The Reason I Finished NaNoWriMo Early

This past weekend was actually four days long for me, so I had quite a bit of free time. Instead of being bamboozled by this sudden abundance of free time and staring blankly into space not knowing what to do with myself, I thought I might finish NaNoWriMo early. (So that I could trick myself into not procrastinating on XIII.) It felt funny to finish the minimum word count (1,667) in less than an hour in the morning, then have all day to do tons of other things that had nothing to do with writing. I could easily squeeze in extra hour of writing and get twice the minimum word count.

So I wrote, and it went well because I finished on Sunday. I now have a bunch of interesting little stories that have alternately confused me about worldbuilding and have helped me with it. I also have one story that I think could become an entire novel in itself. (I might save it for Camp NaNo or NaNo next year.) A bunch of new characters appeared, too.

But what I noticed about this year’s NaNo was that it definitely turned out to be more about characters and settings than it was about plot (probably because it wasn’t just one story, but a series of short ones). I learned things about my existing characters that I did not know before, and I think that will definitely help me out immensely when I revise/rewrite.

If you have some free time here and there, use it as writing time. But staring off into space is OK, too – after all, that’s where ideas come from. 🙂

24 thoughts on “The Reason I Finished NaNoWriMo Early

  1. Congratulations!

    And, yes, staring into space is a vital part of the writing process (and of life). I forget if you follow Jo Eberehardt’s blog, but she wrote a good post about this recently:

    Ideas sometimes come from unexpected directions, if we let them. I’ve become somewhat obsessed with the movie Moonrise Kingdom (I blogged about it this week), and I started to think about the different projects I’m considering writing next. One happens to be set on an island off the coast of New England, like Moonrise Kingdom. And it includes a really bad storm. Like Moorise Kingdom.

    So, I’m thinking that’s the one I’ll write next. 🙂


    • I watched an odd variety of movies this past weekend, and they gave me a lot of ideas for whatever I plan to write next… but I’m not sure I should start writing something new when I have a billion other things to revise! 🙂


      • I find (for me) that it’s good to have a balance. Right now I’m revising my mystery stories, one per month, and also starting this new story. That way I’m doing some writing and some revising, and I can go back and forth. I find it makes the revising go more easily.


  2. My ideas come from all sorts of different places. What I love about your attitude to writing is that it is never a chore but you still organise your writing as you love it – which is how it should be!
    Well done on finishing 🙂


  3. While I love the writing, I love staring into space as well. Congratulations on finishing! Depending on where I’m at in drafting/revising, maybe I’ll join you next year!


  4. World building it odd thing. Considering everything I write i found more world to write about. I think the goal is to find your anchor and setup camp. Find the finish line and be open to fact there more story to tell. I loved that Orson’s Ender gave all these new focuses on the same subject. But it was something that decade after I read Ender. So save these moments and as you keep writing & rewriting… please keep the scrapes in a box or cloud. For i may be lone reader getting to see the other side of your world.

    Thank you and keep at it.


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