At the start of the month I talked about my concerns regarding NaNoWriMo this year. Following weeks of writing intensively on another project, and having done nearly no planning at all on my NaNo one, I felt in a precarious position to undertake the challenge. I really didn’t want to fail. I really didn’t want to come off the back of a great success in completing my last project and follow it into an abysmal failure.
But, I didn’t want to not even try. So with a few pages of notes and good will, I sat down on the 1st of November and wrote the opening lines of the new project.
21 days later – earlier than I’ve ever managed before – I was done. At 50,114 words, I had completed the challenge.
The story is nowhere near finished. Completely out of order, not cohesive or even coherent, it needs another 30,000 words I should think, and some serious taking apart and putting back together again. But it was never the point to finish the thing. I wanted to make some really good progress in a short space of time, and spend some time with different characters in order to cleanse my brain of the last bunch I’d been writing about. And on both those fronts, I feel I’ve been successful.
I really, really want to keep writing it too. Not just stop dead now I’ve got to 50k. But I’m forcing myself to. I need a break, need to give my brain a rest before I launch into editing my previous project – the one that I finished just before NaNo started. I’ve got some distance from it now, and feel I would be able to approach it without the same emotional connection. This is a big scary step for me. I’ve never been much of a one for editing. I’ve got good at finishing things now – I’m confident I can follow a first draft through to the end – but taking that first draft and turning it into a polished manuscript is new territory. I’ve got some resources and the desire to do it, so hopefully in a couple of months I’ll have something worth reading.
So for the next week or so – until the start of December – I’m going to be concentrating on reading (so behind on my Goodreads reading challenge!) and getting the blog up and going again. Things here will continue to be spotty for a while as I catch up with review commitments and go back through my emails and actually read them, but it is my aim to have a proper relaunch in the new year with a new – less demanding – schedule and hopefully some better content because of that.
In the meantime, good luck NaNo-ers who are still going. I’m waving my pom poms for you.