Sunday, November 30, 2014

What I'm Taking from NaNoWriMo into December

After 50000 words, the 50001th is anticlimactic. It was probably an ‘and’ or ‘the’, maybe something fancy like ‘tree’ or ‘unicorn.’ In the end, I don’t know exactly which word it was, because that word is unimportant. NaNoWriMo may have a goal about writing 50000 words, but it’s not about any particular word, it’s about what they mean together. It’s about what 50000 words make together. For me, 50175 words make the better part (as I'm not quite finished) of a first draft of a novel.

This is the third time I’ve won NaNoWriMo, and I’ve written about lessons I’ve learned and how I've won. I’ve written about my struggle to commit, the muddy middle and about being a pantser. I even wrote a NaNoWriMo pep talk just last week, but I’ve never written about the future.

After writing 50175 words in November (probably more because I plan on adding some today), I take three important things into December and 2015 with me: A nearly finished first draft, momentum and a sense of accomplishment. To complete the first draft before the end of the year, I need to keep up my current momentum. I’ll celebrate my accomplishment, but I’ll also remember that the hard work (editing) has yet to begin.

Please note: what I’m taking into December with me has nothing to do with word count. Seems crazy, but it's true! Maybe you didn’t make it to 50000 words this year, which is absolutely fine, because in the end, you can still have all those things I mentioned above. You still have the workings of a first draft as no matter if it’s 25000 words or 40000 words, it’s a beginning that you didn’t have before. You still have the momentum of November, pushing you forward. And, I truly believe that you should feel accomplished for committing to NaNoWriMo, writing however many words you wrote and moving forward with that.

NaNoWriMo novels might be drafted in November, but they’re edited in December and beyond. For me, I plan on finishing my draft in December and dive into editing in the New Year. No matter how many words you wrote in November, it was more than you had at the beginning and therefore I share my congratulations with you.
*raises mug* Congratulations and Happy December!

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