I’m a Camp NaNoWriMo winner!

So, I have just written the last word in my 50,000 challenge of writing a novel in one month. It was utterly crazy, but I managed to take a rough idea that I thought of in June while I was on holiday and turn into a full novel.


I am sure when I re-read it there will be a few plot holes and some huge gaping errors, and there are two sections that I just bulleted out, but I wrote a whole novel.

I have always wanted to write a novel, but always been too scared to because I only ever had one idea and no clue as how to turn it into a book. And as I said before, I thought if I didn’t turn out Gaiman or Pratchett levels of wit and talent with every tap of the keyboard then I couldn’t do it at all. I didn’t realise that there is a whole section of writers called pantsers who literally write the whole of their work by the seat of their pants; also known as making it all up as you go along. As you may know from reading this blog I am generally a real planner, I have lists and charts and graphs running every aspect of my life. So for me to write in this way is quite a shock. It certainly isn’t how I write factual pieces, when I fully plan every aspect!

Reading No Plot No Problem really allowed me to relax about not knowing how things are going to turn out. And released me from the fear that I didn’t know what the hell I was doing. I also found out that most people write completely shitty first drafts and that has been amazingly freeing too!

This has been a real challenge for me to do this in a month, I have suffered with the temperature giving me high levels of pain and exhaustion and had an overnight hospital stay which I never cope particularly well with and of course my client work has to come first.

Will I be looking to share this novel with the world? Probably not. I plan on finishing the holes and editing it to a non-shitty-second draft and possibly a third-pretty-ok-draft. And then I think it will remain in my Dropbox, my virtual drawer, rather than taking it out and trying to get a publisher and I suspect I won’t self publish it either.

This has been a revelation to me and I am so grateful for the opportunity and my cabin mates who kept me on track too.

Will I do NaNoWriMo again? Well I don’t think I will be ready to do another one in November (when the full, official one is), and I certainly won’t do next July because of the hot weather. But I might well do November 2016, especially if I haven’t written any more fiction between then and now. I found the contstant pressure to be quite stressful and I really don’t do well with stress, it exacerbates my condition quite a lot.

Hopefully this will have taught me the lesson that I can write fiction and more to the point it doesn’t have to be perfect, or even good in the first draft. I have already got ideas for more fiction stories and I can’t wait to dive into them.

Apologies if there are any typos or grammatical errors in this post, I am writing this way past my bedtime and in a fug from writing 6000 words in one sitting, but I just couldn’t wait to share this with you!


Join the conversation


  1. I am a panther for sure, wishing I could be an outliner. It might keep me from getting so lost in the plot woods every time I try to write a story.

    I enjoyed your posts during camp. Thanks for being such an inspiring cabin mate.

Leave a comment

Please leave a reply!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: