Na-Now What?

by limebirdkate

For me, NaNoWriMo 2011 is over. I crossed the finish line November 26 at 50,671 words. After I validated my novel at the NaNoWriMo site, I downloaded a winner’s badge, looked into getting Scrivener at half-off, checked in on my writing buddies’ progress, and in general basked in the warm glow of completing another NaNo novel.

When I told my husband he said, “So, what do you do next? Wait, I know. You’ll revise it, then revise it again, then revise it again, until next November when you write another story.”

Cheeky.

When I set out to participate in NaNoWriMo, I had a story idea in mind. Every day, I kept my focus on increasing my word count. I didn’t ask myself what I was going to do with the story once I wrote 50,000 words. That’s not the main reason I do NaNoWriMo.

I do it because I want to see what my imagination can come up with when I don’t get in the way. Most other times I sit and write, I am second-guessing, editing, disliking while my passion ebbs.

NaNoWriMo refuels my determination. It serves to remind me why I’m a writer at heart, and why I want to be a novelist. It brings back memories of the stories I wrote when I was a kid. Publication wasn’t on my mind back then. Just the joy of creating something that no one else has before.

If my NaNo novel never leaves the rough draft state, I am okay with that. What I take from this experience is the pride in knowing I can write a story for the hell of it.

Now I can go back to my work in progress, the one I was struggling with prior to November 1, with a better attitude. My confidence has resurged, my passion has been revitalized.

NaNoWriMo has reassured me that I can write a novel. I can get stuck and it’s okay because I can wiggle out of it and get back on track. My characters could misbehave, and I’ll let them run amok. My plotline might diverge and suddenly I’m writing a mystery instead of a family reunion. Big deal. I’ll just research murder weapons and their uses.

So, for now, I will put aside my NaNoWriMo piece. Maybe I’ll go back to it and read what I wrote. Maybe I’ll decide it has a chance at becoming something substantial.

Whatever I do, I will do as a NaNo winner and that’s all I need to kick my butt in gear.

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11 Comments to “Na-Now What?”

  1. Here, here. Very well said.

  2. Great advice! My blocks come from obsessing over the small details too much and then the story fades in me. Getting back to basics is what I need to do. Just “write” is what I need to do! Plenty of time to fix later.

    • Absolutely, just write! Don’t read anything you’ve gotten down, and switch to a brand-new scene or character when you get stuck over those small details you mention. Thanks for commenting, Morgan.

  3. Fabulous post LimebirdKate! I really enjoyed NaNo this year, especially putting aside my ‘inner editor’ and just writing!

    What did you think about Scrivener? I was also tempted as it looked pretty good for editing. I wasn’t sure if it would be good on Windows!

    Thanks for sharing your experience! 😀

    • Well, apparently we can’t buy Scrivener with the NaNo discount until December 5th, or somewhere around that date. I’m not sure about the Windows version either, but I’ve heard such wonderful things about the Mac version, that I figured I must give it a go.

      Once I get it and fiddle around with it, I’ll let you know!

      • Ah right, that’s not too long to wait then!

        Hmm, I don’t have a Mac which is annoying! 😦 Thank you! I’ve downloaded the trial version, so I might have a go later!

  4. You know, even if I have to pay full price, I’m going to get Scrivener. I used it free to write my Nano novel, but now I don’t think I can live without it…

    • Hi Gabi,

      Are you getting the Windows version, or Mac? I have Windows, so I have to wait a couple of more days (December 5). Even at full price, it seems affordable considering all that you can do with it. I can’t wait to play around with it!

      Thanks for commenting!

  5. PS, Kate, I live in NH some of the time…

    • Really? Whereabouts? I grew up in Salisbury (which is about 20 minutes north of Concord). Then I lived a few years in New London (near Lake Sunapee and King Ridge Ski Mountain). Now I live in Dover, which is near the seacoast (Portsmouth).

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