I joined the NaNoWriMo website on October 5th, 2005. Wow. Seven years ago! I graduated from college and was three months from getting married at the time. I was starting on my writing journey and learning about the publishing industry (which was much different back then). I've participated several times in this program, sometimes with my own goals, and only completed the 50,000 words goal twice (including this year). I'm fine with not winning since NaNoWriMo isn't just about reaching the goal. It is about learning more about my writing process, the writing project, and the incredible writer people.
This year I discovered writing sprints where I write for a half hour and then take a break in between (usually 15 minutes). Authors Sarah J. Maas and Susan Dennard hosted them under NaNoWriMoBattle on Twitter. It was fun to see everyone's numbers and comments after each sprint. My word count was usually around 1,000 per sprint. Most days there would be 3-4 sprints so the sprints helped my word count climb fast! That is a lot of wordage for me in a day, but it worked wonders! If I was behind, it would helped me stay on track. I don't think I was behind more 1500 words (about a day's worth) the whole month, and at the end, the word sprints pumped up the numbers. I really have to thank Sarah and Susan for keeping me on track. I don't think NaNoWriMo would have been as big of a success for me without them! Thank you, thank you, thank you! We kicked butt on our writing counts!
Also, I want to thank the kindest of authors, Cindy Pon, for checking in with me while doing her own writing in November. It was fun being included with her and her friends in their own writing success and challenges. It was also fun talking with Sarah and Marie Lu about NaNoWriMo at the YA in the Sun event Cindy helped put together here in San Diego. Marie also participated in both the writing sprints and Cindy's updates. Marie also kicked NaNoWriMo's butt!
I finished my 50,000 words on November 27th and finished the novel completed on November 29th. It is funny whenever I finish the first draft, I feel a bit lost. My brain cries out, "What do I do now?" Usually it means Joey needs to take me out for ice cream because I'm awesome.
Where am I at with my writing now?
My NaNoWriMo project, MIRRORSPEAK, is sitting for a while so I can work on my other two projects. I like to let things rest so I can look at it with fresh eyes. I'll probably tear apart the first draft in a few months.
My longtime book, KIN, is being critique by someone other than myself. I'm waiting to hear back and I'll do a heavy revision on it and send it off to Beta readers. Or, I hope that is how it will go. We'll see.
I'm doing the first read through of BRIGHT WORLD since I wrote it earlier this year. There are lot of marks on the pages, but in a good way. I've learned a lot about revision this year so I'm putting my refined skills to good use on it.
I do have a writing project in mind for next year, but for now, three books seems like a good number for revision! I might try my hand at short stories to keep my writing skills all shiny.
I'm proud of the work I've done this year. It is so different having so much time to write and revise, and I'm not really sure what the next step is for me quite yet.
As you can see, November was a very writer-esque month for me. We're now well into December, but I think all of this is worth mentioning. Thanks to all of those who have given such encouragement (Susan, Sarah, Cindy, Marie, Kris, Paul, Michelle, the husband Joey, and the kitties!) and I'm looking forward to participating in some shape or form next year.