50,281 words in 27 days.
When I first started NaNo, the idea of actually writing a novel from start to finish was so overwhelming to me that I didn’t even let myself think about it. Just a little bit of writing every day – 1,000 words here, 3,000 words there, 500 if I was crunched for time – but the fact is that I did it, and with three days to spare. The feeling of writing “The End” was absolutely amazing.
But really, the journey is just beginning. Because next comes the editing, and lots of it, and then comes the shopping around for a publisher, and lots of it, and then comes rejection after rejection after rejection. Until, someday, someone may say yes to the thing that my now (very rough) first draft of a novel is going to become. But hell, why not? I didn’t write this thing so it could hang out on my laptop, and I don’t intend to let my marketing skills go to waste.
The one thing NaNoWriMo taught me more than anything else is that “too busy” is not a valid excuse for pursuing the things you want to do. I used to use it all the time. Too busy for this, too much on my plate to try that. But between a full time job as a writer, a freelance job as a writer, and doing my best not to disappear from the lives of my friends and family for the month, I can honestly say that if you love something, you CAN make time for it. The concept of free time has taken on a whole new meaning for me, and it’s strange to not “have” to come home and write at least a few thousand words. Currently, I’m enjoying the break, but I’m really excited to get back into what I wrote and start making changes.
For now, though, it’s the holiday season! And that means it’s time to catch up on some reading and a lot of quality time with the people who matter most.
To those of you who participated in NaNoWriMo – whether you won or only wrote a few hundred words – I salute you. It was one hell of a month.