I didn't mention it here, mainly because I haven't been mentioning much of anything at all for the last several months, but I participated in NaNoWriMo again this year. Some of you might remember last year, when I attempted to write my first novel in 30 days while also posting here every day. And even thought I accomplished both, I think it broke me. My posting had not been regular here since.
Anyway, I did NaNoWriMo again this year. Everything was going well for the first week and a half--I was even consistently ahead in my word count by a full day or more. I was thinking of upping my goal from the baseline 50,000 and trying for 75K or even a 100K (when I'm feeling optimistic, I get a little ahead of myself). Then I got SLAMMED with insomnia. For over a week, I tossed and turned until 3:00 am. I could barely function during the daylight hours, which BY THE WAY are incredibly short at this time of year. I was also volunteering pretty heavily at my church and caught a couple babysitting gigs, so my novel sat on the back burner. Then there was turkey day and family time and what it all comes down to is that I had 25,000 words left to write in five days.
That's HALF of the goal. But for some reason, my brain shielded me from that concept and I just jumped back into writing it. I thought, I'll just have to do 5,000 words a day. That's not THAT hard. Ha. Haha. But, as my last post informed you, I've had a rough year and it only seems to be getting rougher. So I desperately needed a win. Or, more accurately, I wasn't sure I could handle another failure.
Ignoring all the stats, I put fingers to keys and just took off for five days. Yesterday night, I managed to write 9,916 words to finish NaNoWriMo with an hour to spare! AND I figured out how to verify it, which means that I'm an official winner. Unlike last year when I really did finish, but didn't know I had to verify it so it looks like I just logged on every day to type in progressively higher numbers until I hit 50,000. So I'm a two-time finisher, only a one-time winner. And I'm trying not to be bitter about it.
The story is only about halfway done, which is fine, because the type of book I want to write is between 300-350 pages. 50,000 words is a little over halfway there. So I still have some work to do. But, again unlike last year, I actually LIKE this story and it's going well. I'm not sure it's worth publishing or letting anyone read, but it's worth it to me to finish it--if only because I've never finished a story and I'd really like to. And while the win doesn't feel ALL that winnish (it was all a little anticlimactic what with the story not being finished), I know I would feel terrible today if I had given up, so I keep focusing on that.
The only difficult part of the whole thing (you know, other than needing push out 25,000 words in five days) was that the topic is incredibly sad and is somewhat personally relevant, since I took a real life thing and asked the question "What's the worst that could happen?" Since November was such a rough month for many other reasons, I tried to bury myself in the novel. But it often just felt like trading one kind of sad for another. And that was incredibly hard on me. It wore me out and it pulled me down. But I really think that the characters are more believable and relateable because of it. I hope.
Anyway, some of you have requested to be beta readers. I am so worried about sharing my work, but I also am kind of excited to get some feed back from people who aren't related to me and therefore are practically required to be nice about my creativity. So. If you are interested in reading an unedited first draft of half a romantic/family drama with Christian values, speak up now. Why am I hearing crickets? There are no crickets in Far North.