My followers told me about NaNoWriMo in 2009. Its 30 days and 30 nights of literary abandonment. Anything goes as long as you hit a target of 50,000 words. Last years event bore the fruits of Devine Intervention, which has now developed in the last twelve months into a series. If I thought achieving this goal with a temporary promotion, additional responsibilities and very sick grandmother was easy in 2009 then surely 2010 was going to be a walk in the park.
Far from it. 2010’s attempt at National Novel Writing Month hadn’t even entered my head until the middle of October. I’d finished my redraft of Life’s A Ball? and listening to a line in I think it was a Saturdays song and suddenly I had an idea for a character who worked the night shift and All Night Long was born. But I was days away from flying to Cuba and had decided to leave my netbook at home just incase I had any problems with the Cuban authorities.
I began All Night Long with nothing more than an idea for a character who worked the night shift in an airport bookstore and she was going to fall for a customer. Last year I learned that Freemind is the essential planning tool for something as crazy as writing a novel in 30 days. The month started well, I was fully rested from the holiday and had evening and weekends to myself I was well ahead of scheduled. But as we went into the second week I began working shifts and then suffered a migraines. Suddenly I was struggling to hit my daily target. The migraine set me back not only in terms of nanowrimo but also I don’t get sick pay, and my performance against my targets are affected. I needed to put in the extra hours to catch up at work, earn back the loss of income… nano was becoming lower and lower on the list. by day 29 I’d suffered a second migraine and was 5,000 words off target. That’s when I remembered I’d promised my niece and nephews a cake for their school fair.
Day 30, I’m up and I’m writing, a cool 2,000 words before I head to work for a 9pm finish, the first part of my lunch break was spent heading to the buy the ingrediants for both a christmas cake and a sponge cake. I still have know idea what I’m going to do until I’m standing at the cake and nut supplier in the market. That’s when it hit me. I’m going to make a Christmas Tree. I get home at 9:10pm whip together the fruit cake ingrediants and almost die when I see it takes 4hours to cook. By now I have just over two and half hours to write 3,000 words. I’ve done it before I tell myself. 11:55pm: I update my status on the Nanowrimo website. My breath catches as I await the word calculator: I sigh with relief 50,033 words. But there’s now rest for the wicked…. I’ve a sponge cake to bake, decorate and get to school by 12:00 noon tomorrow.
I got less than 5 hours sleep that night but I loved it! Bring on Nanowrimo 2011