NaNoWriMo – what happens now?

Well, I did it. On Wednesday evening, I reached my word target of 100,000 words on my NaNoWriMo challenge. Actually, 100,197 to be exact. And I finished my novel. I’ll be completely honest; when the moment arrived, it was a little bit of an anticlimax, sitting as I was in my empty living room. But hey, that’s what Facebook’s for, right?

NaNoWriMo - 100,000 words!

So am I happy with what I wrote? Not at all. It’s horrible. I kind of hate all my characters. There are lots of random plot threads that stop suddenly because I didn’t quite know what to do with them. The end of the novel feels way too neat, and having made a couple of major plot changes partway through the month, the whole thing makes no sense.

But.

I think NaNoWriMo may be one of the best things I’ve ever done. Even though what I’ve written may be a bit rubbish, at least it’s something to work with. I don’t know if I’ll ever do anything with it, much less if it’ll ever get published, but I’m a lot closer than I was a month ago, which is a great feeling.

And it’s not only about the novel. I set myself a challenge, and I completed it. There were definitely times when I thought about giving up, especially after I went past 50k words (the ‘official’ target), but I stuck at it, and that makes me really proud. It’s been a huge confidence boost, and I’m already planning my next challenge in January – because apparently monthly challenges are the way to get things done.

This is going to sound quite cheesy, but I feel a bit like doing NaNoWriMo has unlocked something (I did warn you it was cheesy). For starters, in case you hadn’t noticed in the last few days, I can’t seem to stop writing. And I feel like every day I’m having a new idea – not just for writing, but all sorts of things. This week I even had an idea for an app. Like the novel, I don’t know if any of these thoughts will come to anything, but it’s exciting all the same, and always more fun to have a head full of ideas than just doing the same stuff day after day.

So, in conclusion:

– NaNoWriMo is fab.

– Monthly challenges are the way to get things done.

– There may be quite a lot of blog posts on the way. And possibly an app, if I can find someone who knows how to make them. And hopefully a novel, one day, once I’ve fixed all the many, many things that are wrong with it.

And since I’m being cheesy, let’s go all out…

"The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step." Lao Tzu

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