A creative voice if I’ve ever heard one, Darius Sayers expresses his views and experience with NaNoWriMO. I’d be willing to bet If Darius went through my creative series, he’d find himself in at least three of those categories. Today though, he is sharing about NaNo.
I joined the NaNoWriMo site back in 2009 fully intending to join the event every year. I didn’t exactly make it. That first year I think I got in about 3,000 words before I threw in the towel and simply gave up. I was going through a stressful time personally and I am in the military, so there – some who would say I had an excuse. I myself don’t believe in excuses. The fact of the matter is, I was scared. I didn’t have the drive and I quit.
Last year I saw a post around mid-September about the event and thought… I should try it. I’m still in the military, still have stressful things going on, but there was something different. To put it simply, I found my drive.
I entered for 2013 and wrote a little story about a young man with schizophrenia and the love affair he kindles with his neighbor and one time babysitter called “Secret Words”. So, 2014 is my third time attempting NaNo and it will be my second win. I’m not a newbie, but I’m not a seasoned veteran either. I like to think of myself as a rough-around-the-edges sophomore.
I am normally a hands-down plotter. I like knowing everything about my work, where it starts, where it is going and who is in it. Last year I plotted the ever-living heck out of my novel and it flowed beautifully. Since then I have written two more novels and I plotted both of them. This year, for NaNoWriMo, I wanted to challenge myself. I wanted to do more/different from what I did last year. So, I solemnly swore to myself that I would Pants it. I’ve kept that promise, for the most part. I went into the beginning of the event with no more than a plot, the characters and an idea of where it would lead. I have to say it is going just as well as last year. The words, sentences, paragraphs all flow right along, and I’ve only hit one small hurdle that was easily overcome by a break and quick trip to watch “Interstellar” (great movie btw 😉 ).
As I said I am in the military, so my hours and activity vary widely. There are days where I work, work, work and then there are days where I have pretty much the whole day to myself and can do what I want. I’ve found that this chaotic lifestyle is a bonus to my writing. I used to think I needed it quiet, for no one to bother me, and to be calm and relaxed to write. Nope. Not happening. I need chaos to write. I guess that might be the change between 2009 and 2013/2014 that helped me win. I found the ambiance that I needed to flourish in. That chaos makes it so that I can sit down and bang out 2-5K words a day, and, I feel almost embarrassed about admitting this, I can do it in a few hours. So, it doesn’t affect my life that much. I have a great wife and she totally supports what I do and gives me the time to do it.
I don’t say it to one-up anyone, or toot my own horn, it is just how I work. I suppose it helps that I learned to type 125 words per minute in high school. So, if I am giving a tip, a bit of advice for those who are doing or planning to do NaNoWriMo, I would say find what works for you. There are a lot of people out there who will try to sell you a road map on how to write a novel. They will tell you what software to use, what books to read, how to plan or not to plan, they will even tell you what music to listen to. Maybe you can take that and follow their path, and do just find. Maybe you can’t. My advice to you is to experiment. Try different things. Find what works for you and then apply that to your writing.
Writing is an art and art is personal. Everything about it comes from within and in doing so you have to find your own path.
If you want more great advice, tips & tricks, or if you’re just bored out of your mind, you can find me at these lovely places on the interwebs:
Facebook – www.facebook.com/waywardson74
Twitter – @dhsayers
Google+ – +D.H. Sayers
Thank you Darius, for sharing today! Show him some love by stopping by his sites!
Write on my friends, and let’s DO THIS!