Did I win National Novel Writing Month?

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I went the entire month of November without posting!

How was NaNoWriMo?
website badgeIt was great! I have no other reason for neglecting my blog other than being deeply involved in National Novel Writing Month. I got so much more accomplished in a single month than I ever intended to! (Of course I’m only speaking about writing. Unfortunately my school work took a brief nose dive during the middle weeks of November.) It was a full of full force, nonstop, writing-til-my-fingers-bleed session!

Five days before November 30th, I celebrated my fourth win! This also means my winning streak hasn’t been broken and now each pending year of NaNo adds more pressure onto my winning combo. (C-c-c-combo breaker, anyone?) I also achieved something new this year: I stayed ahead every single day of the month! This came with a catch though. Every day I kept ahead of the daily word count, I allowed myself to ignore just a little more of my homework. This heavily tipped my scale and I also got the lowest grade on any quiz of my college career. Every Monday we have a quiz in my Japanese class (this is my fifth semester) and I got a 19. Out of 100! Ouch! That put me into perspective, and I’m making up for it now! I don’t regret my dedication though. Remember my posts over the summer about lagging on inspiration? Well, I had it in November and I was going to choke-hold it until its little eyes popped out of its head! My graph is so pretty for 2012!

2012 stats graph

What else did you accomplish?
Well, last month was a failure for me as I didn’t finish my previous novel. However, because I finished my 50,000 words with days to spare I utilized the extra time and NaNo spirit to complete it! Yes, I COMPLETED the novel!

Extra stats
Previous novel: 168,419 words! (That’s almost the length of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince!)
Nano-novel: 50,620 words. (I usually stop just after the 50k, but I actually wanted to  keep working on this one too.)
Total words written in November: Estimating 58,000 words. The previous novel took ~7,700 words to finish up.

What will you do now?
I will keep going along the path I set for myself. With this novel finally finished I am back on track too. December will be a month to prepare for final papers and finals exams. I do want to keep writing, but leisurely. I haven’t decided if I will keep working on my nanowrimo novel or another one that’s been tucked away since last year, but I don’t want to lose that creative spark. January will be when I pull out THE novel (the one I want to polish for publication) and begin editing the beast. If inclined, I may pull it out this month to start pre-editing–reading for plot holes, character inconsistencies, continuity errors, and etc. I will not start rewriting until January though. I can feel the burn out and I know myself, if I go at it top speed then I’ll probably think everything I wrote is junk and I’ll put it away for much longer than intended.

In the meantime…
I want to keep reading and also look into ways to improve my writing. I cannot neglect other writing/reading resources during this writing break. I know that if I keep writing I will get better but I can only take myself so far on my own knowledge. Learning other skills will help me become published.

I’ve also started networking. It’s about time! It’s not much but during my NaNo home region’s (Grand Rapids and Ottawa County) “Day of Knock-out Noveling” I was given a business card of someone who has experience in publication and can hopefully help me take the next step. Just from sitting at the same table I learned that a lot of people trying for publication only focus on a single book (or series) and publishers may ask if they have anything else to offer, something that is not that novel’s sequel/prequel. So I will be keeping that in mind.

The novel I started for NaNoWriMo could be promising as well. I wasn’t certain at first, I was merely looking forward to writing something new. Although, my nano-novel fits the my genre and the theme is pretty popular with what sells today. (I have to think about the market too!)

Wrap up
NaNoWriMo was exactly what I needed to get the words flowing again! I admit I wrote some crappy parts (to me) but I also had moments where I felt like someone else was writing for me, and I would reread snippets of my novel and think “oh god did I really write this?” It was actually good, on a first draft! I can see my improvement, and that is so encouraging! Especially after a summer of just writing the words to get the words and not feeling it. If I am starting to become discouraged, I have proof to look back on that I am becoming a better writer! Just wait until I have new knowledge in my writer’s arsenal. I can’t wait to see what I will become.

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10 thoughts on “Did I win National Novel Writing Month?

  1. Congrats on another win, AND completing your previous novel. That finishing thing takes a lot of work! Now comes the editing and I wish you luck and motivation there. It can be fun, but it’s also challenging.

    • I am looking forward to the editing part, but also as much as I’m hating all of the work! I know that it will be a better and stronger novel that I’m prouder of after editing but… so many words.

  2. Great job keeping yourself on track! Publishing is something I realistically see in my future too, although from what I hear it’s difficult. Another resource, which I’m sure you know but I’ll mention just in case, is publishing through Amazon. You do need a final manuscript, but you can even get printed books, and a great deal of other stuff with no money put out.

    Great job staying focused, and I can’t wait to read more about your journey!

    • Thanks! I have considered Amazon as well, I’m keeping it on my list of options for when that time comes to research publishers and other publishing options. I know I could do that now, but let’s be honest I’ll get ahead of myself, haha. Thanks for commenting! I’m excited to post about this.

  3. Very good. Great job. I have been working on something for 4 years, I just haven’t had time to lock it down. I have revised it a few times and recently changed the title. Your writing has inspired me to finish.

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