It’s official. I won NaNoWriMo. I wrote 50,477 words of my novel and I can display a way cool badge on the blog.
So what now? Do I have a complete novel? Not even close. I don’t even have half of a first draft. I reread a little of it and realized the first 20,000 words can be condensed into about 2,000. The story I wanted to tell didn’t get rolling until about 40,000 words in. I have no ending. It will be months before I have anything remotely close to a workable first draft. I didn’t meet any of the goals I set for myself, other than meeting word count.
When I clicked the “verify” button and saw “Winner,” I didn’t feel like a winner. I felt like a big fat failure. I didn’t write a post about NaNoWriMo on December 1 like everyone else because I didn’t think I’d accomplished anything. Not really. I was disappointed in the whole experience.
I was an idiot.
I absolutely accomplished something! I started a novel. I established a writing habit.
I learned things about myself as a writer. I know that I write better at night, with music blasting in my ears. I use the word, “just” too much. I suck at describing setting. I get carried away with love scenes and if I wanted to, I could totally write a sleazy, melodramatic romance novel, which, in turn, taught me it’s okay and even wise, to use the backspace button.
Most importantly, I have a Work In Progress, which I can refer to in random conversations when I want to feel important. I can say, “I’m writing a book…” In my novel….” or, if I’m feeling particularly pretentious, I can call it my “WIP” and explain what that means, thereby
annoying dazzling my audience with my condescension intellect.
I AM a Winner.
National Novel Writing Month is over. It’s December and time to focus on Christmas and that long 2 1/2 week vacation. Oh, and that other goal I set in January. The one where I said I’d read 50 books in 2011.
19 books in 27 days. Completely doable. I’ll keep everyone updated on my progress through the blog, Facebook, and Twitter.** I know you care deeply if I meet another random personal goal.