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NaNoWriMo: Week 4, the Grand Finale

Holy sh*t, I did it. I won NaNoWriMo.*

50,303 words (this includes section headers which amount to fewer than 150 words total, so fuck it), completed two days ahead of schedule. I. DID. IT. HOOOOW.

Wait, I know how. I wrote almost every day. I hit or exceeded my word count every day. I carved time out of my daily schedule to do this: most of the time in the morning, before I started work, in afternoons on weekends. I didn’t always feel like writing; in fact, often I would have rather been:

  • Sleeping
  • Reading
  • Watching a movie
  • Harassing the cat

I did all of those things, too, but I also wrote. I spent at least 30 hours drafting, plus more time thinking.

But really, that wasn’t a huge chunk of my time. There were 720 hours in the month of November, meaning that just over 4 percent of my time was spent drafting the novel.

And, writing wasn’t hard. The hardest part was sitting down and getting started. Everyday, I began with a struggle, contemplating whether or not I should bail and do something else (even if that something else meant start my day job sooner so that I could end the workday sooner). But I didn’t, and after I broke through that daily guardrail, I was full-steam ahead. I rarely didn’t find a rhythm if I tried hard enough to look for it.

I don’t say any of this in order to come off as superior (doubt me? Read any part of this first draft. It’s my own personal pile of garbage, but it is in fact a pile of garbage).

I say this because pretty much anyone can do this. If you budget the time, if you make yourself focus, if you just keep f*cking going… you can hit 50K words in a month.

And now, we shall begin National Novel Revising Decade. I need to finally read what I drafted and make a plan to revise and then decide what I want to do next. I don’t have any plans with this thing yet because, yeah, pile of garbage (that I love).

What about you all? How did NaNoWriMo end up for you? If you didn’t attempt it this year, do you have plans for next year? Or your own personal NaNoWriMo (in, IDK, March)?

* To clarify: to “win” means to hit 50,000 words. That’s it. I didn’t “beat” anyone by finishing sooner, or hitting 50K words when others who attempted to do so did not meet that goal. It’s not a competition with others.

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