NaNoWriMo: I did it!

Yay! (Well, really it’s more like phew!) I crossed the finish line, writing 50,510 words by the end of the day November 30th (only because the official NaNoWriMo word counter shorted me 400 words–grrr). I’ve got an empty box of chocolate truffles, ten patches on my book bag, scary household clutter, and 193 pages to show for my efforts.

About those 193 pages… My other three NaNo novels poured out in a lovely organized fashion. Yes, I experienced tough days and needed to do a thorough revision, but at 50,000 words I’d written solid first drafts. Not so much this time. NaNo #4 came out all mixed up. Despite my efforts to outline, organize, and prepare in October, I found myself writing everything out of order in November. My characters kept saying, no, wait, wait. I have to tell you about this first. No, no, no–skip that part and go to this part instead.

It drove me crazy! But I was determined to add that “Winner” patch to my book bag, so I muddled forward (and backward).

I really have no idea what I’ve concocted with this mass of pages, but I’m proud of myself for soldiering on through my self-doubt and finishing 50,000 words. Now I’m going to clean my house, pay attention to my family, and read polished work for a week or two. And then I’ll look at those 193 pages.

I never thought I’d say this, but I can’t wait to start revising!  

NaNoWriMo Day #29

I’ve discovered that I don’t really need my thumb to type, begging the question: could a monkey write a better NaNo novel than I’ve written?

Maybe.

The Infinite Monkey Theorem postulates that a monkey, given an infinite amount of time, could eventually type the complete works of Shakespeare, randomly.

Well, I don’t have an infinite amount of time, even though I do lack an opposable left thumb. I’ve got two days to make it from 45,172 words to 50,000. Will some of my writing be a tad random?

Yes.

NaNoWriMo Day #23

I love writing away from my desk, sipping hot coffee at a crowded cafe, overlooking the mountains from a desk on the 4th floor of the Salt Lake City library, or surrounded by books at a bookstore… But yesterday I found myself typing away in the Toyota service waiting area. Next to a guy slurping strawberry yogurt.

No wonder I added a few extra explosions to the scene I was working on!

38,665 words written–and now I’m off to bake Thanksgiving pies. Tomorrow I’ll type away while my turkey roasts, but at least that smells a whole lot better than bright pink strawberry yogurt.

Happy Thanksgiving!

NaNoWriMo Day #17

I’ve been behind all week. Lost in the middle. Fretting about my whole idea. Not only am I wandering nomad with a laptop–I visited three coffee places before finding an empty table at the bagel shop last Sunday–but I’m lost in the middle of my novel.

28,454 words. But are any of them the right ones?!?!?!

NaNoWriMo Day #9

Many times during my first week of NaNo writing, people said to me, “I’d love to try it, but I don’t have the time to write in November.” I don’t have the time either. That’s what I love about NaNoWriMo.

As I head into Week #2, I’m hosting an SCBWI conference & dealing with all those last minute details. Coordinating my daughters’ after school activities requires military-level planning–cloning would be even more helpful. I’ve had fun events, too, like last night’s dinner with Two Rivers High Students (amazing kids who are passionate about reading & many who will become authors in time).

I even went to the dentist this week.

And I still have to exercise, sleep, and feed everyone. I wouldn’t have started this novel in November. Or maybe I’d still be dinking around with my first chapter–getting it just right while doubting my whole idea. But NaNo has forced me to squeeze writing into my hectic days. We’ve had homework/writing field trips to the bookstore cafe late in the afternoon. I’ve woken up early on the weekend. And today I’ll probably add to my word count while waiting for soccer practice to end.

NaNoWriMo reminds me that I can always make writing a priority–no matter what is happening in my life. I’ve written 13,583 words so far & I’ve added two official patches to my book bag. I plan to hit 15,500 today. I’ll get to add another patch & I’m sure there will celebratory chocolates too!