Personal Writing

Finishing a chapter: Nanowrimo final thoughts

This is the last time you’ll hear me talk about Nanowrimo, I promise! I was able to finish a day early because I knew we would be out on the last day. It’s been another fun ride and I enjoyed myself even though I struggled. It’s never been about the destination though. The journey is finishing a chapter of my life. I’ve been doing it for so long that it’s a part of me. And this year I felt like I struggled. I thought long and hard about why it was difficult for me to get the words out of my head.

And what did I learn on this journey? A lot more than I had expected.

An idle mind is necessary
If I don’t set time for myself to just daydream, I won’t find time to do it at all. It’s been terrible this year too. If I have down time, I find myself browsing Reddit or Pinterest. I’d like to be able to return to my roots. It’s been ages since I lay in bed with the lights off and some great music playing. Recently I’ve been preoccupied with Pokémon Shield. I think I’ll take some time in December to think about the kind of stories I’d like to write. The end of the year is a great time to plan for the future!

It’s easier to plot than to guess
For ages I was able to wing it. But I also had hundreds of hours to think and be free. Driving to and from school allowed me to figure out plot lines in my head. Now I’ll have to make an active effort to get stuff done but that’s ok. As we get older, it’s fun to grow and adapt. I’ll take it as a welcome challenge! After all, we never do stop learning and growing.

First draft characters are terrible
Oh boy this time around I feel like more than ever. I have a tendency to write strong female characters. I suppose it could me a part of me projecting what I wish I could be in my life. However, it’s nice to have weakness and insecurities too. A well rounded human experiences all aspects of what it means to be human. And that includes falling and getting up. This year my female lead was too strong for 60% of the journey. It was only until I felt the deadline approaching that I allowed her to feel pain. Big oopsies on my part!

It’s ok to feel lost
For years I thought of this story but when it came time for it to be put down on paper I forgot the joy I felt. The story in my head made me so happy and yet I feared each writing sessions. And that’s ok. I’m not the same person who sat down last year to tackle the same goal. I’m a year older and it’s ok to feel a disconnect with the material. When I think about my first story, I remember how terrible it was. But I also remember the joy it brought me. I still love that story today. When I feel lost about my writing process I simply think back to those characters and how they made me feel. Writing makes me happy. That’s what should matter.

There’s always next year
Oh boy, there’s a tiny, tired version of me screaming deep down in my soul. Let’s bring the pain!

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