NaNoWriMo 2018 – Challenge Accepted!
For as long as I can remember, I’ve wanted to be a writer. As kids, my sister and I always had new stories on the go, and we’ve grown up with very active imaginations. A couple of years ago, I came across National Novel Writing Month – otherwise known as NaNoWriMo – and I knew that it was something I’d love to do when the time was right.
If you’re not sure what NaNoWriMo is, it’s basically a worldwide challenge with the goal of writing 50,000 words of a novel throughout the month of November. (That’s approximately 1700 words a day.) Entry is free, and you can log your progress over on the NaNo website. (You can see my progress here!)
Earlier this year, I knew I wanted to take part in NaNo but I didn’t have a story idea that was developed enough. But one night, I had an epiphany – I remembered an idea I had a couple of years ago, and I suddenly brought it back to life while lying in bed. I had the characters and a story ready to develop. I was almost ready for NaNoWriMo!
In case you’re interested in what I’m working on this month, it’s called A Refuge for Wandering Souls. It’s a YA, LGBT contemporary novel, and two of my inspirations are Floored and The Miseducation of Cameron Post. Here’s a brief synopsis…
Brannagh is sick of her stifling and conservative family, and on top of that, she’s been doubting her religion and her sexuality. That’s the exact opposite of what she needs when her religion has always been at the centre of her childhood, and all she wants is the courage to break free.
Jade, an outgoing party girl and Brannagh’s best friend, falls pregnant after a slip-up, and she’s faced with the hardest decision of her life. Her Irish Catholic family cast her out of their home… but is that what she was secretly hoping for all along?
Beatrix is so bored of her privilege. She knows that if she wanted to, she wouldn’t need to work a day in her life… but she doesn’t want that. She’s tired of her family who control her every move. She wants to do something crazy for once… something purely for herself.
Tomos feels like an outcast. With his mum gone, a dad who’s learning to cope, and 3 brothers who are desperate to prove their masculinity, he feels like he doesn’t belong… especially when he’s openly gay and teased for it daily. He needs to find people who understand what it’s like to feel truly alone.
When the four misfits find an ad for the Refuge for Wandering Souls, an exclusive summer-long residential that encourages young people find their purpose, they wonder if there’s a glimmer of hope after all.
The four of them spend a month making new friends, falling in love, discovering who they are, and sharing experiences that will change their lives forever.
Progress So Far
We’re only a couple of days into the month so far, so I haven’t got a huge amount of progress. However, I am so proud of the progress I have made so far! In the first day alone, I write almost 5000 words. I didn’t write any yesterday because it was the end of a busy work week and I wasn’t feeling great, so I decided I wasn’t going to push myself. This weekend, though, I’m back on it and I’m determined to stay on track.
I’m going to be writing a blog post each week to update you on my progress and how I feel it’s going so far. I’m in the mindset at the moment where I’d really love to win it, of course, but I’ll also be happy with any amount of words. A lot of words written is better than none at all!
I’m going to be prioritising myself over the writing, and if I feel too stressed or that I’m putting too much pressure on myself to finish it, taking a break is a lot more important. I feel good about it at the moment, though, so let’s see how it goes.
Are you taking part in NaNoWriMo this year? Or have you done it before? Let’s support each other!