Yesterday was the last day of the National Novel Writing Month. Many people, myself included, attempted to hack out the entire rough draft of a novel out in the space of a month--fifty thousand words worth of writing in thirty days. Some people succeeded; I was not one of them.
Yet while I did not reach my goal, I do consider last month’s effort (on my part) to be a success. I finished closer to the goal than I have ever came before. I ended up writing 41443 words to be exact. More if you count the amount of wordage I wrote last month on the various term papers I ended up completely.
If I could have gotten all the writing I did to go all in the same direction, I would have crossed the line this time. Unfortunately, term paper season ate me alive. In the end, I wrote over ten thousand words spread over a couple of papers--so far, one of them has turned out to be an A, still awaiting further grades to be reported.
And I consider parts of the rough draft that I wrote to be useable; or at least, parts will be usable after some revisions. Whether or not, it turns out to be a novel or just a short story (or perhaps a novella) will depend a lot on what can be fixed.
As always, this writing project was a learning experience for me. What I learned this project was the strange things that occur to me when I am trying to make an idea fix into a novel. Perhaps some of the strange ideas are good, I need to let the story sit awhile before judging parts of it. Then again, I have to finish a dozen scenes before it can be set to rest for awhile--as I said term paper season was a conflict with National Novel Writing Month. But I should have those scenes written by the first of the year--at least, I can say that I wrote the rough draft of an entire novel this year; and that makes me a winner despite not hitting the goal of fifty thousand words in thirty days.
Another thing I learned was that I can still surprise myself. At the end of this long stretch of writing, I find myself busy outlining another novel. That surprised me, I figured that I would not want to look at the keyboard for a good month afterwards; instead I find myself working on my next novel already.
For many, this will not be a surprise. In my case, it is. Sometimes, I forgot that I am a real writer. If nothing else, this last month was a good reminder that despite the expectations of those people around me, and society in general, that at heart, I am best at being a writer.
So here is to the end of National Novel Writing Month, while I did not write enough to make the goal, I am still happy with my results--and here is to next November, when I get to do it all over again.