Wednesday, November 30, 2011

I remember when I was sure I couldn't do it...

Remember back in the beginning of November when I said this...

"And when this year rolled around, I found I can't physically and emotionally handle 50,000 words, that's just not possible with my November schedule. I'd go nuts with stress with school being extremely hard this year, dance 4 days a week, and just life.

Trust me, I wish so badly I could do 50k, that would be amazing. I just don't have the time. I'd definitely end up choosing NaNo over school work.. and that would not result very well.

BUT, did you notice I said just 50,000 words?
Maybe, just maybe, I could handle 25,000 in a month. Maybe even a little more."

So, to put it in other words, I joined the NaNoWriMo journey expecting to lose. 
I really barely even thought I'd make it to my original goal of 25k for November... but.... LOOK WHAT I DID TODAY!

And, I'm completely in shock.  Turns out I was over the 25k mark by November 18th. That's when I began thinking, "Why stop now?"
So, I didn't stop.
I kept writing and writing. Trust me, it was not easy. As I came to the 30k mark, I was about to pull my hair out. All inspiration was lost and I began feeling that my writing was total crap. It is total crap.
That really dulled my spirits a good bit, but I kept pushing those words out of my tired little head. 
Some days, I had no time to write at all. For periods of days, for that matter.
If you look at the graph, you'll definitely see I had to take some breaks in there. 

Those breaks really stressed me out emotionally. Once I decided to strive towards 50k, I began getting really upset when I had no time to write. 

All I can say is, thank the Lord for Thanksgiving break!
As you can see on my graph, the time circled in red was Thanksgiving break where I had no school. Look at all the progress I made! Without all that progress, I would not have won at all.

And, do you see the part circled in black? That is a break I was forced to take, because the teachers piled homework on us like no tomorrow right before Thanksgiving break! I literally had no time, and it stressed me out terribly. I was behind par 90% of the time, and that was a huge stresser too.
Then there'd be days where I'd push out far more than 1,667 words. One day during Thanksgiving break, I wrote over 5k in one day!

I was worried because of that, I would never make it to 50k, then right before the Thanksgiving break, I discovered the web app Write Or Die. Well, Qui told us about it in a post from a while ago, and I just forgot about it until now.

I was scared to use it at first, but then once I did, it saved me! I would go for 20 minutes at a time writing 500 words. This app doesn't allow you to stop writing for very long.. or it does.. stuff...

That app basically was my savior and I wouldn't have won NaNoWriMo without it. 
I always find myself procrastinating and not able to write for long periods of time without getting distracted, but this app helped me through that!

FINALLY, after weeks of struggling, I silenced my inner editor! I began to write without going back to fix and change every little thing I wanted. It killed me inside, but I did it!

Like I said earlier, at 30k, I was just really down in the dumps. I saw how people were so ahead and so happy with their books, and mine was just ehh..

It still is just ehh... The writing quality is terrible, and the story is pretty boring. 
Even though this story is boring and it kinda sucks, it was important for me to write and meant a lot to me.
Because parts of it are non fiction.

-My main character, Alice, gets her traits & life story from my ex-best friend who I miss terribly. She is addicted to weed and somewhat alcohol, and Alice is addicted to alcohol in the book.
-Faye's fate was inspired by my cousin Carly also who died in a crash because of a drunk driver.
-Faye gets some of her personality from me.
-My newer character, Isabel, gets a lot of her personality from me, and her love of dance.
-Alice is missing a parent, like my ex-best friend is.
-Faye and Alice were best friends, like me and my old BFF were. 
-Many of the memories that happen in the story happened in real life with me and my old BFF. 

So it was an emotional journey for me to write it, also, and I got to look back on tons of the memories we had.
My novel isn't done. Maybe over a little halfway, but there's still major parts to come.. and I'm not entirely sure what they are yet...
I'm just glad I made it to 50k and I can take a nice, long break from writing. Well, a few weeks worth of a break anyway. 

Now I will have more time for reading and blogging, two things I have not been able to do a lot in the past month. I'm sorry to all the people who I am Beta reading for, Evie, Taylor Lynn, and Marisa, for me not being able to send you emails as often! I'll continue again come this weekend! :) 

I was actually pretty scared going into this whole thing, with all the hype everyone made about it. I mean, I still do tons of activities and go to public school, and I didn't kill myself this month.
Yes, it was stressful and hard at times to pump out those words, and it was so easy to procrastinate. 

Since this is my first year, I really didn't know what to expect. So, my advice to newbies next year...
-Write a lot in the beginning, get ahead of par! Which is what I did, then quickly fell behind.
-Stay on par! Write your 1,667 every day! Don't be like me and take long breaks unless you have no choice!
-Have your entire plot planned out, or at least plan ahead some what!
-Stay focused! Use the Write Or Die app and on Twitter, @NaNoWriMowordsprints! 

Well, overall, it was a fun experience! I loved the excitement of it and knowing I was a part of something this big! I loved the pep talks throughout the month, those were really inspirational! And the NaNotoons were great! 
This was a huge record breaker for me. The most words I wrote for a single book in my life was about 30,200 words. So, new record for me is 50,044, and hopefully that will grow soon!
I hope all your NaNo novels went well! 
And, now, I leave you with this video that I found on Taylor Lynn's blog-

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Momma Too Many said...

Paige!! That's amazing!! Congratulations!! That's an amazing achievement.

Jessica said...

good for you! i'm so glad you met the mark you set for yourself. i knew you could do it ;)

Sasha said...


Anonymous said...

AAHHH, YOU DID IT! Congratulations, Paige, that's AWESOME! :D

Haha, we started with the exact opposite attitudes: I started expecting to win, you started expecting to lose. But we both made it! Yay!

I've heard a little bit about Write or Die... I've also heard of a site called Written? Kitten! which works in pretty much the same way, but it rewards you with photos of kittens instead of punishing you. LOL
And @NaNoWordSprints? PRICELESS! Ahh, I love them!!! :D

It sounds like your novel is really important to you, and I'm so glad you were able to write 50K of it this past month! I'm really looking forward to reading what you've got so far. :) Even if you say it sucks...well, mine does too, so we're about equal here. xD And good for you for not being done yet...mine should've had more to it, but I was so ready to be done that I completely changed the ending. Which just made it even crappier, but frankly, I'm so happy to be done I can't care that much! xD

Hugs, fellow NaNo Winner! YAY FOR US! :D

Megan said...

Yay Paige! Way to go!

(Love the Playlist by the way!)

Devin said...

I knew you could do it Paige! With your original post, when you set your goal at 25K, I remember being suprised you chose to aim at the half way mark. You're such a talented writer, that I can't imagine you not being capable of writing a novel! I still really miss Flawed, but I understand writers block. I would LOVE to read this one. Best of luck in future writing! Congratulations on being a NaNoWINNER!

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on making it through and writing 50,000 words! Your piece sounds like it is very personal to you - I'm glad you wrote something that means so much to you.

Jolene Perry said...

YAY PAIGE!!!!!!!!!!!

I put a bit of myself and people I love and circumstances that crushed me into everything I write. I think it makes all the difference.


Jenna Cooper said...

Congrats! That's such a huge accomplishment! And I can tell that you've really put your heart and soul into it.

Kelley Vitollo said...

Congrats to you! That is amazing!! I'm not sure I could do it!

And the last book I finished was like that for me. It was a very emotional journey because a few of the things from it were plucked from real life.