Sometime yesterday afternoon, after writing at a local cafe, I threw my novel The Foundation Chronicles Book One: A For Advanced in whatever passes for a meat grinder on the NaNo page to verify that I was over the fifty thousand limit. It was really easy to do: bring up the Compile option in Scrivener, set up to do a preview, generate it, Ctrl-A it, Ctrl-C it, paste it in the verification text area on the NaNo page, click the button, and . . .
Yes. It came up a winner.
Fifty-four thousand, five hundred sixty-nine words later I’ve beat NaNo once more, as well as beating the goal I set back on October 30th when I started this little story a couple of days early. The writing continues, but I’ll drop my daily goals down to about twelve hundred words a day and shoot for that, with the intention of making at least a thousand a day. Sometimes you can, sometimes you can’t. But you’re writing every day, unlike someone I know who seems to spend more time begging for people to write with her than, you know, actually writing.
Another NaNo is over. That’s three in a row for me, as well as writing a fifty-three thousand word novel during Camp NaNo this last July. I’ll leave them a little money to show my appreciation, and thinking about who I’m going to give my winner codes to, since I’m all softwared up.
That said, I’ve finished my last NaNo. It’s been fun, but no more for this kid.
Allow me to explain–
NaNo is fantastic. I participated in my first in 2011 and finished my first novel ever. Prior to that I’d written a couple of stories that amounted to about thirty-five thousand words, but the one time I’d tackled a novel it went tits up after a quarter of a million words, and then languished for about twenty years. NaNo was my attempt to prove that I could not only write a novel, but I could finish the damn thing. And I did, and I published it, and in the process of all that I learned a whole hell of a lot about the writing game.
In the last two years I’ve produced quite the backlog. I’ve written a couple of novellas. I wrote my first legitimate short story this last September. I finished that twenty year old novel, which at close to three hundred thousand words is really a trilogy. And I’ve written five more novels: three short ones between fifty and sixty thousand words, and two just over seventy thousand words.
I usually write all the time. When I’m not writing I’m editing, and when I’m not editing I’m working on writing things: designing, plotting, figuring things out. I did a lot of that for the novel I’m now writing–months of it, actually. But there was also a point in this process where I was waiting for NaNo to roll into town, and I got tired of writing and just jumped into the fire.
A few weeks ago I decided that it’s better for me to keep writing, and not stick to the idea that, hey, November’s here, let’s do fifty. As my friend Penelope said, “Some of us are writing all the time,” and that’s been true of me for two years now, and I intend for it to be the same come 2014 and the years after.
That said, I’ll keep writing and editing, and doing my best to get published. Maybe this book I’m in now will be the one to do the trick for me.
Let us all keep going forward. Write what you want, write what you can, but if you want to write, then write.
I know I will.