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Wednesday, December 4, 2013

I Lost NaNoWriMo & It Felt Great!

Howdy ladies and gents,

Well as I'm sure you're all aware by now, November is over. The leaves are gone, the turkeys are safe for another year, and the twinkling lights of the impending holidays are downright blinding in some areas.

It also means National Novel Writing month is over. Just in case you missed my other posts on this freaking craziness, it's 30 days to write your ass off. The goal: to write 1,667 words EVERY day for thirty days straight, for a grand total of 50,000 words! It's crazy town.

And I completely failed.

Up until four days before the end of November, I had only written 8,913 words. That's it. If I push it, I can write that in a single day and there I was four days and miles away from 50,000. I knew even I couldn't write 41,087 words in four days, one of which was Thanksgiving Day. Now my family is understanding of my crazy schedule, my skipping dinners and movies and other things when I'm in the writing cave, but even I couldn't skip out on the turkey and stuffing. So that night, after everyone was gone and the house was settled, with a belly full of delicious food, I locked myself in the writing cave and got to work. I had three whole days off from the day job and I was going to use them, damn it!

Thursday night I wrote 2,500 words. They were a bit slow going, the story was dusty after having not been touched for weeks, and I was getting back in the groove. But I wrote. And I stayed up all night doing so. Exhausted, at 2 a.m. I crawled into bed with a big ass smile on my face. I felt like me again. For the first time in almost eight months, I was a writer!

Friday I got up, not so bright and early because I'd been up all freaking night, but early enough, and once again locked myself in the dungeon. I then proceeded to write 5,000 words in four hours. I was officially on fire. I took a couple little breaks in that time, but no big ones until I was really in need of a long one. So I took a couple hours off, ate a real meal, came out of the dungeon and visited with animals and family, and then I went back to it. Another 5,500 words later, I was beyond exhausted, as I'm sure you could imagine. And I knew I had a full day of writing ahead of me on Saturday. Once again, though, I went to bed knowing my world was right again.

I wrote another 6,000 words on Saturday, and then I just couldn't do anymore.

Here's the little graph and stuff to show how I did with my word count. 

My total word count for November was 28,528. In terms of the 50,000 word count goal, I barely made it past the 50% mark, a failure in all respects. NaNo is supposed to teach you to make writing a daily habit, to build it into your life, and laugh off writer's block because you just have to keep writing to get to that word count goal. I will never be a daily writer. I've come to terms with this, made peace with my writing style, and have worked to build my life around the way I write.

But this year's NaNo reintroduced me to myself, my inner Muse, my love of writing and telling stories, and I couldn't be happier. Do I wish I had a solid draft to revise through the month of December? Sure. But as my momentum levels out and the day job and real world intrude into my writing cave, I will remember during the next 30, 60, 90 days that I am a writer, that I love writing, and that I have to make it a priority and get my ass in the chair.

So I failed, and it was fantastic.

Who else failed Nano this year? And was it as good an experience as mine?


1 comment:

  1. I didn't officially Nano, but I had about 30k to write in Nov., so I did write at least 1k a day, usually a little more. Never before had I been a daily writer, and sometimes it was hard! When a scene is stuck, you just have to turn off the editor and keep going, promising your neurotic inner voice you'll go back and revise when you're done. Can't argue with the results though. I was a lot more productive than with my past habit of writing when the mood struck. I think the key element is having a deadline. I work best under pressure!



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