Sarah O'Connor

Writer – Playwright – Cannot Save You From The Robot Apocalypse

From November 1st 2019 to February 21st 2020 I’ve been finish my NaNoWriMo project. This isn’t exactly the traditional way to do NaNo, when you reach your 50,000 words by the end of the month it’s also supposed to mark the end of your novel. My issue was that once I reached the NaNoWriMo word count I realized I still had much more story to tell and was far from finished, so I decided to finish it. I enjoyed the story; it wasn’t finished and I wanted to finish it. I had hoped to finish it by the end of 2019, then the end of January, and then finally I did finish it by February.

112 days

122,138 words

245 pages

It’s the most I’ve ever written and its crap, but that’s okay. There are still parts I like about, some parts I hate so much they physically make me cringe but that’s okay too. Remembering the good parts reminds me of what I like about the story, the bad what I need to change, and all of that together puts more pieces into my head of what exactly I want this story to be about. What story do I want to tell?

I don’t know what I expected to feel when finishing, that ecstatic glow in Jo March’s face when she finished her novel in Greta Gerwig’s adaption of Little Women. A shocked kind of glaze over my eyes and feature, some eureka moment. Neither of those things happened to me and it isn’t like I felt nothing at all, only that I’ve been working on this for four months something that has felt so long and then suddenly, it’s done.

Well not done, only completed in the simplest of words. There’s still lots of work to do, edits to be made, rewriting and changing so much. But not yet, first I’ll hide it away on my documents, an email sent to myself that will collect dust for a month before I look at it again. Forget about it, let the details become murky until I read it fresh and tear it to pieces.

And it is a relief to be done, because I felt the story stagnating. Maybe my own impatience over not being done, some sort of pressure I was putting on myself that didn’t need to be put on. I’ve started writing something else, something that in some ways is still in its infancy and in others has been forming itself in my mind for many years. I am trying a new writing technique with it though, the Pomodoro Writing Technique where you write in twenty-five minute bursts with five minute breaks in-between. today was my first day trying it and while I couldn’t do it right to the book (having to make rice and help with email and driving are unavoidable obstacles) I liked it. I took a quiz in November from the NaNoWriMo website that told me I might work well with this writing style, and since it’s one V.E. Schwab also uses I figured why not? So far I don’t feel as much pressure, the breaks help me breathe, help the story simmer, help me slow down and figure out what’s next.

So onto the next project, onto hiding one away until next time and a million other ideas swirling in my brain. I can’t wait to get to you all, to tear a part, to create. I’m excited for this next part which is so new, so scary, and so incredibly exciting.


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