Someone shout at me. I had promised back in July to keep this blog a little more updated but as usual life got in the way! Shout at me on social media now and again if you see me being lazy with this blog! You have my permission to kick ass!
Anyway, lets get to the subject at hand. I participated in Nano this year! 'Nano what?' I hear you shout! NaNoWriMo is National Novel Writing Month and takes place every November. The challenge, to write 50,000 words of a novel in 30 days. For all you smarty pants out there thinking 'Oh that's easy peasy,' just let me take a moment to slap you upside the head with my very heavy thesaurus! Have you ever tried to sit and write 50,000 words. Have you? Hmm!
Last year I thought I'd give the challenge a go but only got as far as writing 2000 words. I gave up almost in the first couple of days and didn't really think too much of it. Then throughout the year I've been hearing about authors whose current book is a book that was written as part of the Nanowrimo challenge and it piqued my interest again. So, I signed up and bought the teeshirt (yup there's a teeshirt) and promised myself that come hell or high water I was going to complete the challenge this year if it killed me. It nearly did! But, I preserved and by the end of day 29 I was done! I was a Nanowrimo winner!
Is what I've written a really good book right now? Hell no! I intend to spend the next few months going through my original plotting plans and each chapter and adding and taking a few things away. I'll probably change the title too. Basically, a total re-write I would imagine because although the original challenge is over, my characters just will simply not shut up! I keep thinking of new things to add to their story! New plot twists and new characters! I think this will be an ever evolving thing until I am completely happy with it.
So, what did I get out of it? Well, its made me a bit more disciplined in sitting down and writing, even if its only the odd 100 words here or there or writing in this poor abandoned blog. A sense of personal achievement I think too. When I was writing the final chapters of the book I was sobbing. It was so overwhelming both physically and emotionally because on that last day I wrote over 13,000 words. Do I consider myself an author? Hmmm not really sure to be honest. Is there a difference between an author and a writer or are they one and the same? I write a lot, so am I a writer? I've contributed to a few published anthologies and co-wrote a book for charity. Does that make me an author? Hell I don't know! I wish someone would tell me! Or, am I a wannabe? What do I call myself? Answers on a postcard please.
I think that because the reaction from family members has been quite muted I am reserving judgement myself. My husband tells people I am writing a book but not sure he'd call me a writer just yet. He's had to take on even more of the household and childcare chores than he previously had and hasn't complained once about doing so. He hasn't complained when I've sat at the laptop for 14 hours solid, unless you count an argument about whether we should have chips or mash for tea! My friends think its great but are worried they are going to end up in a book! (one or two have but shhhhh). My poor misguided daughter thinks I am going to be a multimillionaire and buy her a pony. She thinks writers make a fortune! hahahaah! My son just keeps making me cups of tea and giving me a hug to keep me going through the writing process. As for everyone else in my life..........there has been little or no reaction or support which has been both surprising and a little disappointing. Maybe I needed to shout more loudly about what I was doing. But I'm a big girl and know how damn well amazing my achievement has been without endorsements from those with little or no interest. That is, until you come across my lovely online friends who have been truly astounding! What a supportive and encouraging lot they are! And, the advice and guidance has been amazing. I am very lucky to have such a wonderful bookish family.
One thing I do know for sure though is that something that evoked such passion in me when I was younger has over the last couple of years been awoken again and its taking over my brain. I feel like I've been invaded by a body snatcher and the symbiotic relationship compels me to write. Its all I want to do.............sit down and write. But, like everyone else, life keeps sticking its big nosy nose (not sure that was grammatically correct!) in and putting obstacles in my way! Juggling so many commitments both personally and professionally often means that my writing takes a back seat while I promote the books written by people who really are authors! Talented and wonderful people. And, that is just fine. I love what I do in the book world and I love the friends I have made and the important industry connections. I hate what I do outside that world but that's the job that pays most of the bills unfortunately! Maybe some day the universe will conspire to allow me to stay at home and continue with my book work full time while allowing me a few minutes each day to write. Maybe a nice publisher will pay me to work from home?? Come on universe! Cough up some good karma for me!
If you completed the Nano challenge then well done. If you didn't get to 50,000 words well done also. You sat down and you poured your heart onto a page. We are all winners! I'm very proud of you.