It actually started one October. I had heard about National Novel Writing Month, or NaNo, or NaNoWriMo, the year before, in 2012. My Criminology and Psychological Studies degree had begun that September, and I was in the crappiest dead – end job ever, making and packing Easter eggs and advent calendars. It is a bit of a notorious job round here and back in my hometown; people avoid it like the plague. Because of these reasons, I did not participate. I also thought it was probably a bit too much effort, and had little confidence in my ability to try.
Come October 2013, I heard about NaNo again. It was mid October, and I was waiting for the module result for the degree I had switched over to, A LLB. I figured, this time, it would be a bit of a laugh, and I was unemployed again, so I had plenty of time. I told everyone I was going to do it, so I was in deep water if I didn’t.
I bought a notebook. I covered it in fabric. I decorated it. I spent two days procrastinating.
Bearing in mind I probably had something like ten days to start, I was wasting a lot of time. I joined the forums and pottered around, and stumbled on the ‘Adopt A Plot’ and ‘Adopt A Line’ threads. The former, not so good, the latter was superb. I was making notes.
I came up with an idea, and on November 1st, at midnight, I wrote 200 words. It wasn’t much, but it was a good start. We started a writing group that met up every Friday that we named Wolverhampton Writers’ Guild, and by the last week we were meeting every other day.
The story changed, and changed again. Tweet me about the squirrels, and I might just tell you. But come the end of November, just before midnight local time came to take us into December, my word count went over 50,000 words. It wasn’t all in the same manuscript, as I had gotten disengaged with my story halfway through and written a short text and the start of another story. But it all counted.
And today, I sit here, my manuscript is complete, and published. Friends have pre – ordered copies of my book. It’s great people have faith in me, but the self doubt has crept in again.