This will be my last NaNoWriMo post until next year’s event. However, before I put NaNoWriMo 2014 to bed, I think it deserves a bit of reflection.
When I consider where I started in October, I am amazed by the progress I made in my writing career – in only 30 days at that! If you want to read my pre-NaNo post, you can do so here. But, long story short, I began NaNoWriMo as someone who called herself a writer without a steady writing routine or finished manuscript, but with a lot of hope, determination, and a Bachelors of Arts in English. For me, NaNoWriMo was a chance to prove to myself that I studied the right subject in university, to justify my decision to postpone graduate school, and to show myself that I have the discipline and the guts to turn writing into a full-time career.
In case you have not been following my NaNoWriMo journey (and have a lot of free time on your hands), you can catch up here or simply read my final day recap here. Again, long story short, I won NaNoWriMo on Day 19 and finished my manuscript on Day 30.
Here are my totals:
Total Word Count: 80,060
Average Daily Word Count: 2,668
Total Hours Spent Writing: 56 hours
Average Daily Writing Time: 1.87 hours
Average Words per Hour: 1,430
While all these numbers are nice for reference, I know: we writers aren’t normally numbers people. So, here are my qualitative NaNoWriMo results, aka, my lessons learned.
- The only way to write a novel is to actually sit down and write it. Yes, this is entirely self-evident, but a lot of writers tend to do a lot more talking about writing than actual writing (myself included until November).
- When you stop worrying about every word being perfect, writing is easy. Okay, this may not be true for everyone, but I found that the moment I shut off my mental editor, the words flowed through my fingertips, and I produced a huge volume of work very quickly.
- Speaking of this, I learned that I am a prolific writer. I have never thought of myself as a fast writer, but given my averages, I feel like I can call myself one now.
- Writing is so much more fun with a community. Having that NaNoWriMo community on Twitter and WordPress was awesome! I loved cheering on my fellow writers and receiving support in return. While I know the enthusiasm will die down as writers crawl back into the woodwork, I hope that some writers stay out and social and keep the spirit alive!
- Writing a first draft is only the beginning. This is not something I learned during NaNoWriMo, but it is something I feel now that it is over. The first draft is step one. Then comes editing, revising, marketing, branding, publishing, etc. The fears of draft writing may be gone, but now they are replaced with a whole new box of nerves and excitement!
So now what? In a previous post, I offered suggestions for what do post-NaNoWriMo. You can probably already guess, but I fall into the final category: “I won NaNoWriMo, my manuscript is complete, and I want to seek publication.”
Currently, I am working on my plans to transition into writing as a career and start my own author business. Of course, this will be a slow project, and I will probably be working a day job for several more years.
I won’t go into much detail in this post, because there is simply too much to discuss! However, I will say that this is going to be the main focus of my blog from here on out. I will be sharing everything I learn about business, independent publishing, marketing, and of course writing. I will also still offer “Feedback Fridays,” but I will focus on reviewing books for writers related to craft and business. And, of course, I will share tidbits from my personal life as well.
If this sounds useful, entertaining, or interesting to you, I hope you keep coming back and reading my blog. I don’t want this to be a place just for me, but also for you all to learn, be entertained, and engage in discussions of all things writing. Thanks for reading and staying with me through the next steps of my writing career!
What are your post-NaNoWriMo plans? What do you want to know or need to learn about writing, publishing, and creating an author business? Share it all below!