I attempted NaNoWriMo for the first time in 2011 and won. The following two years I was successful as well. This year however I didn’t try at all. I knew with what was on my plate I might not have a chance to win. And for me personally it’s all about the win. Granted we don’t win much apart from five copies of your book and bragging rights. Trust me, bragging rights is pretty darn sweet.
I’m glad I made this mental decision before November. On the first and second we had a writer’s conference in town. The next four days I was at a writer’s retreat, half of which I was sick. Getting home on Thursday the 6th, I contracted a virus from hell which laid me out for 10 days. This brought me to November 16th which was already half of the month done.
In the three years I have won NaNo the first year I did it in 21 days, the other two in two weeks time. So it was plausible I could buckle down and make a serious go at it. But I decided not to chance it. Knowing I would going down to visit my in-laws for Thanksgiving would mean losing three days.
I am happy for all of you who made the attempt and won. I am also happy for everyone who made a serious go of it. Everyone has their own personal goal. My friend Robin calls it NeedToWriteMo in which she tries to write every day of November which I feel is a commendable goal.
But for me it’s all about the win about the win.
It is that lovely time of the year for NaNoWriMo 2014. I started doing NaNo in 2011 and since have won three straight years. I never really plan to do this month-long frenzy. I tend to decide the last week if I am going to do it.
This year is a bit different. The first six days of the month will be hectic with events where my writing is concern. Normally by day 15 I am done NaNo and I can breathe but this time around that won’t be the case.
I still have my three books I wrote for NaNo needing edits. In fact I am working on the one from 2013 which is entitled “Lost Faith” which is slowing me down. So I asked myself, “Do I really need to write another novel just so I can toss it on a stack of books that need to be edited?”
I’m not sure. The draw of NaNo once you do it is addicting. For me to attempt it and not win is not a thought that enters my brain, I do it to win. Plain and simple. What I did was list 50 topics for 50 possible chapters for a new book that I plan on writing when time permits. I will decide by Wednesday or Thursday if I will enter. Good luck to those who enter.
As I expressed my mood online to fellow writers, a mountainous of advice and tips came across as authors tried to help me out with suggestions that might work or had worked for them. Along came with sympathy and understanding that only writers can understand and heart-felt sorrow at what had happened to me. To be honest who else would truly understand what I was feeling now? They listened to me rant and rave as I vented about what was happening to me. For that I am thankful. I was not alone even if it meant my book was gone and I would have to reconstruct it.
I told myself that I would put it to the side and give myself a chance to breathe. I would come back to this book later in the year. The thought of trying to do it now well I did not have it in me. That evening I had a meeting with some fellow writers one that I almost canceled for my mood would have been foul.
Prior to going I decided to check out the current file and see what portion I had still. It contained 41 pages which was half my book. It was not completely gone. Opening up the file I did a word count to see how far off from 20K I was. The counter gave me the same number I had from that early morning. Something has to be wrong right? I checked again and sure enough it gave me the same number.
What the hell? OK don’t get to excited Sharon don’t hope to much I told myself. This could be another trick from the evil machine. So page by page I went down reading it in its entirety. My book was in tact. The computer had compressed my book eliminating the double spaces that I had included. I did not ask the machine to do this. I had saved it and moved on to working with my external hard drives the rest of the day. Why did it do so? I don’t know and neither does my husband. This man is the Bill Nye of the computer world. Trust me on this. But my book was here but it had been shrunk. When I had opened this files I did not give them much thought for I had 82 pages that very morning. I had no reason to believe this was my book. Why would I?
Needless to say my heart is singing a song of joy and praise being very grateful for finding my novel. I don’t understand what happened but I don’t care. Well I don’t care for now. Hubby will be checking out my computer to get it in a better state of affairs so my mental state does not tank to this degree. It was not a virus, I do not use Windows. So we know that much and that is about all we do know.
So today I sit and write about my computer’s plot to take over my world. It won temporarily. But there is something to be said for being obsessive with our writings and saving it in as many places as we can. If I had not done that who knows what might have occurred.
I have added many words since that day as I press forward. The great scare of Jan 2013 is behind me.