Hey all, long time no talk. We all knew that was going to happen because I threw myself into NaNoWriMo. I had big dreams – two separate projects! – but it got rolled into both of them being under one account. This is no longer a rebel thing, as I believe they acknowledge that all words are words now, and I’m glad I did it. There were so many problems this month but I’m going to go first into mine and second into NaNo’s. I love the NaNoWriMo team and all but they had problems this year. But, first, me.
The first week of November went well. I did my first 10K day, hit targets, so on and so forth. Then it snowed. Not a light dusting but SNOW. I was not ready for it at all. It didn’t help that it also turned dangerous cold for anybody to be out walking in it for long periods of time. I was stuck in the house a good two months before that really happens. I basically wanted to do nothing but sleep and mope, so that’s what I did. I also had a computer problem that still needs to be worked on. I didn’t lose any files but my speakers are no longer working on my big laptop. Le sigh.
So, it was a combination of the weather being shitty, me wanting to sleep all the time, my own damn fault (there was tea involved with the computer), and getting behind on word count. So I combined my two projects, felt better, and started writing again. I hit 50,070 words on November 26th and this is where we go into part 2 of why November kinda sucked – the NaNoWriMo team.
This year was the 20th year of NaNoWriMo. I’m kind of shocked, but there it is. They decided to celebrate by completely changing the website and forums. It’s a really good idea when you hit 20 years of doing something that a ton of people love doing. However, they probably should have started doing a soft roll out in January or even whenever the first camp was, instead of during November. There were so many problems.
The site was slow. Forums were confusing. There was just a ton of dust but nobody died. We got over it. The site started going faster and things were hitting where they should. Until validation. The validation tool was not working for the new website. They thought they could get it up by the end of the month but it was no go. Which, you know, that’s life and all. However… I am surprised by how it effected my overall experience. I am used to, near the end of the month, uploading my document and being declared a Winner!
This year? Yeah, I put in my word count saying it but there’s nobody going “hey, found these extra words” or “you need x amount”. It did not feel official. It really didn’t. But, as I was talking this over with my longest ever friend (we met in 4th grade), she put forth the question “is this challenge even for you anymore?”.
It got me thinking. Maybe it isn’t. Maybe I’m putting this all on NaNo when, in reality, I know I can write 50,000 words or more in a month. I’ve done it for 11 straight years (that’s including the 2019 win). I am a writer. I introduce myself as an unpublished author. Maybe I am just too experienced for NaNoWriMo and, next year, I should push my goal to be writing a complete first draft in a month. That usually takes me a month and a half to two months.
We’ll see. There’s 11 months to get my own shit together and for them to do so too. Until next time, take care.