What is NaNoWriMo

Time and again, I have wondered about how one thing leads to another, and another one leads to third forming a chain of events, leading you to unexplored paths in life. When I stumbled upon Future Learn while looking for a course in October last week, little did I know that joining it will open up a big box of new possibilities for me.

I had an idea for a novel for almost5-6 years now but never took it seriously. At the start of 2016, I brought up the topic with my hubby dear and Ashish, a very good friend of mine, they both encouraged me to write it. So I set out to write a novel. Few tiny chapters here and there & some notes about key characters & incidents was all I could manage throughout the year. When I NaNoWriMo, which made me curious. A quick look up on Google told me that it is a fun filled approach to Novel writing. The contestants participating in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) set out on a target on 1 November to write at least 50,000 words novel by 30 November. It sounded like a perfect motivation I was looking for and I was only a week away from November. Without slightest delay, I signed up and started planning my activities for the month.

But luck wasn’t on my side. I got terrible cold, cough, sore throat which developed into full-fledged fever and weakness. I looked gloomily at the calendar as each day of November passed. Finally, I recovered fully from the fever as well as a backlog of all the pending work by 13th November and I sat down. Chances looked slim. Even if I had a complete month, I was required to write at least 1667 words every day to keep up with the challenge. I was sitting on 13th and all I had was the few tiny, unstructured chapters I had written over the year. Finally, after a lot of hesitation, I decided to do it as a birthday gift to myself, whatever I can achieve in remaining days. I told myself, it’s OK even if I don’t complete the target, at least I will have the satisfaction of having tried and not a grudge of giving up my weapons even before the war started. And then I discovered the lovely WriMo India group on Facebook. The energy on the Facebook group was palpable. Before I knew it, I was participating in their virtual sprints, making friends who would support me and encourage me to write more, sharing their inspiring stories, doubts, troubles making it a lot more fun than it was when I tried to write alone.

As last week approached I was frantically working towards the end goal, I could already see dim chances of making it happen. Unable to find any other time, I resorted to starting post dinner. As I neared the target writing till 2 or 3 in the morning became a routine. On the night of 29th November (1 day before the end date) as I crossed the mark of 50,000 words at 1 in the night, I had my favourite music and a horde of mosquitoes accompanying me in my celebration. It was an experience worth million dollars and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Though my novel is not yet 100% complete, seeing the major part of it already written has kindled a new enthusiasm in me to see it through.

As I was still wondering about how to publish and how to market it, a fellow WriMo friend – Amar Vyas offered to do an interview for his podcast and I jumped on the bandwagon. So here is the podcast from MyKitaab, which offers great tips on ‘How to publish and market your book’, perfect for first-time writers like me, aye?

The podcast has an interview of Puja Mohan, a fellow NaNoWriMo winner at the start and then mine (at 15:10), hope you enjoy it. Don’t forget to put your comments, feedback & suggestions in the comment box below. Hope to see many of you in next year’s NaNoWriMo.

Here is a link to the podcast and it’s excerpts in case you prefer reading over listening – http://www.mykitaab.in/80


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