Thursday, December 4, 2008

After NaNo

Well, I've been putting it off for a while, but it's time for the post NaNo post.

My final wordcount was 34,580 words. I didn't win. Neither did I make the secondary goal of 35k that I set for myself. However, I do feel that I learned from the experience, so it's fair to say that National Novel Writing Month 2008 was not a total loss.

I learned that the goal of 1,700 words a day is hard. It isn't necessarily hard to write that much on any given day, but to maintain as the days and weeks stretch on. I learned that life getting in the way of writing can be a real pain. I learned that my standard method of writing - that is, writing by hand, then transcribing into computer - slows me down a lot. I learned that, luckily, it isn't so much trains that do it for me as it is getting out of my apartment. Coffee shops are great.

Most of all, though, I learned that I should curb my arrogance. Ok, sure, I'm pretty good. Not only am I an at least halfway decent wordsmith, but I'm getting pretty good at the whole 'just write' thing. But I'm far from a master. I have a lot to learn, and I'll learn it faster if I keep that in mind rather than running my mouth off about how easy it is.

In the way of positive lessons, I learned that I can get pretty far on sheer chutzpah, even if I'm not 100% certain of my original premise. I also learned that I can get pretty close to winning. 35k isn't much for someone who was quite as cavalier as I was, but it's pretty good for a first-time NaNoer.

My primary reaction to the end of National Novel Writing Month is relief. November has been a crazy month, an NaNoWriMo ended up being the least of my worries. Now I can relax, let my poor cooked brain mellow out a little, and put my life back together. I am eager to get back to the projects I have left sitting by the wayside - Rat and Starling, some short stories I'd like to finish and maybe try to sell, my one-on-one gaming with the Abigail - though I will finish Ghostly Tam Lin, and probably soon. The timing is also quite good, as the folks I'm working with on my second freelance project are probably beginning to move again. I should be getting my outline this weekend (yay!).

Now that I haven't got NaNoWriMo weighing on my conscience, how am I going to keep writing? Well, that's in part what this blog is for, giving me someone to confess to, a community to hold me accountable for my writing. Instead of trying to post every day about my writing, I think I'll devote one post a week or so to talking about my projects and how much headway I'm making with them. The should be cool.

Of course, I'm going to do NaNo again next year. Next year... next year is the year I'm going to kick National Novel Writing Month's ass.

By the way, the Abigail did win (*grumble grumble fish*). We'll be going to the NaNo party in San Francisco on Friday, and if I have any readers in the Bay Area who aren't already my friends, who did NaNo and want to meet me, well, there's your first opportunity.

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