NaNo Update: A Little Self-Congratulations

The last thing I was expecting a month ago was that this blog post would be about achieving, about setting an insane goal and attaining it. Instead, I thought it’d be about my struggles to still be striving towards that goal heading into December.

National Novel Writing Month

National Novel Writing Month

Yeah, I’m a bit shocked.

Yesterday I completed the draft of So Others Might Remember. 141,025 words in 28 days. I’ll grant that I only work part time (20 hours/week), but still…

In truth, I exceeded my daily goals and that’s the only reason I reached my monthly goal. At the end of October I mapped out a plan that would get me to 125,000 words by the 30th in the hope that would be enough. It wouldn’t have been, but fortunately I exceeded my goal each day and did so significantly on several occasions.

The month was a three-act structure: ten days of unbridled enthusiasm followed by ten days of struggling followed, at the last, by eight days of renewed determination when it dawned on me I had an excellent chance of reaching my goal in November.

The novel has everything you’d expect in a first draft: holes, inconsistencies, bad writing, you name it. I can work with that. It doesn’t bother me because I’ve been here before—many times. What matters is that it exists and is ready to be sculpted. It’s provided me with a few improved ideas for its direct predecessor, A River in Each Hand.

NaNo stats for Christina Anne Hawthorne as of the 28th of November, 2018.

NaNo stats for Christina Anne Hawthorne as of the 28th of November, 2018.

That’s the advantage of writing a series before any of the novels are published: each book influences and helps improve the book after, but also the book(s) before it.

Right now, I don’t want to think about the one that follows this one at all!

There’s exhaustion from all the long hours, short nights, and sacrifices. There’s also elation at having accomplished a goal, and at having created something from nothing. Given the obstacles this time and the excessive goal I set, this, my fifth win, might easily be my biggest.

So, if there’s a takeaway, know that even an excessive win like this one came at a huge price and required an equally huge effort just to produce rubbish in a dumpster that later I’ll sort through to find all the good stuff, and I know there’s good stuff.

One Reply to “NaNo Update: A Little Self-Congratulations”

  1. Pingback: NaNo Update: A Little Self-Congratulations | Christina Anne Hawthorne

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