What I learnt from my first Nanowrimo
Let me just preface this and say, no, I didn’t reach 50,000 words. If you are looking for advice on how to get there, this isnt the right place (I will let you know when I know). However, I did reach 34,764! A lot more than I would normally do in a month. I feel that the first week I was consistently reaching the fabled goal of 1667 words per day, but then came the slump. I was stuck. For anyone else attempting this, I would highly recommend spending October as a planning phase. Some of the words were from planning and research into my non fiction work, which are words but absolutely not 1667 words a day kinda words. Most of the time was researching online without putting a word down and sitting for an hour with only 300 or so words to show for it. When I re-attempt this next year, the planning phase of October will definitely be more in-depth. I used chapter subjects, with a few outlines within the chapter and word count for each chapter for my non-fiction project, but it failed to see 10,000 words it is supposed to be at. The research pieces will be attached to each chapter along with figures to save so much time next time around.
For the fiction project, it was even more dismal for planning. I completed a setting, handful of characters, the typical “save the cat” story plan, but no structure on chapters. So, if you are still reading this, my top advise for you (and me) is to spend October to do more detailed planning for my projects.
Another thing that I learnt, is when I am stressed, sinking into a fanfiction helps. Just the same way as someone having a hard workout at the gym then goes swimming to loosen up. There is less pressure as the standards are much lower with supporting factors such as pre-made characters and setting. If your fanfiction sucks, then it just sucks! No reputation to worry about or negative reviews effecting sales. It also keeps the creative muse hanging around rather than scaring the poor thing off.
At the end of the day, whilst not reaching the end goal, I did improve my general word count and learnt so much! If anyone else is trying this in 2023, give a shout-out and join in on Preptober. That’s Prep October in case you were wondering.