It was around 27th of October 2016 and I had seen one of my fellow bloggers writing about taking the NaNoWriMo challenge. I got curious and explored more to know that the challenge was about writing 50,000 words in 30 days of November. That looked challenging, especially with all the professional and personal works. I decided to take up the challenge and hoping time will lead through the path.
At first, the novel was about putting together the disconnected threads. There was no plot. Though I used to blog, I had never imagined writing a story as big as 50,000 words. I was scribbling short stories of the characters that come into my mind, some from experience and some from imagination. Soon, I could see the connection between threads and everything coming together.
For the entire second week of November, I had travels to be made relating to my research work. I lost near to 7 days. When I came back home, I promised myself that I would complete this no matter what. For the entire month, I had a pen and paper with me scribbling short notes and plots. There was nothing else that was in my mind for the entire month. WRIMO India group was supportive and I made the best use of sprints hosted for the entire month. By November 28th, I had reached the target of 50K words. The novel was completed with 53K odd words by the end of the month. That is when the first version of ‘i 4 you’ was ready.
The exhaustion, saturation, personal and professional works kept me away from the first draft at least till March of 2017. Then I got to know about Camp NaNoWriMo which happens every April and July. I started setting targets of 40 hours of editing in each of the camps. As well, started editing whenever time permitted.
I had few friends review it after a few rounds of editing. I must mention and Thank Vishwanath Telsang for reading all the crappy versions and suggesting to me the edit changes. The version which I thought was good to go after around 200 hours of editing apparently was smelly and crappy. I would see even some grammar and spelling issues dancing over the pages. It was frustrating. I could see some unnecessary chapters. After another 100 hours of more editing, the novel had finally come down to 38K words from 53K words.
I then started sending it out to traditional publishing houses. Then came the rejections one after another, some months later, some weeks later and some no replies (a no response for 6 months is a rejection). I stayed professional throughout the journey. I waited until the rejection mail before sending it to another house. I had nothing to do. Just sit and wait. The journey wasn’t easy. I don’t remember anything I did not try.
AROUND FOUR DAMN YEARS.
This story is close to me. I badly wanted this to be released as a hard copy. I knew I had to wait. I knew the writing had to be improved. I knew I had to improve. In the meantime, I had completed 3 more NaNoWriMo’s with passing 3 more Novembers. Gosh, that was a lot of piling! Will I ever get over my pile of unpublished works? Will I be able to edit them and send them out?
I had to settle. Somewhere. Maybe it’s just me who feels this one is special. Maybe it’s not. Nothing can make a writer happy than the work being read by many. No matter whether they feel good or bad, whether they rate 1 or 5, it’s the number of people it touches and how they feel about it. I gave a final round of edit and reduced the word count to 33K. This had to stop. Somewhere. I had already spent 300+ hours.
I wanted this to be read by as many. I want to be remembered for writing ‘i 4 you’. I want the parts of this novel to stay with as many people as possible. With all the love, I am releasing my novel as a free ebook. You can download and read it. I would love to hear from you on how you felt about the book.
The Ebook can downloaded here: i 4 you
P.S. I am going to have a bigger and better book, printed and published. I need your wishes for the edits of ‘The Art of Ageing Gracefully.’