Sunday, November 28, 2010

NaNoWriMo 2010 - We have a Winner!

A few of you have asked what it means to be a "winner" - well, for NaNoWriMo, all it means is you finished 50,000 words in 30 days. There's no judging. No prizes. No limit on the number of winners.

But it's still nice to win!

I finished my 50K on Sunday the 28th with two days to spare and several hundred words over the minimum.

I thought I'd share with you what I got out of the past 28 days.

Let's get the bad stuff out of the way first.
  • I've been a deficient friend for the past month. I admit to screening phone calls. Especially if they came right as I sat down to write. So, um, sorry about that.
  • I've been a deficient housekeeper. So, nothing new there.
  • I've been a deficient homemaker. So, there's been more takeout than usual. And quite a few things are in piles "to do" in December. I managed to double book myself at two doctors because I haven't bothered to write things down on my calendar. And let's not discuss the laundry situation, shall we?
  • And the writing . . . well, let's just say I don't want anyone to read what I've written. It's sloppy. It's full of lazy metaphors and overdone explanations. It's also full of holes - plot holes, timeline holes and character holes. There's a good chance that it wouldn't make sense to anyone but me at this stage. Not to mention that while I've written 50K+ words this month, I didn't finish my novel. Not even close. Best guess, I'm about half-way there.
So, with all that out of the way, on to the good stuff.
  • I wrote 50K+ words in 28 days!!! I can hardly believe it. I wasn't sure it was possible. But it is.
  • I still prefer to write in long, uninterrupted stretches, but if I can't get them, it's amazing what I can accomplish in fifteen minutes.
  • I have a novel-in-progress! Before November 1st, I had an idea of where the story was going. Now, I have the makings of a real plot. Complete with drama, catastrophe and even - gasp! - death.
  • I learned to block out my internal editor for most things. I still can't stand to leave misspelled words in the manuscript. And I did re-write the occasional sentence. But I tried to keep the focus on getting the story out, not in perfecting it.
  • I learned I'm a "take-outer" rather than a "put-inner" and I'm OK with that. I'll cut at least 15-20% of this stuff. But that doesn't mean it was wasted effort. Even a scene that doesn't survive helps me flesh out the characters and their relationships.
  • As a winner, I'll be able to purchase the Scrivener for PC program (a really cool writing program) when it comes out next year for half-price. Given that it will probably sell for $40, this equates to a $20 savings which means I made $0.0004 a word. Hmm...on second thought, maybe this should be in the "bad" list. :-)
  • In 28 days, I only had 3 days where I didn't write a word. Most days I wrote over 1000 words, which, in writing circles, seems to be a bit of a magic number and one that used to seem out of reach to me.
  • Even though I met my word count goal on Sunday, I don't feel any inclination to stop working on the novel. If anything, I feel energized to press on.
So, thanks to all of you - for your support, words of encouragement, babysitting, and for, even though you may think I'm insane, cheering me on as I bounce around the loony bin!


Lori Stanley Roeleveld said...

Yeaaaa!!!!!!! That's so awesome! You're on your way to writing every day! It used to bug me when people asked me if I wrote every day. Now, I think, "of course I do!".

Erynn said...

Yay!!! I'm so excited for you. You guys inspire me. If I lived closer to you, I would totally come do your laundry.

Lynn Huggins Blackburn said...

Lori - Thanks. I've always heard if you do something every day for 30 days you can make it a habit...I'm thinking there might be something to that :-). It's Monday morning, and I can't imagine not spending some time writing today.
Erynn - You are too sweet. But if you lived closer, we would celebrate with Charity on Wednesday with coffee and dessert - the laundry can sit there :-)!!

Alycia Morales said...


Way to go!

I am stuck at 33,000 words and fumbling through. Pray I make it before midnight tomorrow! I may try to finish. I may just begin the editing process. Either way, I still feel accomplished. ;)

Lynn Huggins Blackburn said...

Alycia - I think 33,000 words in 30 days is fabulous! It's still 1000+ words a day. And, I know for a fact you were sidelined with illness. You SHOULD feel accomplished :-)!

Sandra Blackburn said...

You go girl - you are my hero!!!

Charity Tinnin said...

This message is coming crazy late, but: CONGRATULATIONS!! I'm so proud of you for meeting that goal and for being energized to continue on. It's a great milestone, and I'm excited that I got to run this race alongside you this year. (We'll do dessert with Erynn another time :)

Keep on finishing and then let that IE wreak her magic havoc. *grins from ear to ear* I love you friend and can't wait to hold one of your books in my hand and display it on my bookshelves!

P.S. I bought "Everything" with some itunes money so I could listen to it when I read your published book and smile :)