Yes, I won the Nanowrimo writing challenge (again) this year. But, ahem, not without a certain amount of what some might call cheating. Oh all right then, what nearly every would call cheating. I cheated.
I admit I did have cheating as part of my back up plan but I was fully intending not to do it. I had a number of technical difficulties during Nanowrimo. I also didn’t make life easy for myself by going on holiday for ten days on 11 November. But it was a Caribbean holiday….
I managed to write 3,000 words during the holiday, and I was pleased with myself that I managed that. I wrote it on an elderly iPad (given to me at Christmas about four years ago by my lovely husband) with an elderly version of iAwriter. This version no longer supported emailing copies of documents to yourself but the plan was to back it up to Dropbox when I got back. However, on my return, I discovered that Dropbox was no longer syncing with my version of iAwriter. Supposedly, they were stopping support at the end of the year but it already didn’t work. So, I had to retype all 3,000 words into my computer. I can copy type but it still took some time. Thanks, Dropbox.
After that, it was a desperate race to catch up. By dint of a few days of heavy writing, unto 4,000 words a day, I finally caught up three days before the end. Phew! Easy peasy, lemon squeezy. We were going down to my mother-in-law’s for the last two and a half days. No problem, I was taking my laptop with me.
I decided to check just to make sure that I could get into the Nanowrimo website. And it’s lucky I did. Because I discovered that I couldn’t. It didn’t recognise my email address, it only recognised one I’d previously used. I’d contacted Nanowrimo admin to change the email as I’d had problems receiving emails from Nanowrimo. I’d received emails from Nanowrimo staff to the email address I thought was the correct one but it wouldn’t accept it. I’d been using my mac for the Nanorwrimo competition and had saved the password so that worked fine. I was faced with the prospect of not being able to use the website if I didn’t use the mac. And we were leaving in two hours’ time.
I was panicking by this stage. And did I mention that I was starting a bad cold? So, I bit the bullet and wrote an ending for the novel, much shorter than I had intended. And I added an appendix – Greek and Roman legendary creatures – notes I’d made during research to the novel and pasted into the Nanowrimo word count validator. It bulked out the novel enough to allow me to get over the 50,000 words mark.
And that is how I won (and cheated) at Nanowrimo 2018.