I’m so glad I made myself do nano this year, and was not too overly freaked out about it. I think I’ve learned a couple of lessons: a) I can write 50k words fairly easily and b) keep to reasonable wordcount targets. Looking back, nano 2008 is characterised by an almost laissez-faire approach. I actually enjoyed it. Naturally nano 2009 may not be the same, I may end up stressing about it, trying to get 5,000 words in every day. The standard has been set, that I finish no later than the 15th.
There’s a thread on the forums called “nano isn’t a chore for me” and I think this is where I find myself this year. I keep wanting to place a qualifier, that it is this year rather than all nanos going forward because I don’t want to jinx anything. I see a lot of people for which writing 50k words is very painful, needing word wars, sprints, write or die or small gifts to keep going. Well, bully for them and I really think that they will get a lot of satisfaction out of winning.
What keeps me going, and makes me return year after year, is the sense of achievement. And the sense of belonging (although I keep very quiet and never post in the forums) to a community. People ‘in the know’ when I mention nano, will immediately get it and there’s a strong bond when I meet another nano-ite. It’s a special feeling.
I know the quality of this year’s novel isn’t great, that I tend to use the same simple words rather than trying to think of a more appropriate description. But surprisingly, aside from not capitalising, the draft is in pretty good grammatical and spelling shape. I’m also easily distracted — I’d write 300 or 500 or 1,000 words and then I need to go do something like reading, check greader or play on facebook. This to me forms part and parcel of the whole experience.
And so, what until november 2009? I think I’ve written myself out of writer’s block a little. I will try to edit this story for publication — either at pens or change the names and…gasp, oh the pressure…go for real. I’ll need to finish those CM wips and dust off Atonement. Making it a 101 task was a brilliant idea, I think that was the final push.
Final official wordcount is 51,477. I have a bunch of winner’s badges, the certificate and of course the chart.