It does feel pretty good. The challenge to write 50,000 words in 30 days was worth the tinglings of carpel tunnel and bruised fingers. My goal was to stop myself from continually self-editing and just write. Follow an idea and see it to its end point. Do what I said I was going to do. Finishing the challenge was like finally losing those 15 pounds I’m always saying I’m going to lose, and actually losing it.
I have to tell you that it was an exercise in freedom. How? I had the freedom to write without thinking whether I made sense or not, whether someone in my critique group would judge me, whether my characters emoted properly, whether I used a comma correctly or not. I had the freedom to just write. Now the lack of freedom was totally self imposed. I had been a writer who took three strokes forward one back, four strokes forward two back until I exhausted myself with the keyboard cha-cha.
The NaNoWriMo freed me from my self imposed writer’s cell. Everyone started on the same day and everyone had the same rules: write 50,000 words in 30 days. That’s it. Along the way I learned that I didn’t have to have a detailed outline before I started or I could and make my writing life easier. But I did have a germ of an idea and I kept going until the idea lead to another one and linked to another and so on.
When I felt stuck I read blogs written by Kristen Lamb for inspiration and re-read the Plot Whisper for advice on plotting. I listened to Debs and Errol’s music extravaganza’s dedicated to NaNoWriMo writers. I discovered Inky Girl comics and read how others dealt with the stuck times and the ‘I don’t want to do this anymore’ whining. And I kept on writing without backtracking and editing myself.
Thirty days later I have 50, 501 words and 202 pages of a Young Adult novel. It’s 80% finished and I’ll keep on keeping on for the next seven days until I complete the story. After that I need to find a new group, maybe a JaNoReMo (January Novel Revision Month) so I can work through revisions. If not, I know what my New Year’s Resolution will be.