Wednesday, November 29, 2017

I Did It!

Debra won her first NaNoWriMo!

Sorry about the late post this week, but I wanted to make sure everything was official before I wrote my blog for this week.

Today I am officially a proud NaNoWriMo winner! I actually wrote over 50,000 words in the month of November! It took a lot of time away from other things, but I did it! My official word count was 50,003. Since I started in the middle of a mss already in progress, the entire project is now up to 62,601 words. I'm not sure if non-writers really understand what an undertaking this is, but I'm going to share my exciting news with them anyway!

Since I've reached the end of this journey, I thought I'd look at some takeaways from the experience.

Let's start with the positives:

*I wrote 50,000 freaking words in one month.
*I sat in my chair and wrote every single day.
*I made a lot of good progress on my WIP.
*I challenged myself and came away a winner.
*I am really, REALLY glad I did it.

On the other side of things:

*I'm not sure I'll do it again. Like I said, it took a lot of my time in a month that is already busy.
*I'm pretty sure my mss is a mess. I don't tend to write in linear fashion in the first place. If I get an idea for a scene, I write it, whether it's at the chronological point I'm at in the story or not. With NaNo I was REALLY all over the place. I was determined to get words down no matter what. Lately I've trained myself to be pretty good at not doing a lot of editing or revising when I sit down to write. However, I usually do some, just to find my place, get the rhythm and feel of the story and characters, and check for major continuity issues. With NaNo, I did next to no looking at anything I'd already written. I just kept going gangbusters each time I sat down. I am sure there is a ton of repetition. I'm not sure my characters' emotions and arcs are done properly in a logical manner that builds throughout the story. And I'm pretty sure I have some major timeline issues. Now, granted, all of this is fixable during the editing process, but I'm just wondering if I've made my life harder than I needed to when it comes to that point. I'm almost scared to do a read-through at this point. The story is not finished. I'm aiming for that 85K mark, but it's definitely on its way to getting there.

And what's my next step?:

Now the BIG question is, do I just keeping going in the haphazard way I have been and do a HUGE revision/edit read-through at the end, or do I stop now, print out what I have, read through, and assess where I'm at? Perhaps just a computer read-through. I definitely know what needs to be added in regards to the story, but it might be in the best interest of saving my sanity later to hit pause and take some time to go through what's there. And I have to say, I'm insanely curious to find out what kind of quality product I've put out since I've been mainly focused on the quantity this month. I was decent at cranking out the words, but it remains to be seen if it's any good or not. Knowing I can write 'quickly' puts me in a good frame of mind for future prospects of meeting deadlines and such. (Fingers are still crossed on that submission I have out there.), but again, if it's all crap, writing quickly might not be the way to go.

AND, if nothing comes of that earlier mentioned submission, I'm kind of wondering what direction I want to go with my writing career, and if that all comes to naught, was this just a giant exercise in futility? I guess only time will tell.

All in all, although it doesn't get me much more than bragging rights, I am proud to say I did this. And NaNo combined with my chapter's 90 day writing challenge (Which I won, by the way!) from August through October, has definitely built an excellent habit of writing or editing each and every day. I am author: Hear me roar!

Until next time,

Happy Reading!



  1. Woo hoo! Congratulations, Debra. That's fantastic! I finished today as well and I feel much the same way that you do. It was great for discipline, but oy, the editing that we will have to do. And it also messed me up with my writing process so now I have to go back and do way more fixing than I think I would have otherwise. But the manuscript is done, and as you say, we wrote 50,000 freaking words! Congratulations again.

    1. Congrats to you too!

      Yeah, I'm really quite scared to take a look. Editing and revising this one is going to be a doozy, that's for sure! Good luck with yours! I still need to finish mine.

  2. Wow, congratulations, Debra! (You, too, Jen!)
    I stand in awe.

    I have never been able try NaNo. November is our busiest month at work/

    1. Thanks, Ana.

      I tried it once before and got like 3000 words done. In some ways, I'm not sure how I managed this year.

  3. Many congrats, Deb - and Jen, too. I've only done Nano once, and didn't really enjoy the experience. I think it took me about six more months to sort it out and get it to publishable standard! Hope you manage to fix your stories too!

    1. Thanks, Paula.

      And, yikes, that's what I'm totally afraid of. The fixing process is going to take much longer than usual.

  4. Many congratulations. I've never tried to do this. I don't think I've got the discipline for it. Well done.