Thesis Thursdays: How I Unintentionally Won NaNoWriMo

Thesis Thursdays is a weekly(ish) feature where I rant, love and talk about young adult books I’m reading because I’m conning my college into thinking this is all for academia! Find out more here!

For my last Thesis Thusday post (which was in October, hahahahaha), I titled it “Why I Signed Up for NaNoWriMo Even Though I Intend to Lose.” Then, just after midnight, in the first minutes of November 29th, I achieved this:

NaNo-2015-Winner-Banner

I DID IT I DID IT I DID IT HOLY MOLY HOT TAMALE I DID IT.

(For those of you who are confused, NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month, the challenge to write 50,000 words in the month of November.)

So how, might you ask, did this happen? Last you knew, I’d run out of plot and had no idea what I was doing. Allow me to tell you the secret:

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Solid representation of me.

I wrote.

Seriously. You hear people say all the time that you should write every day. This sounds absurd. I know it usually does to me. I’m a finicky writer, and when left to my own devices I either write nothing or thousands of words in a day. There is no in between.

 

To illustrate my next point, allow me to share my words a day graph with you:

NaNoGraph

I think you can tell when I was in school, trying my hardest to keep up. When my Thanksgiving break started, I was only halfway there. I knew I either had to make the commitment to writing like crazy every day of vacation or let the effort die. As you can see from the last ten days of the graph, I chose writing every day.

This was the moment when I hit my groove. During school, when I had not tumblr_liok9sobya1qdce8vo1_250let myself write every day, this project had been a slog. It felt jerky and unnatural. Once I started writing every day, however, I had so many eureka moments. My plot moved together better, and–most importantly–I discovered just what my conclusion is.

I don’t know where my novel would be right now if I hadn’t committed myself to NaNoWriMo. Even though I went into it expecting very little, I was able to find the kind of rhythm that I needed to get my novel into the green zone, where I know where I’m going. The conclusion is in sight.

I’m not saying that you have to write like it’s NaNoWriMo every day. I’m not saying that you’re a loser if you didn’t win. I am saying, however, that the spirit of NaNoWriMo is something that I’d forgotten, and something that I want to keep with me into December, until the book is done. Writing every day–even just a little–sometimes is just what you need to do, even if you don’t know what to write. Writing through that confusion can lead you to the best thing that you never expected.

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