Final Thoughts on NaNoWriMo 2016

It’s been a few days since the end of this year’s National Novel Writing Month event. I’m happy I participated, and very satisfied at having reached the goal of 50K words. Chapters six and seven of “Gray Metal Faces” have been completely revised, and the first draft of chapter eight has begun; honestly, I don’t think I would have accomplished so much if I hadn’t been trying to “win” NaNoWriMo.

But I’m not happy with those last few days in November. Getting those final few thousand words was difficult, and while I got the job done, I certainly didn’t enjoy myself. Writing shouldn’t always be easy, and I’m definitely not afraid of the work; however, during those last few days in November I was writing because I had to, not because I wanted to. Working on the novel became just another obligation, and I approached those final blog entries with all the enthusiasm of a dental appointment.

That’s not a feeling I want to experience again, and makes me wonder if I’ll participate in next year’s NaNoWriMo. Yeah, there’s a real good chance that I could end next November with a complete draft of the entire novel, which would be completely awesome. But to have that empty, joyless feeling — I’m not sure any accomplishment would be worth that.

So yes, I’m happy to have participated in this year’s NaNoWriMo, but whether I take part in next year’s event is an open question.

And There You Have It

nanowrimo_2016_webbadge_winnerIt hasn’t been pretty these last couple of days, but my NaNoWriMo goal of 50K words has been reached, with about 75 minutes to spare. Don’t have much energy (physical or mental) left to say anything more profound than that; right now, I don’t even feel victorious. Just tired, and a little grateful for being able to accomplish this feat.

Sprint to the finish

finish-line

Finished the chapter seven revision yesterday. Combined with the chapter six revision completed earlier this month, I’m up to a little less than 47k words so far in NaNoWriMo 2016. Started the first draft of chapter eight earlier today (I’ll have more to say tomorrow about how I’m drafting chapters eight and nine), and came to a convenient stopping point after 1100 words. Two more days like today, or maybe a big push tomorrow — either way, the finish line of personal victory is in sight.

Looking forward to ending this challenge. Really glad I’ve put in all this work, but after 28 days I’m feeling the urge to move on from the novel for a bit.

NaNoWriMo 2016

Launched my writing project today for this year’s NaNoWriMo event, which begins four weeks from tomorrow. The goal this time is to revise work I’ve already written on this blog, chapters six (Jan – Mar 2015) and seven (Mar – Apr 2016) of my novel Gray Metal Faces. With my self-imposed limit of 25K words for each chapter, I should fall short of the NaNoWriMo goal of 50K words when I finish revising chapter seven — so maybe I’ll get a start on drafting the eighth chapter as well. 

NaNoWriMo

Taking an extended break from the “Warning Signs” narrative to embark on a far more ambitious project.

Tomorrow is the start of National Novel Writing Month, and over the course of November I’ll be writing the second draft of the novel I’ve been developing over the past several years. It won’t be completed — my plan is to revise the first four chapters, which if all goes as planned should get me over the 50K word goal suggested by NaNoWriMo — and as I have nine chapters planned for the novel, I’ll also be about half-way to my personal goal.

For those of you who follow my blog regularly, this coming month will be a little different. I’ll still post daily, but most will be significantly longer than my usual 200 to 400 words. Fifty thousand words over thirty days averages out to almost 1700 daily; there will be days when my word count will reach three, even four thousand. That’s a lot to read at one sitting, and if you decide there’s better things you should be doing, I’ll certainly understand. I just hope you decide to come back on December 1.

It’s a time of nervous excitement for me. I’m not certain that I’m ready, but am certain there will never be a time when I’ll feel ready. And to a certain extent, I don’t care if I’m disappointed in the end result — I just want to know what it feels like to have finished. Climbing this mountain will cause me a lot of discomfort, and I know I won’t ascend as quickly or gracefully as I’d like; breathing the thin cool air at the summit will make the effort worthwhile.