Wednesday 2 November 2022

IWSG November 2022

Time for another posting of the Insecure Writer's Support Group! Hosted as ever by Alex J. Cavanaugh, the aim of the group is to offer a safe space where writers can share doubts and insecurities without fear of being judged. Today I'm honoured to co-host alongside Deidre KnightDouglas Thomas Greening, and Diane Burton

Today's optional question is: November is National Novel Writing Month. Have you ever participated? If not, why not?

I knew I'd done NaNo at least once and I thought I'd won but the exact details and dates escaped me. So, I pulled up my NaNo dashboard and it turns out I took part three years in a row from 2012 to 2014. The first year saw the beginning of my Black & White trilogy with the first draft of book 1. I finished at 34,020 words. Apparently, my progress was sporadic and I didn't write every day, but I was surprised at some of the daily wordcounts I did turn in. 4000 words in a day feels out of my grasp these days! Moving on to 2013. Well, this was a difficult year as we lost Andrew on November 9th and I stopped any writing for several months after that. Between November 1st and 8th I racked up 13,374 words of a story that I remember practically nothing about. I don't think I have it saved any more anywhere, and I doubt I would ever revisit it even if I did, but the dashboard tells me the working title was Truth Hurts. That's not triggering anything for me. To 2014. I think that year really represented my push back towards a daily writing habit. My project was part 2 of my trilogy and I remember being quite determined. Indeed, I won that year with 50,075 words done. Since then, I haven't really felt an urge to take part again, maybe because I already "completed" it and I'm quite happy working at my own pace. I wouldn't rule it out though. I think NaNo can be good if you want to motivate yourself but it's probably best to keep up a steady routine year round rather than a burst of frenetic activity in a particular month. And the fact the first two parts of my series were started in 2012 and 2014 but published in 2017 and 2019 indicates they still needed quite a long gestation process because NaNo is notorious for producing very raw material. It's good for instilling a daily writing habit but the trick is to keep that up the rest of the time. I'm also quite staggered that, having just published the last part of the trilogy, it ended up being a ten-year process from beginning to end!

What about you? Done NaNoWriMo before? Are you taking part this year? Check out others' experiences and thoughts at the IWSG list here.