Last Friday, 29th November, I was delighted to cross the National Novel Writing Month finish-line at 10:50pm – on a Friday – when most other people my age were down the pub, or spending time with their families and partners.
Our kitchen was being decorated over the weekend, and I needed to keep little Miss Chapman out of the way in order for the painting to be completed, so I took the mischievous little munchkin away for a couple of days. As such, Saturday was not available to me for NaNo-ing, and I set myself the target of finishing my next novel by Friday 29th instead.
Thanks to some super-duper supportive friends on Twitter, we all got together every day last week and smashed those word-count targets, and as a result, I passed the 50,000 mark required to ‘win’ NaNoWriMo. The only problem was, the story wasn’t finished, and I hate to leave something incomplete. So I didn’t validate. I couldn’t. I’d written 50k, but I wasn’t done.
So, after a day of cleaning the kitchen in prep for decorating, I sat down with a very large cup of black coffee, and I wrote. For three hours solid. I don’t know how I managed to write another 3.5k in that time, on a Friday night, while I needed matchsticks for my eyes. But I did it. I could see the finish line and I began to get really excited about the ending.
As my last blog-post portrayed, I wasn’t overly enthusiastic about this story during week two. Which was strange, as I’d got really excited while planning the outline and story-arc. But, I told myself it was only because it was a first draft. And that first draft is now finished, which means I have the skeleton of another story.
I have my second novel – and I think I’m in love with the hero.
There are plenty of authors who have written more than one novel, and I’m just a little fish in a very big sea (as yet to be published). But, who cares? There are also plenty of people who haven’t even made it through their first novel.
That’s why NaNoWriMo is so fantastic, it gives you the drive, the support, the belief in yourself to get that book written, not to mention the amazing amount of support.
It might only be a first draft, and I might still be working on my first book, but the important thing, for me, is that I am one step closer to publication, and still on the path to believing that I can do this. I stuck two fingers up in the face of self-doubt – and it felt very bloody good (although this cat only managed one).
How about you? Did you participate in NaNo this year? Did you win?
Any other wannabe ‘winners’ taking part next ?