Monday, November 24, 2014

NaNoWriMo 2014: Thoughts on Hitting 50k

Wait--if you're reading this and you haven't hit your daily word count for NaNoWriMo yet, go do that first, then come back.

All set? Okay!

Woo-hoo! I hit 50k!!!!!!

I think it was around 4:30PM Sunday that I hit the magic number for this year's NaNoWriMo event. And while my book is definitely not finished yet, I did reach the goal all Wrimos set for themselves when they embark in this crazy adventure at the beginning of November--50,000 words in 30 days.

I actually looked back at the post I made last year when I finished NaNoWriMo, and my feelings this year are pretty much the same. The sense of accomplishment, the love for the NaNo community, the reinforcement of how important it is to write regularly--all of it. The more NaNo events I participate in, the more I love them, and the bigger evangelist I become for what everything they are about.


Here is the mission statement of NaNoWriMo (from their ABOUT page):

National Novel Writing Month organizes events where children and adults find the inspiration, encouragement, and structure they need to achieve their creative potential. Our programs are web-enabled challenges with vibrant real-world components, designed to foster self-expression while building community on local and global levels.

What a great sentiment. And I can say from experience that NaNoWriMo does exactly what it sets out to do. These events inspire and encourage people, and they build community among those who take up the challenge. they have inspired me, helped me make some great friends in the writing community, and without them I never would have gotten my first book out into the world.

If there is a new lesson I took away from this year's event, it was the importance of starting strong. For the first time time, I actually stayed up until midnight and began writing the second NaNoWriMo started. That night I got over 3,100 words down, and within three days, I had over 10,000. That strong start took a lot of the pressure off as I moved forward, as I was always working with a cushion of words that I could fall back on if there was a day I couldn't get a ton of writing done. Because of that, my average never dipped below 2,000 words a day. This allowed me to truly enjoy the experience as opposed to playing catch up.

There's no rest for me now that I've hit my 50k mark, I've still got plenty to do, and I will be writing for the rest of the month alongside all of my fellow Wrimos, cheering them on and celebrating their successes with them. In the coming months, I will be dedicating an entire new season of the See Brian Write podcast to NaNoWrimo, and I will be putting out an open call for people interested in being on the show. Stay tuned for that one.

So, if you're somewhere along the way to 50k, keep going! I'll be the crazy bearded guy at the finish line screaming and cheering for you.

P.S. If you enjoy NaNoWriMo as much as I do, I would encourage you to donate a few dollars to help them keep these great events going.