National Novel Writing Month Wraps Up

Remember how freaked out I was about attempting NANOWRIMO, the challenge that asks you to complete a 50,000 word novel during the month of November? 

As of this morning, I have just under 600 words left to meet my 50,000-word goal. Tomorrow morning I plan on completing the challenge and wrapping up a month of "Oh-my-God-this-is-great-why-didn't-I-do-this-before-no-wait-this-sucks-I-suck-my-writing-sucks-this-is-hard-I-want-to-quit-wow-I-had-a-great-writing-session-I'll-never-stop-doing-this-no-wait-I'm-sick-of-this" roller coaster writing drama. 

Here are a few things I learned during my month of NANO'ing: 

  • I do my best writing early in the morning, fresh out of bed. Stumble to my office, no e-mail, no Internet, no anything. Sit. Think. Write. 
  • That being said, I can write anywhere, anytime. To get my NANO words in this month I wrote at the gym, in my car, at the doctor's office, in a hotel room the morning before I ran a marathon, at coffee-houses and occasionally at home at night.
  • Momentum is key. There is no reason I can't write every day. It doesn't have to be the 1700 daily words I did for NANO, but I can write 250-500 new words each and every day. And from here on out, I'm going to. 
  • I respect myself more as a writer when I write every day. 
  • I have more fun when I write every day. Even though there were many (many, many, MANY) days it was a struggle to get the words down and the words that were written were crap, it was okay. I knew I'd be back tomorrow for another shot at it. Less pressure, more fun. 
  • I have all the time I need. Saying I don't have time to write is always an excuse, nothing more. You'll see in my original post I was worried about what I would have to cut out or cut back on to make time for the NANO writing. So what had to go? Nothing. I changed almost nothing in my life except I got up a little earlier and wrote instead of piddling around on Facebook or checking e-mails. The lack of sacrifice it took to meet this challenge is almost embarrassing. 

Of course, not everything went as planned. I'd hoped to have a really bad 50,000 word novel written by the end of this month and that didn't happen. What I have are 50,000 words. I didn't do any pre-planning on my book idea and quickly discovered I would have a hard time starting at point A and ending at Z. So I just wrote. Random scenes, random dialogue. It's all writing that can be used later, if I decide to pursue the story, but there's nothing cohesive about what I did this month. 

I'm good with that. My goal was to write every day and end with 50,000 words. Maybe next year I'll attempt the full challenge and actually try to complete a novel in the time frame. 


Once I wrap up NANO tomorrow, what's in store for me? More writing. I plan to continue to get up early each morning and write new words. It may be on the novel, it may be on several novels, it may be on a new humor book. 

One resolution for 2013 will be to write every day. I figure, why wait? I have the momentum, let's keep going. 

Thanks for everyone's support and encouragement. Every "How many words have you written?" inquiry was a boost.