NaNoWriMo Update (Or Holy S%*t, I Wrote a Book, Ya’ll)

Guys, I did it.

Sort of.

Technically the point of NaNoWriMo is to write 50,000 words during the month of November. I didn’t write anywhere close to that. My goal was a far more modest 20,000 word kids book and I did it.

Pictured: definitely not me. I spent the month in sweatpants glaring at my computer in the library.

Obviously there is still a long road of edits and thinking about publishing ahead, but this is the first time I’ve ever managed to finish something that might be shaped into a real, actual book. I never imagined myself writing a childrens’ book (but then, this year has been full of a bunch of things in my life I never imagined, which is a whole other story) and I really learned from it.

First of all, writing for kids is fun. There is so much more leeway to be silly and just do things purely for entertainment. I was worried that I was going to be using words and ideas that would be too much for your average kid, but in reading other kids books in my free time for research, there is plenty of room to play. Kids are smart. They know how dictionaries or the internet works. While there are also tons of books out there with lessons hidden inside. Mine isn’t one of these. It has magic and castles and grumpy unicorns and explosive cupcakes and nary a lesson to be seen. I’m not sorry for this. Kids have enough to deal with. Some things should just be fun.

Second, I learned that the biggest hurdle to finishing a book is me. I overthink…. well… about everything. My stories are no exception. Once I sat down and just wrote without going back to analyze or edit, I was totally fine. 2,000 words at a stretch was easy when I wasn’t questioning every other word.

Right now I’m going to sit back and wait a few weeks before diving into the editing process. It’s already agony. Hopefully, soon I’ll be on the lookout for a few beta readers to help me give it a good polish. In the meantime, I’m going to play with other projects, research publishing options and create a “bible” for my book (it’s definitely a series. That was a surprise.).

Any other NaNo-ers out there? How did you guys do?

NaNoWriMo Update (Or “Oh Dear God, What Have I Done?”)

So, as the title to this little update implies, I’m doing NaNoWriMo this year! For the first time ever!

If you are not familiar with the concept of NaNoWriMo, it stands for National Novel Writing Month. The basic idea is that during the month of November, you churn out an entire novel. In the writing community, it’s a pretty darn big deal. I’ve never participated before, because frankly, the idea of writing an entire novel in a month seemed impossible to me. But it definitely can be done. There are quite a few books out there that are products of NaNoWriMo, including Erin Morgenstern’s Night Circus, which is one of my favorites.

I decided that going with someone fun and low stress would enormously improve my chances of success, so I decided to take a story for middle grade kids that I had started a few months ago and see where things went.

So far, so good! I’ve been pretty good at least writing most every day. This past Friday I participated in a Write-In at my local library with a good crowd of other writers. It was super fun to be in the library after hours and I was able to get a huge chunk of story knocked out. Not quite two weeks in and I’m pushing the halfway point. It’s been an immensely satisfying experience and I hope that I can keep up this same momentum.

So wish me luck! And if you are another writer participating this year, you’re kicking butt!! I can’t wait to read what some of you are doing!