It’s been a month of ups and downs with NaNoWriMo – yesterday, for the first time since November 6th, I actually hit the target of where the NaNo site said I should be in order to finish this project.
I’ve gone days without writing and I’ve had days where I’ve busted out 5,000 words. The last time I won NaNo, in 2017, I ended up with an award-winning novel, Coyote Ate the Stars.
This time, I’m feeling pretty good about what I’ve produced over the month of November. It will need some revision, but it isn’t awful. It isn’t just a jumble of furiously pounded out words.
Last year, I started my NaNo novel without outlining it. I still haven’t finished that work. In 2017, I had an solid, basic outline. This year, I also started with a good outline. I didn’t always stick exactly to it, but in general, I knew where I was going to start and I knew where I was going to end.
Some people do better writing as a pantser – I never want to get myself painted into a corner that I can’t get out of. And as long as I have the outline, I’m relatively safe from those inescapable corners.
It’s getting close to the end of the month – I still have a little over eight thousand words to write. I don’t know if the novel itself will be finished, but I’m relatively sure I will make the fifty-thousand words.
In some ways, winning NaNoWriMo is a bittersweet experience. On the one hand, I set a lofty goal and I accomplished it. On the other hand, there’s a part of me who’s screaming, “Why don’t you work like this EVERY month?”
As I’ve said before, November is a month of introspection. It’s also the month of a hell of a lot of hard work. Let’s see how these last few days go.