This morning, I broke 60K words on my novel! I was really hoping to have written 65K over the month of September, but let’s stop and be real for a second…
I have 60,000 words written towards my novel, all accomplished in the span of one month! I should really break out the
champagne Irish cream to celebrate. Maybe I will.
But what I really want to reflect on is this:
5 Things SeptNoWriMo Taught Me About NaNoWriMo
- Writers… write. The age-old cliche is true: writers just have to buckle down and write. Sure, browsing other blogs is important, and Facebook makes me look like a cool kid, but when the rubber hits the road, I have to have my butt in the chair, ignore the cat who’s swatting at my elbow, and write like a madwoman. That’s the only way these words can come out.
- Life is manageable. Yes, I work in ministry for 40 hours a week, but if I prioritize, I can find an hour a day to write. Here at the end, I lost my momentum due to a fluke rescheduling party at work, and the last 5K words went with it. But guess what? It’s September 30, and I don’t want to stop writing. In fact, I’m itching to start editing… as soon as I hammer out the last 5 chapters or so.
- Find that support team. I would not have finished 60K if it wasn’t for my husband. He’s a writer, too, at his own pace, but he was kind enough to prod me once or twice a week: how many words have you written? What are your characters up to? If I didn’t have that external interest, I wouldn’t have finished. Find someone to bother you, once a week. Accountability is key.
- Draft Zero is just that. Some people say that the product of a Writing Month is called a “first draft,” but the hot mess of words sitting on my laptop at home doesn’t deserve the title “First Draft.” It’s definitely “Draft Zero,” and it’s a tangled hot mess. It’s not publishable, and I refuse to let anyone read it until I at least run the spell check and fix all my inconsistencies. But that doesn’t mean that it isn’t progress. It’s the first step to becoming a published author, and I’m proud of that.
- As much as I want to be, I am not a Pantser. I always wanted to be the cool kid who can “fly by the seat of my pants” and just produce a novel… but that’s not me. The only reason I kept on track and made good progress was because I had an outline I’d refer to, immediately before I wrote. I knew where I was, and where I needed to go. Sure, I changed it up twice throughout the month, but I needed that road map to get me where I’m going. I’m a Planner, and maybe you are, too.
Best of all, I came to this realization: I don’t quit everything I start, after all! I’ve regained the confidence I’d lost, after nearly a year of not doing any serious writing. I wasn’t just pretending, years ago, when I wrote. I really am a writer. I really can do this noveling thing. I’m not done yet, but I am making progress towards the future.
My SeptNoWriMo is drawing to a close, and while I’m a little sad to see it go, I’m so proud of my accomplishments!! I intend to finish the rough draft over the next few weeks (read: mid-October) and then get geared up for writing a sequel in November.
Who’s with me?? Hope to see you around NaNoWriMo! Best of luck in your ventures!