National Novel Writing Month is over in most of the world. I finished last night around 9:00 p.m., after pushing over the holiday weekend like I have never pushed before. I was way behind going into the weekend, but I managed to hammer out 22,000 words in four days and finish with a day to spare. The question some may be asking is: why?
It’s a reasonable question. The 50,048 words that I wrote over the past month aren’t even a complete draft. I’ve got about 30,000 more to write before I’ll have that, and a lot of research to do. At the end of *that*, I’ll have a first draft. So why was it so important to do 50k in November, specifically? A few reasons:
1. I said I would, the corollary to which is:
2. I’ve said I would for the past two years and didn’t, and I really wanted to avoid another failure. I am sick to the gills of failure right about now.*
3. I wanted to reestablish the habit of writing a substantial amount every day;
4. I wanted to get comfortable pushing myself to do hard things in the pursuit of a goal;
5. I really wanted to write this story, and 50,000 words of new fiction is a damn fine start.
I think it was a resounding success. Writing a thousand words now feels like writing a hundred did at the beginning of the month. I had to really force myself forward at times, and at other times entire scenes that hadn’t even existed in my head before I started typing just flowed onto the page. It was a great experience, but a difficult one — it was supposed to be difficult, though.
I actually came to work after I finished, because I had work to do this weekend that I hadn’t done because I was noveling, and I figured there were still some available hours before business opened on the East Coast. I got here and discovered that the server I need is down. The first thing I thought was ‘I should work on the novel.’
But I’m not going to, not today. Today I am going to Take Off to relax, celebrate by reading the end of The Windup Girl, maybe play a video game, and get my sleep schedule back on track. Then on Tuesday priorities change, and it all becomes about Clarion.
Congratulations to the NaNoWriMo winners, and to the participants who didn’t get as far as they’d hoped, but got much farther than they would have if they hadn’t tried at all.
* I am acutely aware that I am not done failing, but lots of failure is much more palatable when accompanied by a smattering of Win.