50k Words

I “won” NaNoWriMo with 50,008 words for the month on an original novel, but it doesn’t seem like much of a victory.

I’m proud that I finished the month and hit the goal, but I haven’t finished the novel I was working on. I got discouraged with the whole direction it had started going and have put it down for the moment. I want to let it settle before get back into it in January for revision.

Regarding the month as a whole, I’m not sure how I feel about it. I did learn a few things about myself. My stubbornness wouldn’t let me quit, and I need to apply that same dedication to other things I’m working on to get them finished. However, I’m not sure NaNo was the best way for me to go about writing.

I was very discouraged with the quality of my work, and while everyone kept reminding me that it was just a first draft, it was hard to continue working on a piece that I wasn’t happy or, at the very least, not satisfied with. I know a lot of authors say to keep writing and not to edit until you’ve gotten the story out, but it was so discouraging that I almost quit the whole book several times.

At one point, I wanted to quit writing completely. I don’t see the benefit of a system that pushes me that close to the edge, to giving it up. Or a system that makes me loath the piece I’m working on. I know there will be some times where I hate bits and pieces of a story I’m working on, I’ve been there before, but to be completely dissatisfied with the whole piece is the exact opposite of how I should feel about something I’m creating.

I shouldn’t feel discouraged, I should have felt empowered. That’s not what happened. It’s possible that the NaNo process isn’t for me. It happens. Everyone is different and needs to find what works best for them. Just like the fact that I’m not a big planner, I might not do well under the pressure of NaNo.

So for now, I’m going to get back to working on a rewrite I’m doing where I can take my time and enjoy the process. I’ve also got a bit of reading I want to do.

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