So, that’s all for NaNoWriMo 2015. How did you do?
I failed, and I won.
‘Failed’ because I didn’t reach 50K. Or my stretch goal of 40K; turned out there was less time and more life in my way than I thought. I won’t get to brag online and wear a Tshirt proclaiming me a winner. I have a sore wrist from typing too much and poor technique, probably. And that is okay, because I claim a qualified success.
‘Won’ because I wrote 35K on this one story. This is more than twice as much as last year. Despite everything, despite coming home drained from work and not writing much on many evenings. It is more coherent and it has heart. Last year’s effort feels more like a series of short stories than a novel. I wanted to do better, and I have.
‘Won’ because I now have the solid basis of the sequel to my WIP, and I’m now actively looking forward to working through my editor’s comments. I want to polish my WIP and send it out. Plus, as I explained here I also have the bones of a poem, an unexpected bonus.
‘Won’ because I have proved to myself that I can average >1000 words a day, if I stick to it and don’t let it become a chore. Last year it felt too much like work; well, I have more of that than I can handle already. For me, writing is meant to be fun, an escape. I won’t physically starve if I don’t write, but my spirit will certainly wither and die. It’s the same for you, I’m sure.
Maybe this sounds like an apology, rationalisation, ‘all must win prizes’ fudging of the fact I missed the mark. It’s not. There are external goals and internal goals, and I know which are more important to me. I’m going to give writing a rest now, read, edit, and let the rest of my new story bubble to the surface. No pressure required.