I can't believe I did it. I decided to participate in Nanowrimo at about 9 pm on October 31st, totally against my better judgement.
I haven't got time for this, I said.
I'm setting myself up for failure, I said.
There's no way I can write a 50,000 word novel in 30 days, I said.
But I did it anyway. I was fortunate enough to have a writing retreat in mid-November during which I wrote about 8,000 words. I wrote almost the same amount over Thanksgiving weekend, thanks to my SIL keeping my son overnight for an impromptu sleepover. God bless her!
Last night I wrote the last 3500 words after dinner and finished at 11:45 p.m. EST. I was so in the zone I almost forgot to check the clock and missed it!
While my novel ended prematurely and needs lots of work, it's not junk. It's not something that makes me want to vomit. There is good potential there for something I can revise, expand and maybe publish, so I'm very proud of it. I had tons of support from writing friends, both locally and around the world via Facebook and Twitter.
That is why I bristle when "real" writers look down their noses at Nano participants. "Why don't you just write when you need to write instead of waiting for a big party and then cranking out garbage?"
Well, because it's difficult for many of us to summon the confidence to write all alone. My internal editor is pretty harsh. I'm proud of myself for not revising too much this month. I still did a little. I kept all the extra words and deleted scenes in my document, however, because I wrote them during Nano so they count.
It's also difficult to get our loved ones to buy into the whole writing gig. It takes so much time and attention away from them. But if we can say, "This is just for one month" and then prove what we can do, it's a way of earning their support. I've fought a constant uphill battle at home which honestly has kept me from succeeding before. It's a hard thing for non-writers to accept.
But if we break them in with the intensity of Nano, then they're more likely not to complain when we slip back to something more manageable. At least, I hope that will be the case.
So, you who are confident and published or at least well into your routine and writing skin, I'm happy for you. But don't knock my achievement. We all have our own path. I'm sure somewhere along the way someone pushed you and helped you.
This was just a lot more fun.