Sunday, November 26, 2006

The End of NaNo

Well, I did it.

I wrote more than 50,000 words of a new novel that I hadn't even done any planning for prior to November 1, and I have the icon to prove it.


I also have a lovely winner's certificate that I'm putting on my wall, and I'm patting myself on the back. I've actually written 73,854 words so far, with plans for 15K more by Thursday, and then, if I succeed, I'll have completed a full single title novel in a record (for me) 30 days.

So what? What good did it do me, besides meeting a personal goal and proving that I can write fast?

Well, for one, it put me back in touch with my roots, in a way. Before June 2006, I wrote at night. When I was working hard, I'd write every minute I could, including commercials during football games and while dinner was cooking and while the kids were getting ready for bed.

Since June, when I started writing "full time," I've had a more set routine (and even more so since August). I write when the kids are in school, and in the afternoons I do Mommy stuff, and in the evenings I read or watch TV. It's a nice routine, but it kind of softened me. If I didn't have a stellar day, or if I had a day where I didn't write at all, I didn't vary my routine. It was good for me to exercise that "write anywhere, anytime" intensity.

It will also teach me something about revisions. I've never written a book where I ignored the crap--and believe me, while I don't think most of the book is crap, there are some big seeping sections of it that will need a lot of work. I have a revision section of my WIP chart and it is growing, and growing. I'm interested to see how much easier or harder it will be to do all the changes together, instead of editing as I go.

NaNo also reminded me about love. Not love between my characters, but my love for writing. A year ago, I was struggling to work on a book I didn't love, a book I'd outgrown. I'm satisfied with that novel, which will be released in January and complete my Brook Hollow trilogy, but I'm so much happier writing something I love. I know I won't always have this, so I'm valuing it now.

Most of all, I've had fun. It's been great checking up on my friends, cheering them on, being cheered and cursed by them, and feeling, even over the cold Internet, the joy and excitement of this joint adventure. I can't wait to see how many of the NaNo books sell, and will be looking out for them to read.

There are four days left, so if any NaNoers are reading this who haven't made the 50K yet, keep on going, don't give up, and above all, reward yourself for whatever milestone you reach, even if you can't claim a pretty blue icon.

4 comments:

Trish Milburn said...

Congrats on being a NaNo winner!

MaryF said...

Yep, yep, and yep.

Your progress astounds me!

Natalie Damschroder said...

Thanks, guys!

Victoria said...

Congrats!
V.