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NaNoWriMo Is OvEr

NaNoWriMo is over! And I did it!! Some people wonder why I torture myself, ignore my family, shun the dog, let my house go to hell—well, more than it already is—and s-t-r-e-s-s for 30 days just to get some extra words down.

Why? Because the things I learn about myself are priceless.

  • I can actually write 3500 words in a day, over multiple days, and it’s not all complete doo doo. I can even write 47000 words in 21 days (I got a late start this year). Which all means that someday when I’m getting paid tens of dollars to do this, I will be able to meet my deadline.
  • I can carve out 3-5 hours a day to write if I have a reason to.
  • I have the discipline required to put off email, Twitter, blogging, reading, television, and laundry (oh wait, that I was supposed to do) in order to meet my goal. Now I just need to keep it going.
  • I like writing! Despite the plot struggles and fights with my internal editor, when I sit down and write every day, the story ideas and improvements start flowing even when I’m not writing. My change log is almost 900 words all on its own, mostly from things I thought of while driving, or coming off a nap.
  • I’m competitive. I like to win. So putting the goal out there taps into my sense of pride and helps me make the push to meet it. With that in mind, my new goal is to finish the first draft of the manuscript by January 15th. I expect you to hold me to it.

And, of course, there’s nothing better than finishing out a month with 50,000 new words—half a book—done!

What have you learned about yourself from a tough goal that you met? Or didn’t.

 

0 Comments

  1. Reply

    I learned that you are awesome! Not that I didn’t know that already. You are awesome-er… oh heck, congrats! How’s that?

    And you made me spit up my drink when I read this line: “someday when I’m getting paid tens of dollars to do this, I will be able to meet my deadline.” We are such money hungry pigs, us writers 🙂

  2. Reply

    congrats? Sounds like a writer’s marathon. excuse me for asking but is forcing yourself to write a bunch everyday always productive? Sure, the work count gets done but what about quality? I’m not trying to be negative but it seems in anything writing included, some times you can’t force these things.

    I will hold you to it damnit. Jan 15th, just put it on my iPhone calendar. Better hit it or you’re screwed!

    • Reply

      That’s a valid question, Rich. Actually, if I force myself to sit down and write even when I don’t want to, what I get is usually pretty good. And focusing on quantity puts my internal editor–who is a kick butt Chinese woman this year for some reason–to sleep.

      Besides, I can go back and edit later, but if I never get it down, there’s nothing to edit.

      So, I actually get some of my best writing during these marathons. In fact, last year my NaNo book was the one that finaled in the Golden Heart.

      And I knew I could count on you to hold my feet to the fire. You’re a true friend. 😉

  3. Reply

    Gwen, Congratulations!

    I recognize Ara’s plight. I’m glad I wasn’t drinking anything when I read “…paid tens of dollars to do this.” I’m still hooting.

    It is fun to run through the finish line, especially when it is one of your own choosing.

    And, Kiss and Thrill is one really nice blog. Did you build it?

    • Reply

      Thanks, Curtis. It’s not often I can entice people to spit. 😉

      I appreciate you checking out K&T, and as a matter of fact, I did much of it (with plenty of group input). The general look, the header, and some of the CSS changes for colors and such.

      Brenda Novak will be on K&T Tuesday, and we have a great line up all winter.

  4. Reply

    Congratulations, Gwen. A wonderful accomplishment. It doesn’t surprise me in the least that you succeeded.

    This year’s NaNoWriMo was pretty much a crash and burn for me, and something I never expected could happen (so I guess one thing you could say I learned is that I can fail). I won’t say any more than that except to say that despite failing this year, I haven’t let it get me down. Well, at least not anymore 🙂 I’m excited about the writing plans I’ve set into place for the upcoming year and am ready to move forward.

    Once again, great job on NaNoWriMo. You really are an inspiration. Thank you for your blog and all the great advice and encouragement you give.

    • Reply

      Wow, thanks, Dave! There’s an inherent egotism to having a blog all about me, so I’m really glad to hear it inspires you on occasion.

      Sorry about the crash and burn, but failing is good every once in a while too. I use it to re-evaluate my habits and priorities. My NaNo performance was good, but huge chunks of this year were not.

      Anyway, continued good luck, and thanks for reading and checking in!

  5. Reply

    Go you! I think NaNo is great practice for writers to get used to writing on deadlines and getting big word counts down. I’ve never participated because I’m always finishing a novel and in revisions come November. I think I’ll make January my JanNoWriMo.

    • Reply

      Thanks, Lynne! I wish NaNo were in January. Or pretty much any month besides Nov/Dec. It’s funny, because I don’t pay attention to any of the emails, participate in any of the write-ins, but something about it being official makes me want to get it done.

      Good luck with revisions and your new MS in January. Thanks for stopping by!

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