NaNoWriMo 2013 — In Retrospect

I’ll just put this here.

NaNoWriMo 2103 Winner


It wasn’t easy.

Like last year, I had some business obligations arise in the middle of November.  I was flown to Albuquerque for a little while.  I had to do onsite visits for some companies.  I had to write documentation for some of the projects I’m working on at work.  It ate away at my time, energy, and creativity at some of the worst times.

I fell behind.  I wrote a little most days, but there were a few days where I simply couldn’t get to the keyboard.  I tried to make up for the lost days on the weekend, spending hours and hours at different Starbucks and Paneras throughout the area.

At the beginning of November 29th, I only had 35,545 words.  I wrote around 6500 words on the 29th, and around 8000 words on the 30th, crossing the finish line with 2 and a half hours to spare.

The book isn’t done.  It’s mostly done.  It’ll take fewer words to finish it than I expected a few chapters ago.  Maybe in my mad rush, I’ve skipped over some important plot points, which I’ll need to go back and fix.

In this exercise, I’ve learned two extremely valuable things:

  1. I can meet a writing deadline when I need to
  2. I can turn off my inner editor, when I need to

So what are my plans now?

  • I’m going to finish my “Baggage” story (which I’m renaming to “Unclaimed Goods”).  I received some fantastic feedback this month at Convolution for it, but because I was trying to finish my NaNoWriMo project, I never took the time to act on that feedback.  I want to lift my short story to the next level and sell it.
  • I need to finish the first draft of my still unnamed Mel Walker novel.  I’m 50,000 words in now.  There’s no turning back.
  • I need to finish the first draft of my fantasy novel, A Clean Slate.  I’ve learned a lot since I started it.  Once I’ve finished the first draft, I can go back and fix the things I already know are broken and wrong.  This is something I can do while the glue is drying on the Mel Walker novel.
  • I want to start posting on a regular schedule to my blog.  I was really happy during October when I was posting here frequently.  I don’t think I need to post every day, but a regular schedule would be good for me.

I don’t think I’m going to write anything tomorrow.  Tomorrow, I’m taking a break.

2 thoughts on “NaNoWriMo 2013 — In Retrospect

  1. I am so happy for you, Brian. I have believed for as long as I can remember you showing an interest in writing, that one day, you would in fact write. It doesn’t really matter the goals we set for ourselves when we are younger. It has been my perception that once we get married and the kids come and the career track needs time, and oh yeah, we need to appreciate our spouse too, that at times, what we once desired seems like it will just never happen.

    You can be quite hard on yourself at what you think are failures, which is not to discount your feelings at all. I am glad to see that list above (and I am imagining the smile on your face that goes with it) because I can hear some contentment or maybe it’s satisfaction in that list. Either way I just want you to know that although I am 300 miles away, I am still cheering for you all the way!

    Selfishly, I am glad that you will be posting to your blog more often as it offers me a peek into what is going on for you and a more timely way to offer support. As I have said before, I enjoy your writing “voice” and can’t wait to get to read some of the finished work as it becomes available. Congrats on your 50,000 word month!

    I write for the same reason I breathe – because if I didn’t, I would die.
    Isaac Asimov

    1. Thanks Cheryl!

      I know you’re in my corner. I’m glad for it.

      That’s a great quote by Asimov, because it’s true. When I stopped writing for a while, I got lonely and depressed. When I started writing again, the clouds parted, I became more resilient to some of life’s curve balls, and I feel more like myself.

      So I guess I’ll just keep writing.

      But not right this moment. This moment, I’m going to see if the kids want to play League of Legends with me.

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