I did it. I actually managed to finish NanoWriMo this year. This may not seem like a big deal, but having written 50,000 words and completed a story after two years of writer’s block is a huge one for me. I know I can write again, and that it’s definitely what I want to be doing for the rest of my life.
I think a lot of my thanks can go to 4thewords.com for its weird RPG grindy progression letting me get ‘rewards’ for battling monsters with my words. It also auto-saved which helped a lot with moving from system to system and power failures.
Really though, it was finally getting a habit set for me that did it. I started on 750words.com, making myself write a blog entry every single day, and then once Nano started it was relatively easy to transition over to first Scrivener and then 4thewords (copy and pasting into scrivener after each writing session). Of course, coming up with what I should write about was a bit harder.
I had no actual story idea in mind so I started with a joke that made my partner laugh a few nights before as the first line and then ended up with a main character in a call centre, which is the environment as an adult which I know the best. Unfortunately. I immediately thought that my story was going to be horrible and boring but I kept at it. As I did, more interesting things happened and… well, I don’t want to spoil it in here in case anyone actually reads it one day. Plus, even if I don’t flesh it out, I’ll definitely be using a few of the characters, and situations, and jokes.
My main takeaway is that I genuinely had to force myself to do the writing. To be a writer you have to write. Even when I was writing all the time and thought of myself as a Writer with a capital ‘w’, I still wasn’t writing every day. Now that I am, I can feel there is a change in how I do things. It didn’t feel like I was just writing for Nano this time, it felt like I was continuing a habit that, hopefully, I can continue for the rest of my life. I’m way more confident as well in properly revising my synopsis and sending out my other novel to publishers again. Even if no-one accepts it, I feel great about sending it out there and seeing what feedback comes back to me. If none comes, I’ll revise again.
And I’ll keep on writing. Every day.
(If anyone wants to join 4thewords.com (and you should, it’s amazing) the first month is free and it’s $4 a month after that. They don’t take any payment or card details for the trial though so you won’t be tricked into keeping a subscription if you decide it’s not for you. Use my referral code UGOML59892 and you’ll get 20 Core Crystals, which are basically currency to get wardrobe items, weapons etc and also what you use to buy subscription time! So, with that first boost and a few of the early quests your second month will be free too. Happy writing!)