The End of NaNoWriMo

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In spite of severe procrastination combined with

  • Thirteen freelance articles
  • Twelve computer crashes
  • Two friend emergencies
  • Two Thanksgiving gatherings
  • Two head colds
  • Two crazy kids
  • One full time job
  • One case of vertigo
  • One stomach bug
  • One over-time working ex
  • One Doctor Who Marathon

I finished NaNoWriMo. In other words, I wrote 50,000 in a month.

I'm exhausted.

I started off cocky. I knew what my story was going to be. I'd even written a version - shortened - of it for Echoes in Darkness which served as my outline. I knew my characters, the developmental arc I was planning for, and even had a general idea how it would all end.

Then, life.

I started off Monday, the 25th with a little more than 26K words and still fuzzy from the head cold that had caused me to call in to work and lay in bed in a haze for three days. I was panicked. I was only half way there with a week to go.

Chad came over to pick up the kids on Tuesday morning and, after finding out how far behind I was, offered to take the kids for the rest of the week. I took him up on the offer and by Wednesday night had passed 30K words. By Thanksgiving, I was at 36K words. Friday morning, while everyone was shopping, I made a huge pot of tea, put on my coziest of clothes and wrote 10K words.

It's the most I've ever written in one sitting.

My fingers ached. My back throbbed. My characters were talking about their favorite colors. I and my story were a mess.

Saturday, Steve offered to take the kids to see Frozen and as the car pulled back into the drive way, I hit save on 50,100 words.

I've had people ask me what the point is of Nano. After all, last year's story is still hanging out on my hard drive collecting dust.

I describe it as a writing marathon.

When you run a marathon, no one will fault you if you don't complete it. You are running for yourself, pushing yourself to finish something that is physically, emotionally, mentally challenging.

Writing for NaNoWriMo pushed me in many of the same ways. It's no secret I want to be a novelist. My dream is to walk into Target and see my book with a big red and white 20% off sticker on it. I'll lean over to the woman standing next to me and whisper, "I wrote that."

She'll look at me with shock on her face and say, "Excuse me?"

"I wrote that." I'll pick it up and flip to the back where my picture will be smiling back from the glossy cover. "See?"

She'll instantly dig through her purse and grab a pen. "Can you sign it for me?"

With a gracious smile and a wink, I'll open the flap and scrawl, "To a fellow Target shopper..."

It's a modest dream in a lot of ways. After all, I obviously will still be shopping at Target so I doubt I'm looking at six figure book deals. Still, it's my dream.

Completing NaNoWriMo pushes me ever close to that dream. Last year's book, well...from what I've read, most authors have a few books that never see the light of day. This year's book?

That's a different story.

(And that's called foreshadowing.)


Cameron Garriepy

oooh, I LOVE foreshadowing! Congrats, woman. I knew you were gonna finish.


I didn't finish in November, but I have my first completed "novel". Revision makes me panic.

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