Thursday, December 3, 2009

You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet

It’s December. I know, chalk one up for Miss Obvious. But, last month I started my 40 things to do before I’m 40 quest. I figured that I needed to complete one item every 3.9 weeks in order to reach my goal. We are now 5 ½ weeks in and I need to report.

I participated in NaNoWriMo last month. It was a little stressful, super fun, and technically ended in abject failure. But, I’m chalking this one up as a win. See, the deal is that you have to write 1670 words a day -ish, completing a 50,000 word “novel” (and I use that term VERY loosely) in the month of November.

Do you know how hard it is to write that many words, every day? You’d think as much as I talk that wouldn’t be a problem. But, it was really difficult. Even with an idea that’s been floating around in my head for a couple of years. Even with a fun character who is really my alter ego. Even with tons of resources literally at my fingertips. Seriously. Hard.

However, a few days of consistent struggle at the beginning of the month led me to a great groove. The first three weeks I busted out 37,000 words. Most of it was total garbage. But, I was writing. Words were flowing. Story lines and characters were emerging. Like I said - super fun! But then I went to Portland for a week. And, not that I’m blaming my family or Thanksgiving or any of the other great things I did that week. But, it was distracting. Good distracting. Meaningful distracting. But, distracting nonetheless.

I got home last Saturday night with only 51 hours left in the month. Saturday night I wrote a little. Sunday I wrote quite a bit. Monday night I wrote some more. But, alas I ended up with a total word count of 42,461.

So, I didn’t get the little “You Won” badge the NaNoWri Mo people give out to all the “winners” to put up on their websites or use as their avatar picture or whatever. I don’t get to brag to the guy here at work (who got me hooked on this in the first place) that, unlike him, I succeeded my first year out of the gate. And, I don’t think I can check this off my list just yet because I really want to write an actual novel (or maybe even a series of them).

But, now I’ve got over 42,000 words to work with. And, you know what else, all that writing led me here and here and here (yep, all me!). Because, you see, I did A LOT of writing this past month. More than I've ever done in a single month. Maybe even 50,000 words worth. Just not all on my novel. So, I’m not checking this off my list just yet. But, I’m definitely chalking this one up as a win.

P.S. – I love that I got to use both the words NONETHELESS and ALAS in one blog post. (Shut up! It’s the little things that keep me endlessly entertained.)


  1. Next year, you'll get to 50K. You still did better on NaNoWriMo than I did my first year. Even still, you're totally right. That's 42000 words you didn't have at the beginning of the month.

  2. Thanks, Rob - both for the encouragement and the inspiration. It really was a lot of fun!