I had struggled in trying to find both time and ideas for it. I suppose when I look back at it, I was a little bit hasty in signing up. I didn’t really give enough thought as to what I was going to do for it and while I know that the whole thing is about quantity over quality I still thought it would be ideal to know what it was all going to be about. Even if you wrote a load of crap you want it to be coherent crap, with some story going on.

For all this, I was glad that I did manage to get some words down, even if it was thousands of words off the target. You think that for every person who either completed their novel or did a couple of thousand but then stopped there are loads more who signed up for Nanowrimo and didn’t write a single word. The fact you tried to have a go is an achievement in itself, even if you didn’t get to the end. Certainly trying it out made me think more about writing, if not always for my near empty shell of a novel, then for my blog and twitter. I found myself writing down more stuff in my notebooks, even if it was just a sentence, or general random nonsense. At one point I may look back at some of them and see what I can use. Maybe for next year’s Nanowrimo – or maybe not.

Will I do it next year? I might do. If I did, I would definitely be more prepared for it than I was this time. I wouldn’t want to come across as taking it too seriously as it is meant to be a fun thing, but I would still want to have a good stab at it. Obviously I wouldn’t take time off work in order to write it, that would be stupid.

If you are reading this and did manage to complete your novel, then congratulations! If like me you didn’t, never mind, you still did alright.

(Sorry if this post looks like it should be on my Tumblr page).

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How to fail at NaNoWriMo

So in my last post, I mentioned how I had signed up for NaNoWrimo and was challenging myself to write a 50,000 word novel in a month. I thought it would be a good idea to write a post telling you my progress on it, seeing as there isn’t really anything else I can think of to blog on here at the minute.

So far it is well into the second week of the challenge, and it’s got to be said, I am finding it a lot harder than I thought it would be. Not that I never thought that writing a novel in thirty days would be an easy task, I just thought that once I got into it the ideas and the words would just come out. Suffice to say the amount of words and ideas that has come out from writing for it hasn’t been a waterfall as much as it has been a drip leaking slowly from a tap.  At my last count, I had just under 1000 words, which is pretty much under what you would be expected to have at this point in the challenge. A bad thing? Some might say that, but it is more words than I had at the start of the month, thus I am sort of pleased that I have managed to do anything at all. Plus, I can’t be the only person in this position.

My progress on my novel (or lack of it, in some ways), can be attributed to a number of reasons – lack of time, lack of ideas and that good old friend of ours, procrastination. I am in full-time employment, and depending on what kind of mood I’m in I don’t always feel like getting stuck into story writing when I get home. I’d rather watch TV, browse the web, listen to music, post nonsense on Twitter or indulge in my Tumblr obsessions. Sometimes, even just sleep.  I intend to catch up on it at the weekends, but then I end up doing something else during the day, so I put it off until later on, and not get far with it.  I don’t intend to procrastinate, it just happens, which is still kind of worrying.  I know that at the end of the day, this is just a bit of fun but you know…

One way that I thought I could beat the writers’ block was by starting a blog on Tumblr in which I have attempted to write posts as the main character of the story. By doing this, I have been able to bring up some character traits, come up with other characters, locations and identified one or two bits that could be useful to the actual storyline.  These have probably contributed most to my word count, as I haven’t been able to put together any proper chapters yet, as much has I have tried to.  I suppose if the novel-writing turns into a total fail then there is still a blog that can come out of it, albeit a fictional one.

If there is one thing that I have learned from the whole nanowrimo experience so far, is that it is probably not a good idea to make an iTunes playlist for it – or not to have certain songs on that playlist at least. I created one prior to starting the challenge as I thought it would (a) motivate me a bit and (b) provide a sort of soundtrack to the whole experience. Word of warning: putting a song like Pumped Up Kicks on a playlist you designed to help you write something is asking for trouble. In fact, just avoid putting anything from Foster The People on it –  their songs will stick in your head and have you mentally singing along. Or out loud, which would be incredibly embarrassing. Seriously, save listening to them when you’re not coming up with your next amazing plot twist.