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Cathy: No Nanowrimo win here

crossposted from musings in mayhem

I am happy to have taken part in NaNoWriMo this year for the first time. It put me into a good lead on a companion book to my first novel, and now both need some serious editing. I lost my momentum between lots of doctor appointments for my whole family, getting quite ill myself and caring for sick kids, then my back went out as we leaned toward Thanksgiving, and I got hung up in word count rather than having fun enjoying writing well.

That last part was what killed the project for me. Not the whole project, I am happy to continue work on this particular piece, but I want to go about it in the way that is familiar to me. I am an editing nightmare to some, but I’ll tell you, that is what I really enjoy about writing as I write, the scribbles and rewording, the back-typing and rewording, the considering of the scene from an entirely different angle, etc. It’s what I enjoy about the middle of breadmaking, too: the kneading, the punching it into form.

I have just a few days left to try to make it to 50,000 words. I am at 19,201 and have my family home, no one at work, no one at school or at senior exercise programs until the thirtieth. I don’t think reaching 50,000 is my personal goal anymore. A children’s novel is typically about 30,000 and I don’t want to just write crap for filler for a contest that has lost meaning for me in it’s final goal. I’ve also lost my thread plotwise and feel like I’m wasting precious word count time doing what I actually love about writing and my process in it. That is indicative that it’s time for me to move on and refocus without the contest looming.

For now, for me, this year 19,201 is a fantastic stopping point. Now I can sink my teeth back into the edits of the first novel and then run right into edits on the second I started because of Nano.

Does this then make me a loser if I am not a Nano winner? Certainly not. I have 19,201 words written that I didn’t have before I started NaNoWriMo. That’s a big win in my book. I’ve never written 19,000 words toward one thing in three weeks time in my whole life, nevermind with a houseful of sickies and also school days off throughout the month.

I may not have hit 50,000, but I did a lot more than I would have if I hadn’t tried.

8 Comments Post a comment
  1. fact is, you participated! i don’t thing there are winners or losers there, just do-ers! congrats to you for even putting yourself out there and doing it. now, as you said, you are that much farther ahead than you were before you started.

    November 30, 2009
  2. thanks, kelly, that’s exactly how i feel about it.

    November 30, 2009
  3. E-J #

    Hey, if it were all about finishing, they’d call it NaNoFiMo (Novel *Finishing* Month), wouldn’t they? 🙂 19 thou is a heck of a lot of words! Nice going, Cathy.

    December 1, 2009
  4. Cathy – actually, you did amazingly well, considering all you had to contend with that month. I’m certain I wouldn’t have fared so well. And, yes – there are absolutely no losers. In fact, I sort of dislike the whole “win” – “lose” terminology that goes along with it, b/c it’s not a contest at all. It’s a personal exercise that allows one to free up the confounded, cranky editor in all of us. You did a fabulous job with 19,000, and now have a good start to your sequel. You rock.

    December 1, 2009
  5. amy #

    That seems like a great chunk of a novel to me. At least you got quite a bit written. I have never tried it really and wonder if I could finish my book in a weekend away at the coast someday. We can dream right?

    December 1, 2009
  6. thanks, ladies. e-j, that is the perfect catch phrase!

    mary, you were stellar in the endeavor.

    amy, dream on! and i do mean it in the best way possible…not a shred of sarcasm. if i had a weekend away, i probably could make a fair attempt at it, alas, what is a weekend away? a foreign concept at best…

    although i have an opportunity to go for a long weekend in january with my writers group to the outerbanks for that exact purpose. now to dredge up the funds. couch change anyone? 😉

    December 1, 2009
  7. Round of applause to you, Cathy — I look forward to hearing how your edits progress!

    December 2, 2009
  8. thanks, miranda! i will definitely let you know…esp if i manage to do my writers retreat weekend in earlier january in the outer banks!

    December 3, 2009

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