The End of NaNoWriMo – 2021

Well, November is behind us and it’s time to look back on all the progress I managed to make over the course of thirty days.

In short, not as much as I’d hoped.

Pictured: me struggling to keep up with the daily word count

Truthfully, I thought that would be the case. Despite all the best intentions, I have a terrible habit of getting really, really excited about something, making all sorts of plans and lofty goals… and then acting surprised that reality doesn’t quite work out the way I planned. Everything goes so well in the beginning after all, right before everyday life catches up and jump-tackles me to the ground with dumb things like “responsibilities”, and “obligations”, and “needing to sleep”.

But I promised myself that, regardless of how my NaNoWriMo journey went, I wouldn’t focus only on my success or failure to reach the goal. 50,000 words is a lot; there’s no way around that, but I was still writing, even if I didn’t reach the finish line.

To date, I’ve written about 20,000 words for the WIP I started for November. It’s far, far short of the goal, but it’s still 20,000 words more than I’d written prior to November 1st. And it’s also more than I’ve written in a very long time. The writing slump is real my friends, and at the start it was incredibly freeing to just sit down and spew out whatever words came to my head, without worrying about how good it was or what needed to be edited out in the “finished draft”. It was good, and it was good for me, even if I couldn’t sustain it for the full thirty days.

Seen here: my attitude towards the end of November (and a mug I desperately need)

Regardless of the fact that I didn’t win this year, I still consider this a huge victory. I managed to stick with this to nearly the halfway mark – more than any other year before – and I finally have the start of a draft I can sit with and work on for the rest of the year.

More than that, I’m writing again. I’m plotting and characterizing and world building again. And I didn’t realize until the start of this month just how much I missed it.

So yeah, I didn’t make it to the end, again. And what I did write will probably have to be rewritten ten times over before I consider showing it to anyone except my cats (judgmental jerks, the both of them). But I started it, and I kept with it for a long time; longer than I’d thought I could. And more than that, I reignited something in me I was beginning to fear had gone out forever.

And hey, there’s always next year!

This one turned out a bit more rambling than I’d intended, but I felt like posting it anyway. It’s probably more for me than anyone else, but hopefully I make sense to a few people out there!

Did anyone else participate in NaNoWriMo this year? How far did you get? Let me know in the comments so we can celebrate it together!

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