On winning NaNoWriMo

On winning NaNoWriMo

That’s right.  I did it.  At eleven this morning I validated my word count and officially won my very first National Novel Writing Month ever.  I actually wish someone would ask me what I did this November just so I can say, “I wrote a novel.  What did you do?”  It feels great.  Thanks for all of you who’ve been cheering me on.  You all had a part in helping me get this far.

NaNoWriMo winner cover image

Of course there’s still a load of work to be done.  I have at least 30 000 words left to write on the first draft and then the big job of editing and rewriting lies ahead which will probably keep me busy for most of next year, but it feels incredibly good to have gotten this far already.  I feel even better knowing I came back from being almost 9 000 words behind at one point.

And I’m not done writing yet for today.  My adopted region for NaNo, Pretoria, South Africa, has a word war going on with a bunch of Wrimos in Brantford-Norfolk, Canada, and they will still have several hours to catch up on our lead once NaNo stops for us at midnight, so I’m doing my part to ensure we’re so far ahead they can’t make beat us no matter how hard they try.

NaNoWriMo stats pageBut right now I’m taking a break.  I’ll spend a couple of hours in a semi-vegetative state eating some biltong and then get back to it.  Tomorrow’s plan is to write absolutely nothing, though I might not be able to stick to it – I’m getting so used to writing every day now that I don’t think it will feel right not doing it.  I’ll miss not being able to continue updating my word count and see the graph grow, though.  (If any of you perhaps know of an online app/page that can do that, please let me know.)

And I promise this coming week I’ll start blogging more consistently again.  Monday will see a brand new Song Title Challenge, I’ll reflect a little on my experience of NaNoWriMo and I’ll attempt a review of Scrivener (which I can now buy at half-price thanks to winning NaNoWriMo).  Oh, and something about Christmas.

NaNoWriMo 2013 home page KokkieH
Consider making a donation to help NaNoWriMo take place again next year, why don’t you? Click on the picture to go to the site. You don’t have to be registered to donate. Just leave the username field blank.

To those of you who are perhaps still struggling to reach the finish line, write on.  I’ve heard of people writing 10 000 words on the last day in the past, so it is possible.  And even if you don’t make it, you’ve still have written more than you would have if you hadn’t.  (That makes sense.  Just read it again 😉  )

Happy novelling.

20 thoughts on “On winning NaNoWriMo

  1. Congratulations! And good luck with finishing the novel itself, and getting back to a regular sleeping pattern. When I finished, I made sure to take the next day off of writing or editing and letting my mind rejuvenate itself.

    1. Thanks. I did take a day off, but now, three days later, I can’t seem to get started again 😉 I’ll just have to force myself to continue. Can hardly quit this close to the end.

  2. Congratulations…there’s nothing quite like that sense of satisfaction on having successfully written a book – and it’s true, I think, inside or outside NaNo.

    And now for the good part – the revision (well, it’s the ‘good part’ from my perspective anyway…and maybe yours). It’s amazing how much creativity can float in, unannounced but always welcomed, when doing that. All the best for it.

    1. Not quite, though. Still have a few thousand words to bang out before I’ll allow myself to say I’ve written a book, but I’ve never before been this close.

  3. It seems like you’re still in the honeymoon phase. Once you start editing, you’ll want to set your computer on fire at times. Congratulations on your achievement. Happy writing!

    1. Oh, don’t worry. I’ve wanted to throw the keyboard across the room several times already. It’s wireless, so it will be very easy. And I regularly threaten my computer with a four storey drop out the window, even when not writing 😉

      At this stage I’m still trying to figure out how the novel will end, so I’m definitely still in the honeymoon phase. However, I’m discovering things now that don’t work that I’d started setting up early in the novel. But for now I’m soldiering on. I’m not reviving the inner editor yet. I’ll unleash that guy in January, otherwise I’ll never finish the first draft.

  4. Welcome to the winner’s circle! Doesn’t it feel great…and exhausting?

    I highly recommend Scrivner. I find it’s the best for some kinds of writing (I could not keep track of my NaNo story without it), and way too much program for others, so it’s good to experiment. Plus, it has a graphic word count feature, but not one as strong as the NaNo one. In years past, I’ve made a paper-and-pencil tracker because that’s what I find most motivating, too!

    Congrats! And don’t worry about the editing stuff yet. That comes in time.

    1. It is exhausting, especially since I’ve discovered I write most productively after 10pm. My wife is forgetting what it’s like to go to sleep next to someone 😉

      I especially want an online word count tracker because a writing buddy who recently emigrated to the US and I want to be able to keep track of each other’s writing so we can crack the whip if necessary. I think easiest would be to create a google spreadsheet for the purpose.

      Thanks for stopping by.

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