Success! …but not really

Posted: April 30, 2013 in Twelve
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In a few short hours the frenzy that is CampNano will be over. Many people will have accomplished their word count goals and are  breathing a heavy sigh of relief and satisfaction. Others will look at their word count and think, “skunked again, maybe next time.” I, gentle readers, am in the second group: those who can stand confident in the knowledge that they wrote a lot more during this month than they have in the past several, and that in itself is a victory.

Some of you may be reading this and thinking to yourself, “that’s the kind of thing losers say to make themselves feel better”. I won’t deny it. I’m disappointed that I didn’t meet my word goal. At half the number typically required for NaNoWriMo I thought for sure I could do that at least. As I believe I previously mentioned, I underestimated my work load this month. There were days I essentially put in a 14 hour work day, and those long hours of translating from one language to another took its toll on my poor brain. Almost every week I suffered from what I would classify as “mental burnout” after working late, which brought my mind to a dead halt for several days, losing precious writing time and forcing me to fall further and further behind.

I could have attempted a writing sprint the likes of which I’ve never seen before this afternoon, but I’m still recovering from last week which was in a word: hectic. My final word count lays around 11,000 words. To be specific, including the little bit I added this afternoon I’m at 11,281. That’s under half of what my goal was.

Never-the-less, I accomplished a lot this month. 11,281 is twice as much as I wrote during the month of March, and I finished 2 1/2 chapters, which isn’t bad at all. Now, the trick is to continue riding the Nano wave to higher word counts in the future. With a busy month I managed 11,000 words. Logically, this would mean I could be capable of writing just as much this month and still have loads of free time for other things. If I keep up the pace, this would mean being at roughly 50,000 words by the end of July if I don’t push myself harder as soon as summer vacation starts in June.

Have I mentioned that I have been living for summer vacation? I work in the school system, so summer becomes a time to do everything I don’t have the opportunity to do during the school year because I wake up at 5:30am and pass out at 9:30/10:00pm. It’s a time to take some freelance work, improve my interpreting skills, do some volunteer work, and finally sit my butt down and write. My plans for the summer are precise and strategic so that I’m able to do as much as possible during the three months that I have. Specifically for writing: I really want to finish a draft of Twelve. In August I will have been working on this as seriously as I can for a year and I’d like to have a completed draft to show for it. Clearly, there’s more work to do after that (and I have a plan for it) but for my own creative sanity I feel like I need to complete it and just see it all in one place knowing most of the actual work is done. Honestly, I find the revision process quite soothing. I can see the whole thing one paper, pick out the good, and nitpick the bad. I can hand it over to a close friend to look at and we can discuss strengths and weaknesses, parts that need to get ironed out and things that need to get scrapped. I’m ready for that next step. Now I just need to put in the leg work to make it happen.

To everyone who won CampNano, Congratulations! Sit on your laurels for a moment and enjoy the view from the top of the mountain you traversed in a month’s time. To those like myself who are still writing, I wish you the best of luck as you continue to climb your way to the top and will see you at the summit in due time.

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