December 1 -- Day after NaNoMo2014 Completion

Last year, 2013, I participated in NaNo. I started the process of writing a daily minimum of 1,667 words for 30 days with great enthusiasm. In the first week, I delivered double, even triple the word count. I felt invincible. Second week hit, and the story started flagging. I was writing aimlessly only thinking of the daily goal, instead of the story plot. My project veered in all kinds of directions as I tried to stay the course. But by the end, November 30, I was done. Crawling to the finish line, gasping on fumes, the so-called victory was not pretty. My vow when I hit the button to verify my word count--I would never do this again.

That 2013 novel still sits in a computer file waiting for massive editing to be done. It hasn't quite made into the top five priority of works in progress. But the basis of the story was good and I'm not giving up with getting it polished and salvageable.

So when 2014 NaNo announcements and euphoria hit the social media platform, I screamed, No and Hell no. Never again. That is, until I tried it under Savvy Authors, which is a separate writing circle and a potential feeder pool for submissions to Entangled Publishing imprints. I thought, okay, why not? They had a system in a place, not just to write randomly but to approach the exercise with more focus and better preparation. Synopsis and beat sheets were read and feedback provided, with any more questions welcomed and answered throughout the process.

By the time, NaNo started on November 1, I had a road map of sorts to begin the process. Working in teams, for the various imprints, also provided a lot of support, especially after the initial excitement waned and the hard work was ahead of continuing beyond chapter 3. I love my TeamHussy, we rocked it.

However, I still crawled to the end. But what it did, once again, was show that I can sit down long enough to write substantive words on the screen, every day. This time I also used Scrivener because of a 50% deal they had for the winners, another incentive for me to tackle this software that so many have been encouraging me to use. And I'm now a convert to the software.

So now December is here and it's going to be mainly the editing month for this project. I won't let it sit and grow dust bunnies.

I don't know what the future holds for this particular work. I do like it. I do think it has potential. And I'm looking forward to nurturing it until it bears fruit. Check out my Pinterest inspiration page for the book, temporarily titled Aja and The Bounty Hunter.

Will I participate in NaNo 2015? I have no idea, but I didn't finish the year with a No, never again approach. The exercise did what was probably intended, which was for me to challenge myself to write a 50K (first draft) book in a month. Mission accomplished.

Visualize your unique dreams in your mind, set a timeline, commit the game plan on paper, and proceed one day at a time, one task at a time, then see how far you go to accomplishing it.

One of my dreams -- to be a kick-ass edgy, push-those-boundaries paranormal/urban fantasy author like Sherrilyn Kenyon.

Wishing you (and me), Good luck!

Michelle Monkou