NaNo 2012: The Debrief

I feel like I nodded off in October and woke up in December with only a vague recollection of the month-long chaos that was November. It feels like a dream already. Who knows, maybe it was?

Well if I managed to write 50,000 words while I was asleep and didn’t realize it then this getting to be a published author thing is gonna be vanilla cake. Or maybe red velvet. Haven’t made up my mind yet.

I doubt that my writing career will involve cake (or champagne) any time soon. For one thing, I have to finish writing the book. I’m the type of writer who finds 50,000 words to be too small for telling a story. I think that for this novel, I’ll be looking at a 100,000 words at least.

I’ll be honest about the fact that I didn’t use a completely fresh idea for NaNo. This story has been incubating in my mind for a while, and I’ve tried to write it on a few different occasions, but it never seemed to come out right. I think I’m finally at a stage where my writing abilities will suit this story well, and I intend to finish this thing.

Yet I intend to finish it at slower pace than NaNo requires. One thing I’ve known about myself as a writer is that unless I have a hard deadline and an editor who I know has my back 100%, I don’t tend to write particularly fast. If you look at my chart below, I spent a good part of November being behind the pace required to attain 50,000 words in 30 days.

Behold! A month in which I was persistently behind.

There were some legitimate reasons why I was behind. I had a number of back-to-back events at work that required me to work outside normal business hours. Those cut into one of my precious weekends. But even then, I still had no excuse for my pathetic word count over the Thanksgiving holiday (unless you consider reading the entirety of Brian K. Vaughan’s Y: The Last Man in two days an excuse…didn’t think so).

Ultimately, I’m not the fastest prose writer on earth. I go more for a 1,000-words-a-day pace rather than the approximately 1,700 words that NaNo requires. But speed of prose ultimately doesn’t matter if you don’t have a deadline, as long as the writing gets done. And NaNo reminds me every year of just how important it is to write something that matters to you every day.

I took the weekend off. I’ll be diving back in to the novel today. Got a short story I’m trying to finish up too. There are a few stories that have been incubating in my virtual desk drawer for a while as well. I think it’s about time I polished a couple of those up and sent them out.

I’ll be sure to post the rejection letters as they come in.

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