Thursday, 2 December 2010

NaNoWriMo End and Why Struggling Through Works

I’m sorry this post is late. Anybody who follows my Twitter (@SWKiaraGolding) will know I’ve been ill recently, and apart from editing, I haven’t been doing much work.

NaNoWriMo has officially ended! How did everybody’s NaNo’s go? I have to admit, my NaNo turned into editing RW before my December deadline. I couldn’t focus on my project whilst my mind was still caught up in thoughts of other characters and a completely different world. The change from writing to editing was something that needed to happen, and I’m glad it did – this month has been very well spent.

Like writing, I've quickly found out that struggling through editing works. An example of this is yesterday morning. I was ill enough not to go into work, and I was exhausted. But I knew if I didn’t spend some of my miraculous free time editing I would kick myself for it later. Begrudgingly, despite my illness, I turned on the computer, got out my paper edits and brought up the redrafted version. For the first few pages, it was a struggle.

I kept going to different internet tabs, made several cups of tea, ate plenty of food, and slowly worked away for a while. Then something changed. I became eager for editing. I wanted to continue; I wanted to finish the chapter and move onto the next one. By the end of the day, I had edited two and a half chapters thoroughly and hit the half way point on my computer edits. For an effort that had begun unwillingly, I was incredibly pleased with the amount I managed to get done.

Occasionally, struggling through works. You can find the motivation – you just have to be willing to look for it. So even when the next word you write is a humungous effort, or every sentence you delete weighs you down: keep going. Don’t stop. Simply try, and see where you end up.

It might be somewhere you least expected to be.


  1. Reading comments, I saw one of your comments and came over to meet you.

    I've been writing over sixty years; have published some stories, poetry; won some awards. Nothing major, but it has been fun. And now I'm getting a memoir published at age 70--it's never too late! And what I want to say is yes, try and don't give up. And enjoy the process. If you don't, then you'll be disappointed when the rejections come. You say you became eager to edit. I think editing is great fun. Better than writings those first drafts; better than trying to get published. Sorry you've been ill and hope December will be better.
    Ann Best, A Long Journey Home

  2. Congrats on finishing NaNoWriMo! I'm glad you can get through the editing process. It can be challenging. True. But it's better than not doing it at all, right?

  3. It's great to hear somebody speak about how enjoyable they still find writing and the publishing process after so long. I plan to revolve my career around publishing, so it's motivating to speak to somebody who has gone through the process and still has the determination to keep going.

    Sometimes it really is worth it to sit and not give up, and the feeling of completion is worth the struggle you go through to get there. I'm trying to prepare myself for rejection because I know that's what publishing is all about. You have to get rejected time and time again to improve; to find the right agent and editor; to get to the best of your writing ability. So while it may be hard to deal with at first, I know it's something I'll have to face, and that I'm ready to go through in order to get to where I want to be.

    Editing is one of those things which I created an aversion to simply because I had no real experience of it. Now I'm getting towards the end of my MS it's something I do naturally, and although there are some hard spots, I do eventually get through them. The feeling of completing a first draft will always be one of the best part of the process, I have no doubt about that.

    Thank you for visiting, I hope so too.

  4. Thank you, Ollin!

    That's exactly it, I would rather try and get through it than simply give up, because I know it won't get me further in my writing or editing skills. Like any skill, it's something I have to keep refining and practicing in order to get it right.