A NaNoWriMo Update (or Maybe I Need More Dates)

At the beginning of the month, I shared how I was going to participate in National Novel Writing Month. I was going to use the month to work on writing the book I planned on writing about my adventures in online dating. I was feeling a bit overwhelmed when the month started, but I figured that I didn’t have to hold myself to the daily goals of NaNoWriMo and just could work on a story every day.

I had been taking notes on the stories that I wanted to write and it seemed like it would take forever to get through it. But I felt better when I had the idea broken down into chunks and I decided that until I got started that it would continue to feel like a huge task. So I got started on the stories and fortunately they seemed to be easy to write and it didn’t take me too much time to get each story done. It was a bit fun to remember the crazy things that have happened to me. And it helped me reflect on how much I’ve grown as a person since I’ve put myself out there more and that I’m much stronger now than I was earlier this year.

I rarely worked on more than one story a day. It seemed better to focus on one a day and it allowed me to write the story and do some edits the same day. I didn’t have to spend too long working on it so it never felt like a task. But then I ran into a bit of a problem.

I ran out of stories to share! I could technically write about more horrible people, but I did try to lump in some of the smaller stories into a single story. There is no reason for me to write about each guy that called me fat or said something about how I was an item on the bucket list for types of girls they wanted to go out with. Those could be combined and that seemed to be the best thing for how the flow of the book was going.

There are still 2 stories I haven’t written. Both are guys that I’m still seeing a bit so I don’t know how things will end. And I don’t want to work on their stories too much yet because I think the tone of it will be based on what happens with them. If one of them says something horrible to me, I’ll be more suspicious of things leading up to that than I would be if things just end because they reach a natural end. One of those stories is probably going to be a longer one and the other may or may not be a longer one (it just depends on how many more dates I have with him).

But even if both of those stories are long ones, my book is pretty short. If I printed it without those stories, it’s only 50 pages long and that includes the cover and chapter page. That’s a tiny book and I know that if I ever want to do something with it the book probably needs to be longer. I have no idea if I will ever try to publish it, but I have had some screenwriter friends express interest in it to turn into a series or something else. But no matter what I do with it, I know that if I want it to be more than just something for me that I need it to be a more substantial book.

I could go back and try to expand stories. I’ve already started to do that and have gone through several edits on multiple stories. I know there is more that I can do, but I probably need to step away from it for a little bit before I can view it again with fresh eyes and new ideas.

Of course, the other idea is that I just need to go on more dates. I’m still not seeing someone seriously and unless one of the guys I’m seeing now ends up being someone who I end up being serious with (and that’s not necessarily going to be the case), I will have more dates in my future. I’ve been less active with the dating apps lately due to my schedule and the holidays. But I’m trying to get better at it again because I want to keep meeting new guys. I don’t like dating lots of different guys, but I know that I need to do that if I want to find someone to eventually marry. I don’t meet people at work (since I work from home) or in my workouts, so online dating really is the best way for me to meet new people.

Of course, if one of the guys I’m seeing now ends up being something serious, that’s fine and I’ll end the book that way. I don’t have to sell the book, but if I do I know I can always have it as a novella and it can be a short book. I don’t expect to sell this book and make a ton of money on it, so a novella is always an option.

But I don’t feel like my story is done yet. I think there are plenty of adventures still out there for me and when they do happen I know I’ll have to write them down. I’m glad I didn’t feel the pressure to stick with the NaNoWriMo targets and that this book is going to be something I continuously work on. I have what I hope will be a majority of it done so adding stories as they happen won’t feel as overwhelming to me anymore.

A year ago, I had no idea that all these adventures would happen to me. While some of them still make me mad, I know that they all happened for a reason. And I guess that reason for some of them is so I could turn the stories into a book. And one day, hopefully this will be something I can share with others and people will get some entertainment out of my adventures.

2 responses to “A NaNoWriMo Update (or Maybe I Need More Dates)

  1. I think something to consider if you’re seriously interested in this being a book is thinking about not just the stories you want to tell, but why should readers care about them? There are lots of dating books and lots of stories. Why should they pick up yours?

    Some things to consider if you move forward:
    – this isn’t just a book about the guys (or it shouldn’t be, anyway!), it’s a book about YOU. So the book should include not only your online dating experiences, but your experiences with dating in general. Your history with things like dating, sex, your body, etc. The stories need CONTEXT. Otherwise its just a litany of bad/weird experiences.

    – do you have something to offer a reader? Is there advice to be given here? This could be part memoir, part how-to book. Perhaps this book can help someone navigate online dating better. Perhaps this book can help someone fend off unwanted advances, or ultimately recognize that they’re not defined by who they’re dating.

    Thinking like this about it should put some meat on this book’s bones! 🙂 Hope this helps!

    • It totally has stuff about me as well. And each section has some explanation of why I swiped left or right. And of course, the cheaters section has a breakdown of how I caught the cheaters. But I think I could use some more personal filler in it. I just think I might need to know where my story is going before I can reflect on it properly.

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