Saturday, November 21, 2009

NaNoWriMo: I Laughed, I Cried, It Became a Part of Me

Ok, so here's the dealio. I just wrote the last word in my NaNoWriMo project. Final word count? 50,046. More than a week ahead of schedule. It just got to a point where it was writing itself. I couldn't stop it.

I laughed, I cried, it became a part of me.

I laughed when I looked at some of the things I'd typed. One or two of them were even supposed to be funny. Many of them were not.

I cried when I looked at some of the things I'd typed. One or two of them were even supposed to be sad. Many of them were not.

It became a part of me. I learned lessons that will stay with me for a long time, if not forever. I learned:

Discipline. I don't know what I'm going to do tomorrow morning when I sit down at my computer in the early morning hours when the house is still dark. (Yes I do. I'll catch up on all the blog reading I've been missing out on. See ya in the morning!) It will feel odd not to open that document and power through with the story. I have been very faithful to it. I have written the alotted amount of words every morning whether I wanted to or not. It wasn't a choice. A lot of crap was written utilizing this method, but I didn't stop or give up when I hit a glitch. That was cool. And very unlike me. I can weed out the crap in the editing process. If I'd quit, it would just be over.

Humility. What I've written - at this point - is not something that I would want to read. That is not false modesty. I was at the library the other day looking for a book. As I read back covers and rejected titles based on what was written there - scoffed at them even - I realized that I would reject a back cover description of my own book - I mean, project - just as quickly. I can't say I dug that feeling.

Respect. Another thing I realized was that every genre deserves respect - even the genres I'd never had much respect for before. Sex scenes are hard to write. Real live work goes into all of it. Even bodice rippers. Even romances. All of it. I may not want to read it - but I'll never scoff again. I'll never dismiss anything as silly fluffy or worthless again. Just because I don't want to read it doesn't make it crap. Writing is hard work and writers deserve respect.

I thought about starting the editing process tomorrow, but I ultimately decided against it. I'm going to let it sit until December 1 and begin editing then as planned. I'll probably be more objective with a little time between me and the story. Who knows? By January or February this hot buttered mess may actually evolve into something I'd like to read. (I'm not holding my breathe. But it could happen...)

All in all, I loved this experience. I put out over 50,000 words in a more or less linear story. I did it in 21 days. Not a lot of people can make that claim and - although I'm not (yet) proud of the product, I wouldn't have traded the process for anything. I'm already plotting for next November...

38 comments:

otin said...

Good for you!!! It is probably way better than you are letting on!

BONNIE K said...

I'm very impressed that you did this. Hope to see the story eventually!

Em said...

I bow down to you. Honest to goodness - I made it to roughly 13,000 words. I'm fairly certain I will not be able to pull 37,000 out of my rear by Dec. 1 - not with both kids home from school and in laws in for Thanksgiving.

Who thought November was a good month for this torture!?

Congratulations for the achieved goal. I'm in awe.

Unknown Mami said...

I'm proud of you Tammy. You did it!

Joanna Jenkins said...

CONGRATULATIONS!!!! And a week early! You rock.
Happy Thanksgiving!
xo

5thsister said...

Congrats Tammy! That is, indeed, quite a feat. I am impressed.

Cassie said...

Wow Tammy that's great. I hope that one day soon you will give us the pleasure of reading it :o) Selfishly glad you are already finished. I missed ya.

Swine said...

Nice work, Tammy. I never got past the beginnings of an outline before my character sat down in the middle of a road and refused to move. You should be very, very proud of yourself.

Sandy said...

Congratulations! And I seriously doubt it's NOT worth reading and I hope to be able to sometime.

Something you said really made me stop and think.....writing is hard work. The next time I criticize a book, I will try to remember that.

Badass Geek said...

I was keeping up with your progress on the NaNoWriMo site and saw that you were getting close... Congrats on finishing a week early!

I've got just under 15k words to go, so I'm right on track.

... and I don't think I'll much care for my story when I'm done, either.

Sir Hook of Warrick aka "David K Wells" said...

Congratulations! Now I have 49,944 words left to write in eight days after posting this comment. Perhaps I can just pass out on the "A" button on the keyboard? It's a plan...the "Book of A". Front row parking at the library and required reading for No Child Left Behind Kindergarten.

Sir Hook naNO of Warrick

carma said...

Well color me impressed - that a lotta words!!!! Sit back and bask in the glory :D

Did you add another steamy love scene??

Becky said...

That's really cool that it gave you newfound respect for other's people's effort into their work.

Sounds like you walked away with alot of life lessons there:)

kys said...

Congrats on this awesome achievement!!! I am so proud of you!

I'll bet with a little (very little) editing your book, er, project will be an awesome read!

Have a great Thanksgiving!

Melissa B. said...

I'm sooooooooooo impressed...and proud of you, too! Is it a novel? Memoir? I'm really curious about how this "hot buttered mess" will turn out! You're absolutely correctamundo, BTW, about discipline and humility...

Pam said...

Congrats of meeting your goal - and ahead of time! Woo Hoo! I was really struck by what you said about respecting ALL writing. I, too, will think twice before I scoff at "fluffy" books. Thanks for the wake up call.

Mammatalk said...

Much congrats. What an accomplishment!

MiMi said...

Congratulations, Tammy! What size novel would that many words make?? I have no clue. But it sounds big!
So I can never call a Harlequin garbage again now. Got it. I think it would be INCREDIBLE hard (no pun intended!!) to write a bodice ripping sex scene!

blueviolet said...

Congratulations on setting that goal and completing it! It has to be wonderful to be able to sit back over the holidays and just relax and enjoy. I think your idea of letting it sit for a bit is a good one!

AWESOME!

Cynthia at A Shimmy in My Spirit said...

Congratulations on completing your NaNoWriMo challenge. That's quite an accomplishment.

1 Special Family said...

I stopped in from Sits. Loved your posts, but am very impressed that you have done something so important for yourself! It's hard to hang on to your own goals, especially such a lofty one, when you have kids! Congratulations!!

Melissa Papaj Photography said...

Good for you! Stopping by from SITS!

Amy said...

Congrats on accomplishing your goal. Way to go!

Just stopping in from SITS and found as I perused your posts that I enjoy your writing. I'll be back.

Jessica said...

so I was stopping by for your SITS day but I guess I am a little early...oh well I will just add you to my reader and come back tomorrow! Happy SITS day and good luck with this book (?) you are writing...looks like i have some catching up to do!

Just Playin' said...

Great!!!! Great!!!! Great!!!!!! I am not there yet! Help! I have a long way to go. But I will get there...I hope I will get there....maybe I will get there......please let me get there. I'll let ya know.

"hot,buttered mess" hmmmmmmmm sounds interesting.

MaryRC said...

i to am in awe of your accomplishment. how do you do it? what is nanomimo? i see you writerbloggers doing it. i need to find out, because now ... i wanna be you..

Elizabeth a.k.a. Type A Mommy said...

Congrats to you! That is so insanely awesome that you finished, and finished early to boot! I'm kicking myself for not doing NaNoWriMo this year, I really wanted to, and I psyched myself out. I will try to keep your good example in mind next year before I psych myself out. :)

lifeissweet16 said...

Congratulations! I have totally blown this. I started late (because I found out about it late) and then I had to travel to visit friends and fight with the boyfriend and go through all sorts of crap that got me off track and so it's the home stretch and I'm not even to 10,000 words. :-(

Pathetic.

I'm impressed with those who finished.

Stacy (the Random Cool Chick) said...

WooHoo! Way to go! I wasn't in a mindset to join in on that this year, but am seriously considering doing it next year.

Great job getting done early! Sounds like a good idea to wait until December 1st to start the editing process - let it simmer for a while first. ;)

Charlene said...

I *thought* about doing this as well but chickened out. I'll just have to live vicariously through you. That said, I did blog everyday for the 21 days of my "Quantum Wellness Cleanse." Not sure the word count but now you've inspired me to go check! Happy SITS Day!

Holly Ann said...

I applaud you... i have started to write "something" and have not had the confidence in myself to keep it going... setting goals sounds like a wonderful idea... i bet it is better than you believe it to be... we are our own worse critic...

Stopping in from SITS, congrats on your FB Day!

babookworm said...

Congratulations, what a huge accomplishment!

I'll bet you'll be thinking more clearly by the time you start to edit and it will clean up even better you hoped.

Good to hear about your new found respect for all kinds of writing. I'm with you on the same page with that one!

Happy SITS day!

Tater Tot Mom said...

WOO HOO! We did it! I could have written this post myself because I feel the exact same way about what I wrote. I'm putting off editing until December too but it feels so weird to not be sitting down and plodding through my 50,000 words. I miss it actually and so I hope that this will lead to more writing even without NaNoWriMo. Practice makes perfect, right? CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Traci said...

Congrats! I've seen the name NaNoWriMo but had no idea what it meant. I think I will have to check it out!
Treat yourself to something special and celebrate your accomplishment!

Mandy's Life After 30 said...

That's great. I bet it feels so good to have that kind of dedication and stick to it. Maybe I'll give it a try next year. I'm having way too much fun unpacking and playing social coordinator these days. I haven't felt inspired to write too much but I'm still having fun and enjoying life. And I think that's what counts most. Enjoy your life. Enjoy experiences. Sounds like what you are doing. You go girl, snap, snap!

Victoria D. said...

Umm, I'm officially jealous. I was all excited about being a part of NaNoWriMo. But errrr, ummm it's November 23rd and I think I've written about 300 words. I just couldn't do it. LOL

Happy you did though! Even if you believe that what you wrote isn't good, at least you know YOU CAN DO IT!

-Victoria D.

Gibby said...

A week early????? YAY Tammy!! So proud of you, but I knew you could do it. Can't wait to hear about the edits.

Tsquared417 said...

Way to go!! I may have to try this...it sounds fun in a weird sort of way. Congrats on doing it and getting it done early!