Tuesday, 30 November 2010


I’m a winner. Again. For two years running, I am a National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) winner. And yes, it feels good.

In some ways, it feels a little better than last year. Not in that adrenalin rush kind of way. Last year definitely takes that crown, but this year I feel good knowing that some of the things I wrote are actually worthwhile.

Not that what I wrote last year wasn’t. I mean, I learned a lot about myself, including that I can quickly lose interest in an idea I’d been passionate about for years. And while I have no intention of ever writing an actual end to last year’s story, or rewriting it, or anything so ambitious, I do still have an idea of using the original idea for some other, shorter, piece.

But this year. As you know, I didn’t write a novel. Instead I wrote what I called ‘Bitsa’. Bitsa fiction, bitsa poetry and bitsa whatever else I felt like writing, including blog posts (though I won before starting to write this one).

I’m not going to go into much now except to share a few stats. Because I like stats, and numbers in general.

I wrote ten blog posts, including some I’ll post in December and some I’ll never post. Or will maybe post.

I started seven short stories, finished five of them and will probably pursue four of them. One has already been workshopped in my writing group and seems not to need a lot of rewriting. Yay.

I wrote thirty poems. Thirteen are more for my own memory of our recent family camping trip, but maybe one or two of those might be worth sharing. Of the others, I've read some on stage already, which always helps me know if I should rework or dump. But mostly, I’m not sure yet how many will rest in peace and how many shall be revived. Though there are definitely some to keep.

I wrote twenty non-fiction pieces (not including blog posts). Of those, I like less than half, and will pursue less than half. At best there are nine worth revisiting, although it’s possible when that happens I’ll change my mind.

And, finally, I wrote three other things that I won’t disclose, except to say one was a letter.
I did not count my tweets, emails or facebook updates, although admit that during the third week I half-wished I had.

But anyway, it’s over and I feel good. My first instinct is to say I don’t know whether I’ll do it again next year and will take some time to think this through. But I’m also well aware that I would probably not have done it this year if I hadn’t so publicly and enthusiastically said it was my one big goal for the year (all those months ago). And I’m definitely glad I persisted.
So I’ll think on it a while and maybe by the time I announce some 2011 goals, I might be ready to say either way.

Oh, I almost forgot, I attempted eight of those crazy ten ideas suggested by others. I was going to press myself to write all ten, but its not like I wrote about everything n my list full stop. I didn't write about acrobatic walruses or ghosts, and of the others, two were short stories I failed to finish. But I had a go, eh?


livinglifeasme said...

That is awesome. I love what you did. I unfortunately didn't make my goal. It was my first time and by 11,500 words my month kind of got away from me. I'm still pleased with what I learned and I will continue with my book - I believe in it. Congratulations to you. xxxx

Tiggy Johnson said...

Thank you. I'm glad you're pleased with what you did too and that you'll continue with your book. I think NaNoWriMo has done its work if it inspires someone to make a good start on something, and what you've done is awesome too!

Graham Nunn said...

Congrats Tiggy! How did your book launch go? And when does the journey north begin?

Tiggy Johnson said...

Thanks Graham. Been very hectic here because we're leaving NEXT week! Arrrggghhhhhh, scary.
Launch was great. Going to post some pics soon.