Almost two months ago, I accomplished something and I’m just now getting around to bragging about that shit. Leave it to my microscopic attention span and overbooked calendar. I had shelves to build and other stuff to do, like reorganize the fucking garage. They’re made to park cars in, not randomly store boxes, or so I’m told. In addition, I didn’t feel I’d actually finished, but more on that later.
At any rate, waaaaay back at the end of October I posted about deciding to take the National Novel Writing Month challenge. At the time I didn’t rate my probability of success as high, unless you interpret “high” as the state one attains after many Marley-esque doobs. You may or may not think one or the other of me. In the end, it’s all the same. PSA: marijuana is bad, mmmmmkay?
Later I added the astonished update about the fact that I’d racked up over half the word count just as the middle of November came and went. I was on-track but it was a close thing. I knew the big Thanksgiving gorge-a-thon approached and would destroy entire days worth of effort. Somewhere in the trailing two weeks of November, I pulled out a good effort and passed the goal early. It was sort of like using a mental suppository.
For those of you who don’t know and are too lazy to click the links above, the premise of NaNoWriMo is to write 50,000 words in thirty days. This comes out to 1667 words a day, for you who dislike maths. On a good day, that’s moderately easy to do for me. Now, this is no guarantee that the words I spew onto the hapless Word document are worth a fuck, but that’s not the point. I’ve had accomplished authors tell me to just get the story out. So I swallowed my writerly fingers and vomited. In spite of the daily Army job and home-related tasks, I pulled the words out nonetheless.
Truth be told, I started with about 20,000 words of a semi-coherent story and added another 50,000 during the month. When I tallied up my count and got the cool web page swag above, the book wasn’t finished. I had three chapters left to go according to the outline. So I kept at it, and now the draft is thankfully done and the end count is 80,700 or so words.
What’s next? Well… my limited experience with copyediting tells me I need to let this heavy stack of paper sit for about a year. In the meantime, I can keep writing – if I can work out the next plot ideas I have in an embryonic state floating around my head. Over time, beer should erode the neural connections that form the memory of the story enough for me to start the arduous red-pen process.
Will I do it again? Absolutely. If I do this getting out of the Army thing right, I’ll have a lot of free time come November this year. I think by then I can hammer the three big book ideas I have into outlines.
What did I learn? Writing is fun! Alternately, copyediting is not, and that’s where the work of writing really happens. Still, it’s good to take your words, polish them, and make them better. I’m looking forward to it.
This post is also a Happy Birthday shout-out to my bloggy friend who got me started on all this writing stuff.