The NaNoWriMo Disease

I’m back so soon!

This post is coming after the record shortest gap between posts, and I’m very, very excited about that!

Okay, rants aside, let me elaborate on the concept of today’s post. It is that time of the year again, November’s here, and it’s up and running!

I AM talking about NaNoWriMo! It’s the National (I don’t know which country; seems like a world-wide phenomenon to me) Novel Writing Month!

(I know for some of you it’s actually No-Shave-November, but it doesn’t apply to me!)

So, this post is kind of mandatory. I wanted to write about my past experiences with NaNoWriMo, and my plans for this year.

The Past

I have been a part of this in 2015. You see, what happened was this. I stumbled onto this competition for short story writing last year called the Write India Campaign, and I tried and tried each prompt as they were announced. But, it turned out that I was incapable of writing brief, short stories! This fact actually pissed me off because I’d been writing plot lines and poetry and what-not since I was about 12, and I figured I’d lost some of my flair for writing.

Slowly, I came to understand that the main reason for my suddenly hampered imagination was the fact that my reading list had been empty since I’d left school. That freaked me out even more and I was practically a mess.

Slowly getting out of this mini-depression was the worst phase ever. It took me quite a while to do it. I had so much help from my close friends and I turned back to my closest ones, my books. The Reading Challenge 2016 from Goodreads was literally my lifesaver.

One of the short story prompts which I’d left of half-written, had given me a grain of an idea. I’d got this idea back in 2015 before November, and NaNo 2015 seemed like a confident, doable dream with it. But then, my slow pen and my will power gave out within a week and I landed in the freaking-out phase. And this was the state of my pathetic NaNo 2015.

Lessons Learned :

  • Do not attempt NaNoWriMo while battling depression (not even simple, non-chronic ones).
  • Pantsing might not be the best idea when you battle to win a kingdom (kingdom, meaning a Novel).
  • Habits and routines will have to undergo modification during the battle.
  • Placing yourself in a state of productive anxiety will NOT help.
  • Family, friends, roommates, and co-workers can be safely approached for help as you attempt this mega-war. No one will judge or ridicule you, rather, you’ll get all the help you need from the ones you love.

The Present

This year has been much more positive than the last in several ways. For one thing, I got over my mini-depression. I have learned so much about self-confidence and stringing loose ends together. My empty reading list has been constantly full since and I absolutely love it! Bringing back my teenager self has been such a beautiful journey that I’ve fallen in love with myself again.

Coming to the novel idea, it has festered like an annoying but happy feeling. I’ve attempted Camp NaNoWriMo in April and July with very little success, but I’ve loved every minute of understanding my characters. They’ve been the best companions for me for quite a while now and I now know them as if I’d met them in person. And the little confidences I’ve made with my family and close friends about my writing plans have given me so much ideas which would help me stick to a schedule and just write. After all, writers are not made with their creativity so much as they are made with their persistence.

Learning from 2015, and from the pep talks for 2016, I’d decided early on that I would be plantsing this year. It would be a combination of a planning and a pantsing writer. I’d had a bit of struggle with sticking to schedules last year, mostly owing to my five-days-a-week full-time job, and my obstinate decision to ‘relax’ on weekends (it means I was lazing around and re-watching the many TV shows I like). And my not-always-helpful notion was that I’d write with much enthusiasm when I don’t know the plot line myself, that I’d write more fervently because I want to find out the story.

The last three problems gave birth to a new writer version of Priya this year.

Decisions Made :

  • Plot line is fixed in my head, details I’ve left to the fates of my imagination as I write.
  • Rehearsed shunning social media in case I feel like my deadlines are falling apart during November.
  • Given myself up into my natural planning mode because my giving it up hadn’t helped one bit last year.
  • Timeline graph of my characters is laid down for reference.
  • Put off all travel plans, shopping plans, and adopted a quiet, happy lifestyle of home food (cooking which would be one of my relaxation points), reading books which had been a part of my childhood, and little workouts accomplished at home.

So, all in all, my plans for NaNoWriMo have never been more concrete, and I’ve never felt happier about my decisions than I feel right now.

Do any of you write? Did you participate before? Do you plan to participate now? What are your plans? What have been your problems before? What-

Hold on, I’m getting too excited about this. I’m letting you guys talk about it in your own way.

Bye bye for now! *waves madly*

 

 

 

Published by

Priyadarshni Palanikumar

Cracked-in-the-head. Bookworm. Occasionally Sane. Sometime Writer.

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