Friday, November 27, 2009

musings on NaNoWriMo

Well peeps, I did it. I wrote 50,196 words in one month. And let me tell you, it's exhilarating. I imagine this is what it would feel like to finish a marathon, only without the chaffing, the pulled muscles, the severed tendons. I kind of know, because I've finished a few half marathons. My thoughts upon finishing a 13 mile race: I will never, NEVER run a full marathon.

I have similar thoughts on participating in NaNoWriMo. I don't think I ever will again. But.


I am so glad that I did it. It forced me to stick with my story, to think about it every day, to have the characters become real people living inside my head who talk to me when I scrub pots and drop off the carpool, to establish a routine that includes time for writing.

On Monday night, after I finished, I made myself a milkshake and took a long, hot bath. So long, in fact, that I fell asleep in the bathtub.

I spent Tuesday and Wednesday in a sort of word-war-hangover. The thought of turning on the computer made me cringe. I'm okay now. I still have this other silly goal I set to finish a novel in 2009, so even though I wrote all these words, my novel is still incomplete. Only about 1/2 way done. So maybe tomorrow I'll have the mental fortitude to carry on. Until then, I am on a well deserved vacation.

The following describes my internal dialogue for the entire month exactly (unfortunately, in my Nano-induced insanity, I didn't make a note of where this came from):

"What, precisely, is wrong with me? Why did I decide that the best way to spend the month of November would be indoors, strapped to a chair, writing thousands of words a day, alone, friendless, and insane? Why didn't I just agree to come to my desk every day, bang my head on it for a solid ten minutes, and be done with it? That would have been so much faster."

And then here's the response I got from NaNoWriMo upon reaching my goal:

You did it, writer.

Pitted against a merciless deadline and battling hordes of distractions—including the most tempting fall TV season that's been unleashed upon novelists in decades—you kept at it.

Now you've arrived at a place that very few NaNoWriMo participants ever see: The winner's circle. Overhead, the November sky is bursting with fireworks celebrating your victory, and the entire NaNoWriMo staff joins me in applauding your creative achievement.

You did something amazing this month, novelist. We couldn't be prouder.


  1. ummm rachel, i just got teary-eyed! seriously. i'm so proud of you; what an accomplishment. congratulations! if i was you i'd have a few more milkshakes to celebrate.

    i still want to run a marathon someday. i ran 2 miles tonight... 26 is just a few more than that, right?

  2. That is quite an accomplishment. Nice work. That my friendless friend is persistence!

  3. Congratulations! I'm so excited for you and proud of you too! :)

  4. Ok I got teary eyed too. Honestly that is just something crazy awesome that you accomplished something so huge and so great. I'm so stinkin impressed with you! And I love that you're still working on your goal to finish in 2009.

    If I learned anything form the reading/writing conference I went to this summer it was this: Finish. Even if it's not perfect the first time around, finish. Editing comes later. Changes, later. Finish the story. You'll be surprised at what finishing the first one will do.

    Good luck to you my friend. I hope to one day run in that marathon (and by that I mean type in that contest, cause heaven knows I'm only good at barely running 5k's, haha).

  5. WAY TO GO! You amaze me with everything you are able to accomplish!

  6. I could type 50,000 words in a month. But it'd be so unorganized someone would probably mistake it for 50 short stories.

  7. I don't have the time to count to 50,000 let alone write that many in a month

  8. The statement from NaNoWriMo just makes it all worth it, huh? And you got the digi-congrats... wow. Do it over & over just for that!

    jk - I cant wait 'til you finish and you need guinea pigs to try the book on!

  9. Oh so fantastic, Rachel! I did not make it to 50,000, but I had a great time. And I loved checking up on you as well. Keep me updated on your progress!