Wednesday, December 15, 2010

November: An Experience

Before I begin, I'll warn that this is going to be a more personal blog compared to my more recent posts.

Another November gone, and another National Novel Writing Month completed. I did things a little differently this year, however. While the goal for NaNoWriMo is supposed to be 50,000 words, I upped the ante, going for broke with a 100,000 word goal. 30 days later I accomplished this goal, though the finished product is hardly what I would consider to be a novel. I looked at the event as more of a writing exercise this year, to see how many words I could spew out over the course of a month. I finished up with a little over 104,000, though I definitely know I could have done more if I really pushed myself. But I'm not complaining, I'm relatively satisfied with my results, and I was again able to learn so much about myself through the month, both as a writer, and as a person.

One of the reasons I took on this inflated word count goal was to help motivate the other writers doing this event. After all, this year, my increased word goal wasn't the only thing different. I also acted as one of the local Municipal Liaisons for NaNoWriMo in my region. Basically meaning, I helped set up and run events in town, and had to keep my fellow writers updated and motivated with weekly e-mails, forums posts, and personal interactions. And while my initial intentions with my word count may not have gone exactly as planned (some thought I was just being braggy, though others did look to me as a rival), I do have to say that I am pleased with the outcome of this experience.

It was a challenge for me, being the generally shy and reserved person that I am. I was worried about a lot of things going in. Would I be accepted? Would I be able to be more open, or would I choke up? There were definitely times when I just didn't want to do the whole ML thing, but in the end, I managed to persevere. I was able to push through, stand up and talk in front of a group of people, and walk up to people I didn't know and strike up a conversation. All things that I'm not exactly comfortable doing, and completely clashes with my personality. I grew both as a person, and as a leader. I became more open, more confident, and I was able to form a closer bond to those around me.

I just hope that I was able to really help motivate the other writers. Even if I only managed to inspire just one person, as others were able to inspire me. I watched as so many people, both young and old, tackled the same goal. I watched as they battled with other stresses in life, such as work and school, and yet still kept on. I watched those word counts rise, and saw people, who were worried they wouldn't make it, complete their goals with flying colors. To me, watching all of this take place before my eyes was absolutely inspiring. And I wouldn't have been able to get through all of these challenges if it weren't for that inspiration and help I received from everyone else.

Though it was my third year doing it, NaNoWriMo was a whole new experience for me this year. And as I mentioned before, I was able to take away so much from this experience, and I hope to return and do it again next year.

I did also want to address one other matter, that being the novel I've been working on throughout the past year. I'm not going to talk too much of what it's about, but I will say this. It's a story that I've had in my head since I was just a little elementary school kid playing pretend with my neighborhood friend. It's based on many things that I've experienced throughout my life, with a fantastic twist added in to keep things interesting. It's a very personal story, though I doubt many of the people who've read it so far would have ever guessed that.

About two years ago is when I finally sat down and wrote out the outline for the first part of this story. Since then, I've generated some brief rundowns for the later parts, but I'm not quite there yet. At first, I really wanted this to be a comic book, and so I collaborated with an artist at work to do the drawings for me. He finished up several pages for our pilot issue, and it seemed like we had a good thing going at first. But our ideas began to clash a little too much, and we ended up going our separate ways.

I could have pursued another artist, but at this point, I just really wanted to get my story written down. So, instead of worrying about making it a comic, I decided that I'd just write the whole thing out and make it a novel. And hey, if it's successful enough, then I could adapt it into a comic book or cartoon series and all that other great stuff later on, right? Well, those were some of the ideas running through my head and keeping me motivated as I planned out the novelization of this story.

I finally began work on it at the beginning of the year, and I made a goal to be done with the first draft by the end of this year. I've been editing as I went along, so it took me a long time to make it to this point. But just a couple days ago, I finally did it. I finally completed the first draft of my manuscript. And I couldn't have done it without all of those who helped me. From the suggestions and critiques at local writing workshops, to the motivating words from my family (yes, I actually let family members read this one!). All of that helped push me to finish my novel, and I couldn't be happier right now.

I'm of course going to have to go back and do some more rereads, rewrites, and revisions. But as of right now, I'm satisfied. My next goal is to get this thing published, so we'll just have to wait and see how that goes.

I haven't been writing on my blog as much lately, though I do have a couple of new ones planned for the near future. It is the end of the year, after all. So that means it's about time for another end of year movie wrap-up. So join me again, as I tackle the very best, as well as some of the worst movies of the year 2010.

Thanks for reading!

1 comment:

  1. Yay, you finished writing the book and thank you for being a fabulous ML. Also, this is your first comment. Can I have a woop woop?