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Sunday, April 30, 2017

Dissecting NaNoWriMo.

original post: http://karenjcarlisle.com/2017/04/30/dissecting-nanowrimo/

Well, that's pencils down for this year's Camp NaNoWriMo. I barely managed a scratch in my original word goal of twenty thousand. That was in March - a whole month before picking up the pen. A lot has happened since then.
End of March was looking dodgy. Summer had lingered, bringing with it more dust and the first hints of resulting health issues: sinus infection, followed by laryngitis and the first bout of bronchitis for the season. I reviewed my word goal to seven thousand words.
I soldiered through Oz Comic Con with puffer in hand. There was still hope for Camp NaNo yet.
Unfortunately the bronchitis returned. New antibiotics were engaged in the fight. I lost, finding a new meaning of side-effect-pain. (There's another antibiotic I will have to avoid.) Yep, allergies suck. Big time. Another fortnight passed, with not a word falling onto the page. Another doctor's visit. This time gastro (something about reduced immune system from almost four weeks of bronchitis).
Enough of the excuses. In the four weeks of NaNoWriMo, I managed barely 2500 words. Some would call that failure. I almost did. Until I looked back over the month: two months ill, reactions to medication, a panic attack. What had I accomplished?
When I can't write, I organise and research. I scrutinised the pile of papers beside me - collated notes (from several notebooks and boxes) relating to my planned stories. I'd highlighted and labelled them, sorted them in order. I'd managed some bleary-brained research, shoring up some background plots and uncovering some interesting tit bits for later use.
On the last day of NaNo, I finally feel (almost) human, pencil ready to go. Watch me write like the wind!
(Here are some fun research tit bits:
Did you know that Arthur Conan Doyle was in a writer-cricket team with HG ("Bertie") Wells (whose dad was a first class cricketer)? The team, Allahakbarries, was founded in 1890. They were also part of a literary group who met in Arundel Street (near the Strand) for eating, drinking, and smoking. HG Wells published his story, The Chronic Argonaut (a hint of his story to come - The Time Machine), in The Science School Journal in 1886-7.)

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