Well, my fourth NaNoWriMo is over, and as most of you already know, I wrote my 50,000th word yesterday afternoon--in plenty of time to meet the deadline. While I am always happy to finish, this year's victory seemed just a little sweeter because it was just so hard this year.
The first year I did NaNo was 2007. I had never heard of it before, and I started nearly a week late. However, I had no problem writing a little extra every day and finiahed with 63k words and finished the book (which, by the way, I REALLY need to revise and edit and start shopping around). The next year, I wrote Bubba to the Rescue, book two in the Green Meadow Series, which is due out January 10th (yeah, sorry, we thought we'd have it out in time for Christmas, but it looks like it's getting pushed back). Anyway, that year I got a case of tendonitis in my elbows and lost a good week because I couldn't type...and it was hard to catch up, because I was still hurting and didn't want it to completely flair up and incapacitate me again. Yet, I still managed to finish. Last year, I wasn't even going to do it because I was working 12 hours a day between my exhausting day job and my writing. Michy made me do it anyway, and I finished. This year should have been cake!
However, it wasn't cake. It wasn't even muffin, or cookies, or pie. It just sucked. It was hard. I hated it. I was way busy with my various jobs and tasks and travel. of the 30 days in November, there were 8 days I didn't write at all, 10 days I wrote some amount that was less than the daily goal of 1,667, and only 12 days where I met or exceeded the daily goal. I didn't meet the halfway point until the 24th, with less than a week to go. I put in two 6k days, a 5, day and two 4k days to do it. That is a lot of writing in one day, when you consider I also had work to do.
I don't know if I will ever have a perfect, easy NaNo where everything is going my way, unless you count the first year where I only missed 5 days because I started late, but the rest went smoothly. What that tells me is that if I can write 50k words in a month despite all of the challenges that I face every year, I can accomplish anything I really want to. That sounds trite, but it's so true. We can always make excuses to explain why we can't do something. However, when we stop with the excuses and just DO it, look what we can accomplish!
If you haven't tried NaNo yet, I heartily encourage you to give it a shot next year. Why not? Sure, it's crazy. Sure, you have a lot going on. But, you've always wanted to write a novel, right? What a great excuse to get started on it.
In January, I will run LAFFN (Let's All Finally Finish a Novel) so you can finish your NaNo, revise a rough draft, or whatever you need to do in order to get a novel one step closer to publication. I'll post more when the time comes.