My NaNoWriMo: Round 5, Week 5

My NaNoWriMo Round 5 Week 5 via KLWightman.com
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We did it! We all survived National Novel Writing Month: 2017 Edition! Whether or not we reached (or surpassed) 50K words for our novel, the most important thing that came out of this month is that we wrote more words than we probably have all year.

Or is it just me?

Now that it’s December, I wanted to reflect just one more time on this year’s NaNoWriMo experience before I shift my blog posts back to advice and random thoughts on writing, grammar, editing, blogging and social media branding.

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So if you’re still reading this blog post, you’re probably thinking this question: Am I a NaNoWriMo 2017 winner?

My Progress

My writing goal this week was to write as many words that I needed to write to cross the 50,000-word finish line.

I’m proud to say that I won this year’s National Novel Writing Month challenge!

Since last week, I exceeded the 50K word minimum to be a NaNoWriMo champion, even having a handful of words to spare.

I always liked extra credit.

How to win NaNoWriMo? Here’s how I tackled National Novel Writing Month

Last year, I tried winning NaNoWriMo as soon as I could, costing me the Prove Your Commitment to Your Creativity badge because I did not update my word count status every day of the month. This year, I paced my writing so that I had enough words left to write even yesterday to feel like I earned the badge honorably.

Since the challenge began, I have written several short stories and one longer story for my short story collection in novel form. While I want more stories to add to the collection (and a whole lot of revising ahead of me), I’m content with the current progress I’ve made on this newly-realized project.

My Obstacles

It was the last week of National Novel Writing Month. Does anything else need to be said?

After days and days and weeks and weeks of writing a high volume of words, I felt like I was at the final stretch of a 5K race. Sure, a marathon would be more equivalent to NaNoWriMo in terms of length and scope, but I only race at the 5K level.

Like a race, I have already raced 2.85 miles of the 3.1 miles. I only had a quarter mile left in the race—that’s an easy lap around the track.

But there’s nothing easy about the finish to a race—or National Novel Writing Month.

We’re tired. Our creativity is completely drained. We just wanted the end to be near. And maybe more sleep.

But the end is so important in a race. It determines whether you have the strength and skill to pass an opponent and/or beat your personal record (PR).

Like a race, the end of NaNoWriMo pushed us to crank out more words when we couldn’t see straight. Many of us found that not only could we write 50K words in 30 days and complete the first draft of a novel, but also that we could write more than 50K words in 30 days.

Now that it’s all written and done, I’m glad I finished the race. Aren’t you?

My Successes

I went into the final days of National Novel Writing Month thinking that I needed to write at least 1,667 words a day, so I continued to aim for that ambitious, but attainable, number.

As the days of November dwindled, I noticed something on my NaNoWriMo profile: I didn’t need to write as many words in the last few days to reach my 50K word count goal!

Because I was diligent over the past twenty-something days about writing at least 1,667 words daily, I often found myself exceeding that word count. Excess words over a period of weeks quickly added up, putting me much closer to my goal sooner than I thought.

During the last days of November, I realized that I only needed to write less than 1,000 words a day. While this is a lot of words, it now seems much easier than writing close to 2,000 words each day.

What’s Next?

While National Novel Writing Month may be over (for this year, at least), that doesn’t mean I’m finished with this writing project. Now comes the hardest part: Life after NaNoWriMo.

Life After NaNoWriMo What You Can Do Next via KLWightman.com

After I finish purchasing my NaNoWriMo winner t-shirt, it’s time to roll up my sleeves. There are pages of words to read, edit and revise so that it gets closer to being publication-ready.

Between spurts of strategizing how to improve my writing project, I’ll be blogging right here on KLWightman.com about every aspect of the writing process.

Are you a NaNoWriMo winner? What’s next for you after this year’s National Novel Writing Month? Share your stories and strategy in the comments section below.

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