NaNoWriMo 2016 Recap

Well, it’s December, and NaNoWriMo is over for this year. Once again, I reached my 50,000 word goal, and I managed to actually wrap up the story I was writing. This year was interesting because I found myself floundering early on, got my groove back on my writer’s retreat, and then lost it again toward the end when I got distracted by a new project.

First things first: I did officially win NaNoWriMo. I actually wrote my novel in 26 days because I started a few days late after scrapping my original idea, and then I managed to cross the finish line a couple days early. This year was probably one of the hardest years because I both cared about the story I was writing and yet lost interest in it as the month went on. I also pretty much did the whole thing by the seat of my pants, which wasn’t a new thing for me, but it was a new thing that it mostly worked out.

I’m definitely putting this story away for a while. Probably a few months at least. While there may be something salvageable, I think it’s going to take a bit of distance before I can even consider rewriting or editing. But who knows?

In the meantime, I’m trying to keep that NaNo magic going to continue working on another project that I’ve been trying to get out. Unfortunately, once again, I’m seeing that the motivation just isn’t there. I’ve had a few days in a row of sitting around the house that I haven’t bothered to use for writing. But I’m going to try re-invigorate my writing habit, using the things I learned this month. In the past, the words just came. I could sit and write thousands of words in a sitting. This month’s NaNo novel was not like that. So it meant that I had to learn how to 1.) make myself sit down and write even though the inspiration wasn’t striking me and 2.) make the words come out when I was making myself have a writing session.

This was an important thing to learn, I think, and something I hadn’t really picked up in previous years. Before, when I started floundering, I either quit or just went off on a ridiculous tangent. So now, I hope to use this newfound ability to focus on my work to my advantage beyond November.

Because if I ever hope to be a serious writer (though I will never be a writer of serious topics), I need to maintain that kind of habit. Blogging is a help to this, though my readers know how I lack that discipline as well. But sitting and writing fiction every day would be a good habit, one that I will continue cultivating. And I thank NaNoWriMo for helping me re-invigorate it once a year.

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