Laughter and books make life a little easier

NaNoWriMo 2014 diary: Part 2 of 2


Diary part 2

This chronicles the final part of my NaNoWriMo journey for 2014. The previous entries saw me at Day 25, still desperately behind with a win only a vague possibility. What was the outcome of my writing quest?

27 November

For the first time my daily average is steadily going up and my daily required words are going down. December is almost here. Let’s kick this.

I now know what happens in part 1 and part of 2 of my story (more or less) and what each character’s purpose is. I even finally got names for all my cities. I don’t know what happens in part 3 yet, but I won’t have to write that this month so it’s okay.

28 November

My Hobbit extended edition arrived today. Now how am I supposed to write with that temptation looking at me? *puts boxset into DVD box* *puts DVD box back on shelf* Maybe tomorrow, Hobbit and friends.

29 November

I am 4333 words from target. Supposed to be 3333 but never mind that now. I am also still looking for that elusive 5000 words in one day, just because. This is my fifth NaNo year and I’ve never managed to do that. Maybe if I put in two writing sessions today I can win? If I do I will equal my old record from 2012 of 50000 words in 29 days.

UPDATE: Well, I gave up on dreams of winning today or of writing 5000 words in one day. I don’t feel so well – think I have another sinusitis attack coming on, just so I can finish this month the way I started – and I spent most of the afternoon asleep. But the good news is I did write 2794 words and at 48461 in total I am for the first time this month on par – and even beyond. I only need to write 1539 words tomorrow to win!

30 November

At 5.43pm I crossed the 50000 word mark and allowed myself a fistpump of achievement.

When I started I thought this diary would only chronicle my slow failure. And in the beginning it did, but then it ended up chronicling me being too stubborn to quit when it would have been wise.

Now I’m going to watch The Hobbit and tonight I am going to go to bed at a decent time and no one will stop me or make me feel guilty.


And, in conclusion, that is the magic of NaNoWriMo. It’s a pretty senseless thing to do and this year was especially torturous for me. Not counting last year’s non-completion, I think this was the hardest NaNo I’ve had since 2010, my very first year. But why did I put myself through all of this? Because now I have the first draft of a novel in my hands on my hard drive that I did not have a month ago. It’s some of the worst writing I’ve ever done. I’m not kidding. I changed my mind in the middle over so many things. My characters aren’t fleshed out. The plot stumbles around forever before getting direction.

However, I know I can make this story better. I want to make this story better. I haven’t written anything except half a short story since last year’s NaNoWriMo. All my promises about writing were gone after that failure (I know, bad loser, whatever I said here). Not to mention that I’d written myself into a corner in my previous, unfinished novel. Only recently, when stuck in a traffic jam, it hit me how to get out of that corner. So now I might have two novels to revise.

What does all of this mean? Well, firstly I have a plot and characters and setting that I did not have the faintest idea about before. And secondly, this blog is now really Cartoons and Creative Writing again. For too long it was just “Cartoons and me talking about books sometimes”. I’m writing again and I’m going to write about writing again (in the new year. Next week’s post is the talking-about-books-post and then I have a cartoon to post that I really like). That is the real secret of NaNoWriMo. It guilt-trips me and it’s hard and very often mental torture and I hate myself and it while it happens. But when it’s over you have a manuscript and you feel initiated and empowered because of this mountain you climbed. Therefore, to people like me who need to be kicked all the way down before we will get angry and stubborn enough to fight against impossible odds and write against all good sense, it’s pure magic.


Talk soon,


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