…. if you count simply not reaching my 50,000 word count goal a complete failure, that is. After participating unofficially in NaNoWriMo this year, I ended with approximately 49,614 words (I say approximately because the last three thousand words are still only hand written at this point, and I really can only give exact counts when I’ve typed the thing up).
I’ve learned a lot about myself in this process. I learned what my natural pace is for writing. My rhythm. I was able to explore a new genre (to me as a writer), and able to give myself enough creative space in which to decide whether or not I wanted to actually continue this project (which, for the moment I still do). This exercise may have gotten me to only the fourteenth chapter of a forty chapter project (only like 35% of the project, to be mathematical about it), but it pushed me to keep myself more strictly on track than I have been able to keep myself previously. I look forward to the next couple months while I finish up the first draft for this project and let it loose to beta readers, to see the product of my own NaNoWriMo participation.
So sure, I was a little less than 1,000 words behind on ‘winning’ NaNoWriMo this year. Maybe next year will be different. As it stands, however, I am proud of myself for setting such a high goal for myself and for what I’ve learned about myself as a writer in the process. And that’s the goal, isn’t it? To consistently keep pushing myself to be a better writer, day by day, until I’m a writer who can create characters worth fangirling about in a Barnes and Noble? All kidding aside though, I do think that it’s important for me to never be entirely satisfied myself, and to find new ways to challenge myself- like with NaNoWriMo. This year was fun, and I’ll definitely try to participate again next year!
So we’re halfway-ish through NaNoWriMo, so my update e-mails tell me.
At this point, I have written 26,225 words of the Painting the Roses Red project, which translates to about seven chapters in a end goal of 40. This is a much bigger project for me, but now that I’ve started it I’m really pumped for it. It’s really done the trick of putting me in a different place and challenging what I can do as a writer within my personal favorite genre: fantasy. Hopefully I’ll be able to finish this month with at least ten chapters finished and typed up of the final draft- leaving me only thirty to go after that- and starting next month I’ll be actively seeking beta readers to go chapter by chapter as I update them to make the editing process go that much more smoothly in the end.
Also starting to file away the names of potential fantasy agents and small presses for when this project is completely finished- through I’m pretty sure we’ll have at least another year or so to go before then.
Halloween was a blast- got to hang out in my costume with a best friend of mine and go dancing all night long, which is always cool. Saw some people going around in working Iron Man costumes, an eight-foot Wreck-It-Ralph with his Fix-It-Felix, some Missy Franklin outfits, the entire KISS band…. man, I love this holiday.
Now I get to celebrate with an All Saint’s Day mass- and the beginning of another NaNoWriMo. This year, I’m participating slightly haphazardly, as mentioned earlier- I’m going to be using the month-long ‘holiday’ to kick my current writing project into high gear (it will be interesting to see how many words that ends up translating into- definitely not the full 50,000, that’s for sure!). One of the big reasons why I can’t participate fully in NaNoWriMo is because I’m graduating this December, and my priorities need to lie in buckling down and finishing strong this semester. Another is that I always end up at this point half way through a project and so can’t participate ‘from scratch’.
But whatever my own personal reasons for not diving fully into NaNoWriMo, I want you all to know that I’m here for support! I’m going to be proofreading and beta reading some stuff for friends in my department who are participating, as well as committing to posting several encouraging posts all month long (and reblogging tips and tricks over on my Tumblr). I’ll also post my own progress on my project, no matter how far behind the rest of ya’ll I end up being.
So Happy All Saint’s Day, and good luck to all you NaNoWriMo-er’s! Can’t wait to see how this goes this year!
Halloween is one of my favorite holidays by far- and I have so much to do this week! My costume this year is Casual!90s era Rogue from X-Men- I’ll be posting pictures of that later on this week for everyone. Tonight, I get to go to my English Department’s Annual Halloween party and should be getting plenty of material for that.
Writing-wise, I’ve been a bit on a hiatus (or what I would consider a hiatus- a week or two and I feel like I haven’t written in forever, even when I haven’t dropped things too much). I’ve been still submitting a couple of the short stories/novella pieces I wrote recently, (most notably Katherine’s Shadow and Good Women) so we’ll see where they go- I have an unnamed short story in the works, and The Right Time (a short story about twenty-something relationships in today’s social climate) is halfway through first drafting stages. In response to NaNoWriMo I’ve also begun drafting up the plot for the first book in a trilogy series apart from ‘Once Upon a Reality’, just to stretch my creative juices. We’ll see how far we can get through this book in this month before returning back to work on The Thing About Apples– or if I want to go ahead and take a break from that series to really buckle down on ‘The Wonder Land Chronicles’.
I always like to get the biggest chunks of actual writing out of the way as soon as any kind of inspiration hits me- that way, the bulk of my work is done in fine-tuning, editing, and fleshing out scenes rather than building things as I go. It’s also nice to jump genres for a little while, take a break from the more reality-based stories and flex my mind with a story more in the fantasy vein of things. We will see if I want to formally submit this to NaNoWriMo or if I will just be putting in the work alongside others in my own way- in either case, I’ll be writing in solidarity with all you other writers who are participating! It’s always a great opportunity to get pumped, keep going, and to push yourself into a great spurt of writing work. With my thesis defense coming up this next Monday, I’ll finally be out of the hardest part of this semester and into time where I can write more of what I want, when I want. I can’t wait!