So the results are in!
After weeks of grueling stress, sweat, some adrenaline, yours truly as made it through the annual National Novel Writing Month. In case I have not made it abundantly clear what this is in previous posts, think of it this way:
You sign up. You invent a new or perhaps bring in a previous novel that you wish to work on. The goal is 50,000 words in one month. That comes to 1,667 words per day. In the editing industry, that would equate to a little under seven pages of text. However, there is no editing permitted – your task to write, even if it’s crap. That’s the point. Get it out, you’re allowed to edit it later.
And trust me, I used a lot of placeholder dialogue and description scenes. My piece will require thorough editing.
At any rate, I managed to finish a day early at 50,120 words. See above about sweat and stress. I had to quit going to the gym for the last two tendays of the month, turned down a number of social opportunities, and spent a large amount of energy thinking and making notes at The Place Where They Think I Work.
The experience was grueling, as I’ve said, but incredibly positive. I’ve made a few friends and learned how to use a nifty website; the graphs are particularly encouraging after uploading one’s total word count. I had even fallen behind – on two consecutive weekends, things happened with people – but tightened the old belt, rolled back the old sleeves, and forced myself onward.
NaNoWriMo is not about having a good idea, though that helps. It’s about discipline, and I’m sad to say that very few of the people I’ve met before and during the challenge did not make it. This is not an easy thing to do, and without getting too personal, I simply wanted to say that I had a number of emotional obstacles that would have otherwise seriously derailed me.
What matters most is that I proved something to myself with the NaNoWriMo challenge. The night I completed it, the night I proved to myself that I can in fact write such a volume in such a span of time, I rewarded myself with choice “victory” music, and will likely soon watch an anime (don’t get me started!!) that I’ve been wanting to watch for years. These may seem like small things. But you understand, dear reader, don’t you?
For one thing, I am very particular about my music – why, when and where. We will get into this another time; but suffice it to say for now that my allowing myself to listen to victorious, uplifting tracks such as this is rare. I actually felt like I earned it, like I accomplished something.
I’ve got stories to write and books to edit. There is yet a lot of work to do.
But now, dear readers, now I know I can do it.