Monday, December 1, 2014

So This Happened

I won NaNoWriMo 2014!!!

It took a LOT of work. As I mentioned a few days ago, I was crazy sick all this week. I'm still not sure how much of it was allergies and how much of it was some weird virus or something. There were definitely multiple things going on. But I spent a ton of the car ride home writing, and my husband took care of everything once we got home so that I could keep writing to the finish line.

I verified my novel at 50,136 words and came out of it with a completed first draft. I'm sure there are going to be a ton of things to do when it comes to revisions (both bulking up certain plot lines and getting rid of some scenes that felt super fluffy). I'm hoping to begin revisions in a week, while I'm on a trip to Florida!

Here's a few things I learned this month:

  1. Throw out all of the rules you've set for yourself. When you're writing a first draft, don't worry about all of the rules of fiction and all of the things you think are necessities when you're writing. Breaking rules can sometimes lead to amazing results (and if they don't, then you can fix it in revisions). Think you need to write small amounts at a time? Try an 8k day. Think you HAVE TO HAVE Cheez-Its when you write? Try just water. At the beginning of the month, I thought writing in huge chunks wasn't for me. But I had a great word count day on the 25th, and came out with my highest yet word count in a single day (shown to the right). Also, I wrote 25k in the fourth week alone!
  2. Writing friends are the best. I can't tell you how encouraging all of the people on Twitter were. If I ever needed a pick-me-up, I just had to use the NaNoWriMo hashtag, and people were always there to help. And it felt great when I could give that encouragement to others, too! We were all fighting that battle together, and "win" or not, we all got words down on the page, which is amazing! And when I wanted some more personal help, the WordNerds and my writing group were perfect. We sent so many emails back and forth on that last day, and it's a big part of why I kept pushing through to the end.
  3. I am definitely a writer (and so are you). Sometimes I worry that if writing was my full time job that  I would end up tired of it. I've had a lot of jobs that I thought I would love that ended up not being what I thought they would be, and my biggest fear has been that it would happen to writing, too. But it hasn't, and if you love writing enough to try to tackle a whole novel, it isn't going to happen. This is the fourth manuscript I've ever completed, and if I'm not scared off yet, I don't think it's going to happen. Writing is awesome yay! (Of course, I'm high on the finishing up of another novel. I'm sure at some point I'll feel UGHHH again. But never UGHHH enough to quit. :) )
I'm feeling so pumped! Here's a visual of my last three years:

And I tried combining them so you could see how it looks on top of each other... It's a little hard to see, but still fun! Sea foam green is 2012; blue is 2013, and purple is 2014!

How did you do this NaNoWriMo? Whether or not you "won," I am super excited for you. You got words on the page!

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