I’m a veteran Nanoer. I just hit an official 14 year mark with the organization. For those that don’t know, National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo for short, is a challenge to write 50k in the month of November. I’ve ‘won’ it four times, but not in the last decade. Life, school, work, it’s all sort of got in the way.
So I’m determined this year. I even volunteered as Municipal Liason, which means I’m tasked with helping herd others in my local area towards the goal. And I’m realizing as I’m writing, that a LOT has changed in the last decade, in myself, my writing style, and my abilities.
Now a large part of this is down to fanfic. Over the last 4 years I’ve written almost 650,000 words. Nanowrimo has taught me to write quickly, fanfic has helped show me what I’m truly capable of.
Not that this is going to be a sterling first draft that needs no revision, of course. But I’m writing faster, and, I think, better, than I ever have. Just today I wrote 5600 words. I’m finding that in a 15 minute sprint I’m getting over 600. And for once I don’t feel like I’m rushing through a story, but neither am I malingering. I’m going at a steady pace, I have plenty of room and plot to get me to the 50k
It also helps that I finished my degree last year in Film and Media studies. Studying storytelling and screenplay has certainly honed my skills in that area, and given me more tools for my creative toolbox, whether it’s screenwriting or prose.
It’s been said that the best practice for writing it to write, and I’ve certainly been doing that. We’re only four days into the month, and I know I’m going to hit a wall at some point, but for right now I’m feeling good, and confident and I think this is going to be the year to start a brand new winning streak.