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NaNoWriMo 2017: A Look Back

NaNoWriMo 2017: A Look Back

This year marked my 15th National Novel Writing Month.

(pause & consider)

Fifteen. 1-5. ***15***

(Yup, still a bit boggled by that fact.)

It is a bit of a feat, even with not crossing the 50,000-word finish line 2 of those 15 years. I suppose my stubborn streak can be put to good use, eh?

This year’s foray into NaNoWriMo land was a bit of a different one, however—at least in recent memory. For one thing, I worked on my novel every day, even adding a handful of words on the two days after I was a verified winner on the site. For another thing, this was probably my least dramatic year in terms of the number of times I could be found questioning why I bothered writing at all, I had no talent, etc., etc. That may be my husband’s favourite part of this year’s novel-writing endeavours.

Perhaps the biggest deviation, however, is I did not aim to have a completed story by the time I crossed the NaNoWriMo finish line. Even with the number of times I returned to the story’s beginning—there have been years where the story has been super-condensed because this is not a new thing in that regards—I kept trying to let this story find its course, hear its characters, maybe one day even have a plot. Here is why: I’m determined to finish this story properly, to work on it until I have a messy-but-completed first draft. It’s a scary thought, to be honest. It has been much nicer these last 12+ years to skip around with an idea or two for the month of November, and then basically tuck it away in a drawer to not be looked at again. But this is an idea that won’t quit, and thanks to some advice from a writing group I’m a member of, I’m going to find the value in finishing this, even if the idea turns out to be a hot pile of garbage in the end.

It’s time to put my stubborn streak to work with regards to writing outside of the month of November.

Gulp.

*Photo by Jez Timms on Unsplash

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