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IMG_0768v2cropAs I write this it is the last day of Nanowrimo 2017. Looking at my count from a cafe in Bratislava with one eye on the snow falling outside, it’s likely I’m not going to hit the required fifty thousand words. But I had a metric shit-ton of fun trying.

Before November I was thinking to myself how I really wanted to go away and immerse myself in Nanowrimo around other writers where we could all ‘suffer’ together.

Then, I saw there was an opening for CreativCastle in Austria and I didn’t hesitate for a second. Fiction writer and Indie Publishing guru, Derek Murphy aka the creativindie is always up for doing really interesting stuff around writing. I met him and his wife, Lana on the Nomad Cruise and we occasionally met up for ‘write-ins’ to counter-act the all-inclusive debauchery and get some ‘shit done.’

Borg Rappottenstein was no letdown, exceeding my wildest expectations of what this experience might be like. The castle was huge and the seven of us had it all to ourselves! The woods surrounding the castle made for fantastic walks to mull over and talk through the indie publishing business with each other. Yes, that’s right, we weren’t just writers barricading ourselves away inside the Borg but ‘publishers’ with a grip on what it took to create and market our own books. Or at least an attempt to pillage Derek’s extensive knowledge on the subject.

IMG_0753It was also an intense experience, writing from early morning to late at night but this is what we all signed up for. To immerse and break the back of our individual books and destroy the Nanowrimo fifty thousand minimum. (That early gung-ho ambitious bravado is, at least on my part, now a smouldering husk). Still, I now have another book to mound and shape and one which I’ve been meaning to write for two years.

For me, the most valuable experience for the castle was the accountability of working with other writers and doing sprints together in order to stretch those word count sessions. I’m pleased to say I exceeded my pitiful record to six or seven hundred words in forty minutes.

Now I’m focused on taking the Nanowrimo habit forward and keep it rolling on a daily basis. I’m also keeping close eyes on future castle events because that was one experience I won’t forget in a hurry.

Here’s the Nanowrimo video tour:

Jerry Holliday