Well, thank goodness November is over. I just entered my final word count for the month: 61,552 words, about 3/4 of my first draft.
Am I happy? I think so. My brain is numb.
As a newbie to the NaNoWriMo adventure, I didn’t know what to expect. I approached it like I tackle most things in life…jump in with both feet, paddle like mad, and discover I’ve learned to swim by not drowning. I’m panting on the muddy bank after reaching the shore.
What I learned:
1. On the whole, this is an
exhausting great experience, and I wouldn’t have written a fraction of these words without the challenge.
2. Preparing the family is key. I think I vacuumed once, did laundry once, and made scrambled eggs for breakfast…once.
3. Love up the spouse/partner – you’re going to owe him or her big-time at the end.
4. Let personal hygiene go. There’s no time for anything beyond brushing one’s teeth.
5. Install a pet door. The critters can walk themselves.
6. Cancel all outside commitments. Invite yourself to someone else’s house for Thanksgiving. Offer to bring cranberry sauce.
7. Give up on all television except The Walking Dead.
8. Prepare and preschedule blog posts, apologize in advance for your absence, thank everyone in the end for still being there.
9. Get the flu. It relieves you of every single remaining responsibility you weren’t able to shirk in good conscience. You get to write in bed all day and everyone feels sorry for you and brings you tea. (Note flu onset 11/14 on graph).
What else I learned:
1. I am a slow slow edit-as-I-go writer (ave. 250 wph). I didn’t enjoy feeling rushed, and writing for me has always been a luxurious experience. If I dedicate another crazy November to Nanowrimo, I don’t think I’ll pay much attention to word count. Why?
3. Participating and writing one word more than we would have otherwise constitutes a true win in my universe. Congrats to all the participants regardless how much you wrote. You are all winners!