Wednesday, November 30, 2011

I'm a winner! Literally!

Around 7 pm I reached 50,000 words, thus making me a NaNoWriMo winner.  WOOT.

In celebration I did a very spontaneous but elaborate dance that involved lots of shimmying and jazz hands and fist pumps.

But here's the thing - 50,000 words is really just a long pamphlet.  It's about half the length of a regular size novel.  And my story isn't near finished.  But it's definitely on the way.  Also, boy is it garbage right now.  There are moments of greatness but for the most part it is a jumbled mess.  Which is to be expected.  I wrote fast and did zero editing.  I have not gone back to read any of it.  I am hoping when I do I won't be completely disappointed with it.  I don't think I will be.  There's a good base there.  We'll see how it plays out.

Things I've learned while spending November lashed to my laptop trying to convince myself to write:

1.)  The internet is my enemy
2.)  The more I complained about how hard writing was the less writing I did.  Once I changed my attitude and started saying, "This is a piece of cake.  Just a really time consuming piece of cake." my progress tripled. 
3.)  Cake is an excellent writing snack.
4.)  Do not start reading a hard-to-put-down novel with just three days left.
5.)  Writing without editing is incredibly freeing.  But it makes for really crappy writing.  I need to find a good balance.
6.)  Writing with a goal is the best.  Even when it was a daily goal.  There would be days when I would say, "Okay, I'm not going to stop until I hit 3000 words for today" and then I would get there and realize that I was only 1000 words away from hitting a milestone on my total word count and then I'd get there and realize that I was just 1000 words away from hitting a personal daily best.  I suppose this is what athletes do when they're pushing themselves.  Just for the record, I'm sticking with writing.
7.) I always do better when there is a prize at the end - even if that prize is allowing myself an episode of Psyche on Netflix.
8.) It turns out all those wealthy, famous, published authors are right:  sometimes all it takes is to just sit down and write. 
8.)  50,000 was not that hard.  Or rather, not as hard as I thought it would be. Relief!

Thanks to everyone who asked how the novel was coming along.  Feel free to keep it up because there's still plenty of opportunities left for me to think I'm a talentless hack before it is completed.  I need the accountability and encouragement.

And if you'd like - you may stop by and see my NaNoWriMo winner's certificate.  I think I will get one of those double frames so it can be side by side with my nun chuck certificate.


Chris said...

Congrats, Rachel! When we come to visit in December will you let me read some of it?

Rach said...

Hooray! I can't wait to read it! I'm always game to read what you've got and give feedback, although all my feedback will probably be stuff like, "You're awesome!" Good job. That's a lot of writing you did.

Heath'e' said...

Woo hoo!! Congratulations that is amazing!

Bronwyn James said...

Did you really shimmy, do jazz hands and pump your fists when you reached your mark, all alone in your apartment? I hope so, because the thought of your dance-off makes me smile from the inside out.

Unknown said...


We should have gotten together on the 30th to give ourselves well deserved pats on the back!

We'll have to do that at our next group meeting...and steel ourselves as the editing and rewriting begins.

Treats will have to be involved!

Liz the Poet said...

Not to destroy the mystery, but the "unknown" comment was from me.

I'm known.

Mary P said...

I hope there were anthropomorphic animals! (At the very least to cheer you on)

Laurel said...

Soooooooooooooooo jealous! I tried NaNoWriMo for the first time this year, I got 670 words in and then something came up . . . and that was the end of that.


Anonymous said...

I'm still waiting for my sample of manuscript! In a little brown paper cup or with a toothpick through it!