I did it. 50,000 words in 30 days.
Technically that means I won NaNo. Which is cool. But any time I write consistently, I’m a winner. Which is the biggest thing I took from NaNo this year.
I have no excuse to not write a little bit every day. I’ve proved I can do a lot every day for a month.
I don’t think I’ll try to win NaNo again though. I’d have to be super excited about a story (like this year).
I’ve been told I’m a disciplined person, but this month exhausted me. I didn’t seriously consider giving up, but there wasn’t any margin for error in time spent. If I wasn’t at work, at church, hanging with the kids, or hanging with my wife, I wrote.
Now if I were a full-time writer, spending that amount of time writing would be fine. But I’m not.
So, I might use NaNo to jump-start a new project or toy with an idea. But I don’t think I’ll go for “the win” again.
The other thing I learned is that it’s okay to discovery write. Each moment of the day is charted out in my mind, and so are my stories.
But NaNo isn’t plotter friendly. I always allow myself freedom to write as my imagination takes me, but this experience showed me I can write down the cool ideas in my mind without worrying so much about the consequences.
Yes, this story will require more plot edits than I normally need, but that’s not the end of the world 🙂
In conclusion. I’m wiped out, but very satisfied. I have a 51,000 word novel-in-progress that I love, and it’s far closer to completion than it was a month ago. Combine that with learning how to budget my time better. I’d say I won in every way.
What’s next? Finish the novel. But I’m taking a few days off to recover first.