Just this past Friday - while I was still stuffed with plenty of turkey, gravy, and pecan pie, leftover from the celebrating of the day before, and not to mention feeling a bit of residual Angry Orchard-and-Fireball feeling - I clicked "Validate" on my NaNoWriMo Novel, clocking in at 50,781 words!
The Hallelujah Chorus erupted in the air around me in celebration of my momentous feat... or maybe it was just the advent of, well, Advent, with Christmas decorations going up all over the house.
Regardless, it was an incredibly rewarding feeling to see the results of a month's worth of hard work, especially because I had been clocking in at about 5,000 words for each of the days I had spent at home for Thanksgiving Break. Now, I'm able to head back to school in Seattle today, recharged and ready to kick butt on Finals... and of course, I've already got a stack of books I'm looking forward to reading over Winter Break!
MY WINNER SCREEN!
So, yes, I've already announced to you all that I completed my NaNo Challenge, but that doesn't mean the journey's over... I still have a lot of editing to do, and not just because of the litany of what are sure to be grammatical errors and inconsistencies in the plot, but I'm also pretty sure I switched third person to first person halfway through.
I'm definitely looking forward to going back to revisit and revise, and fill in some of the holes I had left with just a set of parentheses and the words "Fill in this part later."
But for now, I'm plenty happy reveling in my glorious and decisive victory, which came three days before the deadline, and way damn before I was actually expecting to be finished. Honestly, if you had asked me about a week before I validated my final word count about whether I was expecting to finish, I would have told you that I was way too busy and way too far behind to make it.
And yet, thanks to a couple different factors - for starters, the continued harassment by my Dad and Sigma Kappa Little about getting it done - I was able to rally there at the end, and bring it all home.
That's on top of the College Fashion article that's also due this afternoon, as well as preparing for an English class Final this coming Wednesday afternoon.
NOTES FROM THE FIELD
- There's nothing like having the world expected of you and having people constantly harping on you about getting things done. My best advice for NaNoWriMo: Tell literally all of your most aggressive, obsessed, and book-intense friends, because they're the ones who are really going to kick your butt if you don't finish!
- I'm definitely looking forward to being able to actually read books again over Winter Break... I've been too worried about getting too sucked into a good novel or unknowingly taking on the voice of a different author just because I had their words mixing around in my brain when I was trying to focus on developing my own. On the other hand, I've read a ton of great comic books this past month, just because they were short and visually-oriented. Still, my TBR pile for After Finals has got me feeling some kind of way!
- More on what happens when you start to deprive yourself of good fiction: the moment when you're daydreaming about what books you're going to read when you have free time again, and the first title you come up with is Dr. Zhivago. When you're fantasizing about reading Russian Literature for kicks and giggles, you're pretty far gone.
- I'm learning a lot about my own productivity levels, of when exactly I'm at my most focused and able to sit down and power write. Up at school, I always thought it was at night, when all my friends were together in our room, and working on homework, but here, at home, I've found that when I get up before everyone else, and I sit in front of the windows in the living room, that's when I can really work uninterrupted.
Just because I don't feel like I get a lot of wiggle room beyond social media updating to talk about how this success is making me feel, I wanted to state her that I'm really, really proud of myself for making it through this challenge, and I owe a lot of that to how supportive my friends and family have been about it, too.
I had developed plenty of novel ideas before, but none to the extent of Blood Read (still a working title, I need to find something that's a little less aggressive). The fact that I started out with an outline, and now have almost 90 1.5-spaced pages in a Word document (narrowest margins setting, I might add), is a pretty spectacular transformation, and something I've never done before. It's my first ever novel, and I couldn't be happier to have what I've got of it now, even though I already have been making plans on how I'm going to fix it next.
And, to be expected, plenty of my friends, including my sister, the Cheerleader, have stocked up with plenty of jokes about how soon I'm going to get someone to publish it. Honestly, that's not even something I want to think about at all right now (partially because I have one too many friends way more accomplished than me in that field, and I know how stressful thinking about publishing really is).
In fact, no one is allowed to read this thing, until I've spent at least another couple of months on it. After putting all that time and effort into building cohesive characters, plot, and action, I'm just happy and thankful that I have something so cool, that I created. It's nice having something like this for my eyes only.
Still, I can't be thankful enough for those people, because they're the ones who got me to write all of this in the first place. Thank you, everybody!
So, there you have it: My 2014 NaNoWriMo journey. Did you take the challenge? What was your result? At any rate, congratulations for taking part, and I'll see you again next year!