How to win

I apologize in advance for those who have just lost the game, whether it is due to this entry’s title or its opening line.

NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month, though at this point national borders are completely irrelevant) is an annual gathering of authors and would-be authors from all over the world in the month of November.  The goal is to start writing a novel in November 1st and reach 50,000 words by November 30th, even if that does not finish the novel or the result is horrible.  The goal is not to write well, or even to finish the story;  the only goal is to get the words out and down on paper.  An end to procrastination and a spur to truly write ‘that book you’re always talking about but never actually do.’  If you succeed in getting 50,000 words out, no matter how bad, you “win” and get bragging rights, although there is no other prize.

In fact, I did not “win” NaNoWriMo 2011.  I succeeded in my own goal, which was simply to join in the first place and get far enough to want to finish the book, but I didn’t even come close to 50,000.  Unfortunately, as I was afraid would happen, I became severely ill only one third of the way through the month and spent the other two thirds dealing with it.  I am very sad that about 9,000 words was the best I could do for my intended NaNo story.

I’m not going to say, “I’m back now” or promise to write every day.  I’m still not in the best of health, this is Christmas season, and writing this novel isn’t the only thing I had to put off when I got sick.  What I will say, though, is that I’m not giving up.  It’s going to take longer to reach 50,000 words than I thought it would.  It’s going to take even longer to finish the book, because this particular story can’t be told in a mere 50,000 words.  I’m not going to guess at how long the first edit will take, or how long I’ll keep working on it after that before I’m willing to submit it to a publisher or even show it to friends.  For all I know, NaNo 2012 will start before that point!  But I’m not giving up.  I’ve struggled too much and worked too hard, put out too many words already, to give up on this book.

So, if you’re with me, I’m in this for the long haul.  Keep breathing. ❤

 

–Annie

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