Hey, NaNoWriMo 2011 – Here’s your hat, what’s your hurry?
Wow, it was a crazy month. Witness the comments on Twitter the last month and you’ll see people trudging through, including people who normally don’t have to trudge. Our heroine would be one of those people, dear Reader. Up until the last day or so, I was sure I wouldn’t make it.
Then I found the Holy Grail of this novel: an outline so beautifully detailed which I thought long lost. Using it and pounding out an absurd number of words overnight, I managed to get over the 50k. Hallahoolah!
I don’t think I’d have been able to do it without having accepted my own advice and recognized that 50k or no, I was a winner. Yes, I really believe it. If a participant tries to write whenever writing is possible, whether they’re in the mood or not, even if he or she just gets a handful of thousand words… or fewer! …there’s a winner. That’s the true spirit of NaNo: just writing! Turn off that inner editor and find out what you really can do if you try. (Mind you, you have to let that editor out at some point. Do NOT submit your novel until it is no longer a NaNo, but rather a polished novel.)
I could write about the lessons I learned along the way. Eric Zawadzki of @FourMoonsPress wrote a super article titled “Lessons Learned, Lessons Reinforced.” I highly recommend giving that article a good look if you participated in NaNo, no matter how well you did. Eric also hit some mighty big obstacles along the way. His gung-ho spirit in his Twitter posts near the end inspired me so much! I actually began to think I could do it. And with the luck of finding that long-lost outline, I did. I don’t think I’d have even gone looking (again) for that outline had he not spurred me on with his own strength. He wasn’t looking to be an inspiration. He got stuck with it.
Maybe that’s the best sort of inspiration.
It is without sorrow I see NaNoWriMo 2011 finish. Yes, I made it and for that I am only grateful, not particularly triumphant. I am grateful to all my friends, word buddies and those commenting on my posts. You helped me accept the likelihood of not making the 50k. You also cheered when I did. Thank you all.
Photo by jinterwas on flicker.com; Hat by Pierre Balmain (1958).