It’s official. NaNoWriMo 2013 is over, and I’m a winner. So, now that at least phase 1 of this mission is accomplished, here are some final thoughts on my first year as a NaNoWriMo participant.
My winning word count is 53,704. I do not call this a final word count, for the very simple reason that I’m not done with it yet. The story arc is mostly complete, but there are some holes I have to go back and fill in. I’m anxious to get started on the rewrite/edit so that I can finish it, but I am trying to force myself to follow lots of WriMo advice and give it a few weeks before I tackle that prospect.
November was a fantastic month, thanks to NaNo. I haven’t spent so much dedicated time on my writing in an extremely long time, and it was very fulfilling. I loved the opportunity to dive into a blank page and fill it up with the lives of people I would be interested to know. My writing is as much a process of discovery as it is an act of creation. There is a kind of detachment when I write, where the world and characters take form before me, even though it is my fingers that do the typing and supposedly my creativity that shapes them.
Though it was an awesome month, there was, as in everything, a bit of a downside. In the first week, the intense, joyful glow of writing again relegated everything else to the shadows where they became insignificant and unnoticed. In the weeks that followed, that brilliance came to accentuate the harsh, cold reality of the areas where the rest of my life is less than fulfilling. I wish I could write full time and make a living at it. That possibility lives in Someday-World. But in Today-Land, my insecurity and fear rear their ugly heads and tell me that I am not good enough, or outgoing enough, or ambitious enough and that if I spent all my time on something I love, I would grow to hate it.
I never imagined, when embarking on this journey, that a title would be my greatest challenge. I miss the youthful tales of bygone years that almost always started with a title. On Saturday I gave my novel a quick read through with the purpose of finally giving it a name. I could not truly claim my winner’s status if the novel didn’t have a name. It took all day and considerable brain-work to finally settle on one that I’m not even sure I like. I’m even hesitant to share it, because doing so makes it a little more… indelible. At the same time, having the title has given me a focus. I have a feeling that when it comes time to re-write (in a few weeks), the title will provide a thread to unify and solidify. So here it is, in all its insubstantial glory: To Discover the Sky
Here ends my tale of NaNoWriMo 2013. What a ride! I’m excited about writing again; even if nothing else comes of it, that is enough for me!