Well, National Novel Writing Month is over and according to the NaNoWriMo rules for winning, I didn’t win. It is easy to feel disappointed when so many around you are celebrating. It seems so very black and white, you either win or lose. However, writing isn’t like that. By November 30th, I had written 34,400 words and I think that’s pretty damn good.
I started off the challenge strong but struggling. I had to find ways to keep my mind on task. Sometimes it was stepping away from the computer, getting some tea, or a snack. If I hadn’t hit the daily goal it was getting my ass back in the writing chair. I learned to adjust my personal word count goals depending on the day of the week. There was no time to go back and edit, because I had a word total to hit.
The second week, plot problems started to pop up. I still kept writing deciding to flush out characters through scene writing but by the end of this week I started to feel the creative drain. If I wasn’t partaking in this competition I think I would have went back to rewrite and rework some scenes. Instead, I pushed forward.
Week three was the great word count slow down. The intense writing schedule, increase in holiday engagements, lack of story structure and motivation hit me hard. I was feeling tapped out, overwhelmed, and disappointed. I entered week four considerably behind my word count. I had to make a decision, I could write 5,000 words a day to win the challenge and probably grow to hate all I had accomplished thus far or carry on writing as a writer might. So the last week, I wrote 1000 words a day. I added more to my story outline, character lists, and world-building frame work. I knew I wasn’t going to finished. Why stress out? I have never felt better about a decision.
I was feeling empty near the end. I thought I would be a let down because I didn’t finish the challenge. No matter the word count accomplished you have to remember you created something. Time to stop comparing ourselves to others, recognize our achievements, and keep up the momentum gained by attempting NaNoWriMo. I didn’t write 50,000 words but I have over 34,000 words I didn’t have before. Also, I am making writing a habit which I think, for me, is most important in the end. This is only my first draft, time to start revising.