so i’ve finished nanowrimo

nano_10_winner

nano_10_winnerIt’s a humble PNG image, but to me it’s the most exciting one I’ve seen in a very long time. Today I finished NaNoWriMo. I wrote a novel. I almost want to put an exclamation mark on the end of that last sentence, but I don’t think it’s really sunk in yet. To me, my novel is just 28 little documents living in my computer and in my brain, nothing more.

I might have mentioned here that I’ve written two “novels” before, when I was a teenager, but they were short and awful and one basically ripped off The Outsiders (which I was obsessed with in Grade Eight). I don’t mention it to show off, but only to hopefully illustrate how different, how real, this novel feels. The other two will never see the light of day, but I put so much into this one. So much thought and consideration. And I even kind of fell in love with every single character and thought about them as I was falling asleep. This novel was hard and frustrating and exhilarating and fun. At first, I didn’t think much would come of it, but over the past few days I’ve decided I’m going to continue working on it in the following months, to make it into something that I hope people other than my mother will enjoy reading.

Mostly, it feels strange to be released from the constant, internet-tracked obligation to write at least 1,667 words a day. It feels strange that tomorrow, nobody will know how many words I’ve written, or if I’ve written anything at all. It feels strange to be able to work on other things. I had coffee with my friend Amy today, when I had 999 words to go, and was telling her about a short story I’d started in October, before NaNoWriMo. It feels like years ago that I was thinking of these three characters in this wee situation they were in. Oh my god, I just realized that I can go back to writing short stories, where 5,000 words is considered close to the limit. Will it be strange to write short stories again? Will I still love it? Will I write another novel, ever?

For now, I’m going to watch Walking Dead with my husband (who has supported me incredibly during this process and has always believed I could do it, even when I wanted to give up) and wash some of these dishes. Maybe I’ll write a novel about it when I’m done. ;)

6 comments / Add your comment below

  1. Congrats!! I failed again this year, but more by choice then anything else. I didn’t have any ideas that I could hold onto, and it is my first Christmas away from home so I had to get all my shopping done, that stressed me a little bit. There were other distractions and I knew from the first 3000 words that my story was going no where so I decided that I was okay with just dropping it this year and hopefully doing better next year. I tried last year to write a story that I’ve had in my head a long time but life interjected with some bad stuff (but in the end necessary) so I had scrapped everything and am going to try it again next year since I have characters and some of a plot. I figure if I try to plan ahead I might do better. One day I will be able to post that ‘humble PNG image’ on my site…I hope.

    Sorry for rambling in your comments lol. I don’t know anyone who does Nano and usually just get the ‘oh yea’ response from most of my friends lol. I hope you keep working on your novel and maybe share it one day! :)

    1. Haha, don’t worry about the long comment! I totally understand all the things that can get in the way of Nanowrimo, despite all the best intentions. I think that if I had anything at all else going on in my life this month, it wouldn’t have worked out. Good luck for next year! I think planning ahead will help a lot; I found it helped for me, anyway!

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