NaNoWriMo? Conquered. My Golden Heart entry? Submitted. Blind Fury? Oh, well, mostly finished. I actually left the wrap-up scenes off the back end for my GH entry, just to get it out the door on time. But that’s what December is for.
November was stressful, especially with Thanksgiving thrown in there (who’s brilliant idea was that?), but I don’t regret it at all. Here’s what I learned…
- Next year, my NaNo book will NOT be my Golden Heart entry. It was much too difficult trying to get the first 50 pages cleaned up, the synopsis done, and get it out the door on time while also trying to make word count. It reminded me of finals week during grad school, except my kids are taller than me now.
- I’m competitive. I like a challenge. Yeah, I knew that, already, but it was a good reminder.
- It’s possible to maintain word counts of 2500+ words per day over an extended period of time.
- I can live without Twitter, Facebook, and email if I have to.
- It’s incredibly freeing when you give yourself permission to write an imperfect story. *Snort* As if it wasn’t going to be anyway. When my internal editor started talking, I gave him a minute of my time to make a note in the change log, and then got back to work. (Yes, my internal editor is a man. I don't know why. It's like Herman's Head in there.)
- When he questioned the value or validity of a scene, I decided to wait until the story was done and then make a decision on it.
- Only once—when I knew that I had taken the story in the wrong direction—did I let the editor convince me to pull out several scenes and start in a new direction. That’s a huge step for me.
- The outline is my friend. As I’ve mentioned before, it helped me when I was stuck more times than I can count.
- I still like my story because I haven’t already rehashed every scene 50 times before I type “The End”.
- The feeling of accomplishment is worth it.
Participating in NaNo helped change my approach to my writing, mostly for the better. And while I’m cutting back for the next few days (mainly due to a hectic kids’ schedule), I don’t feel burned out.
If anything, I'm more energized than ever.