Thousands of novelists are, as I write this post, frantically typing away at their novel, hoping their heads don’t explode or their fingers catch fire from the friction of speedy keyboarding. Or at least that their heads kindly delay their explosions and fingers their igniting until after midnight, local time, so that they may verify their novels and claim their winner goodies, and enjoy the satisfaction of writing 50,000 words–or more–in thirty days.
But not me.
Did I hear gasps of shock and horror? Likely not, since I am quite sure that no one reading this is so caught up with my life or my NaNoing that the prospect of my failure kindles in them deep-seated dismay.
But if I am wrong, I implore you: Get your own life. No offense.
Anyway, I am not feverishly working on my novel or stressing about verifying word count since I hit 50k on hmm the 21st, I think it was, and verified over the weekend just in case the server went down or something today (which always happens around midnight). Far better to have a badge and be locked in a with a slightly inaccurate number, methinks, than to not get my badge and certificate at all.* My caution proved unnecessary, though, since I just updated my novel info with my final November word count (though I did include the words written for my aborted idea–hey, it was written during November, so I figure it’s all good). I am officially verified at 82,541 words, which is around 1,000 more than what I wrote last year, and is therefore my new record. So yay!
And now let us bask in my NaNoWriMo Winner badge.
Aww, pretty, isn’t it? *sniffle*
This year marks my sixth year of participation and my sixth win. I’m not done with the story yet, but am close enough that I think I’ll have the first draft finished by mid-December. But to ensure I get it done, I’m giving myself a hard deadline of December 21, which is two days before I head to Austin for Christmas. I’ll likely break entirely from writing during vacation, though I’ll need to think of something to keep myself going while Disenchantment will sits for a month or two so I can gain some distance from it. Then I’ll commence with revising and rewriting.
And two or three drafts later, hopefully it’ll be in a shape I can shop around to agents. Which I would normally pontificate about, but the idea is still too abstract–I’ve never seriously shopped any of my stuff. I tend to have issues with starting long projects and not finishing them, or not wanting to put the work into revising them. New ideas get too bright and shiny.
But of course that’s part of the discipline necessary to become a published writer. First drafts, particularly when written under a system like NaNo, are almost always crap. But underneath the crap there’s some good stuff. And yes, cleaning off the crap is yucky and hard and unpleasant, but necessary if you–well, let’s be honest: if I–don’t want to keep that pile of steaming crap around.
So for now I’ll enjoy my win and commit to finishing the first draft. The rest of it will come.
But in the meantime, I send out my positive vibes to those furiously typing novelists. My your fingers fly swiftly to bring you to your 50k, and may the NaNoWriMo site servers not become overloaded as you log on to verify your word count.
And even if the servers are overloaded, and even if you did not reach 50k, every word you wrote is still an accomplishment. For every Wrimo who fell short of 50k, there are still a hundred more who didn’t even try.
*winces at the corniness*
Um. I’m signing off now before my schmaltz filter fails completely. Good luck, novelists!
* Though I’ve never printed out the certificate. Don’t get me wrong; I love NaNo–November isn’t November without it–but printing out my winner certificate alone in my apartment, signing my name to it, also alone in my apartment, and putting it on my wall where only I will see it strikes me as, well, somewhat sad.