NaNoWriMo2021 wrap-up

NaNoWriMo2021 wrap-up

I’m writing this on November 29th, two days before the official end of this year’s NaNoWriMo writing marathon. And even though the month isn’t over, I can do a wrap-up post because I ‘won’ by hitting 50,000 words on November 20th. That’s the earliest I’ve ever won this challenge.

I’ve got over 73 thousand words in this project and there’s still a day left. This is my largest NaNoWriMo total, ever.

I remember struggling so much through my earliest November challenges that I was exhausted by the time November 30 rolled around. Making time for writing, while parenting young children and working a full time job was possible, but taxing. Over the years, time management got easier, parenting is a little easier as kids get older and the writing got easier. Well, maybe it wasn’t that the writing got easier, it was I got better at it. The result is the same.

Last year was my first NaNoWriMo after a long break. I wasn’t sure how it would go, though I had high hopes. A great writing space, kids who were older and working from home were among the improvements to my situation. And yes, pandemic required social distancing was a plus for my writing. When November 2020 ended, I kept working on the novel I’d started. I worked on it all year, only putting it aside in order to take on the 2021 challenge with new material.

This is year two of social distanced NaNoWriMo and it was even easier than last year’s. I did struggle at times with the material I was working with, because I had trouble separating the MC’s experiences and responses to situations from my own. Once I got that sorted, my writing machine started purring like a well-tuned engine. I set a goal of 2k words per day. According to my stats page, there were only three days where I finished under 2k. So where do I go from here?

I’m going to return to my novel in progress, the story about the haunted amusement park I started last November. I’m deep in editing and refining. I might not make my goal of a manuscript ready for beta readers by the end of December, and that’s fine. I’ll keep at it with an early spring goal.

Along with the editing work, I’m going to start working my way through some of the writing books I’ve recently bought as a self-paced writing course. The way I’m going to manage this is by splitting my time. My initial plan is to dedicate two hours a day, 5 days a week. Half for editing, half for education. I’ll try this for two or three weeks, then review and modify as needed. I’m also going to keep attending as many of the Creative Colloquy online workshops as I can. These workshops have been amazing for community and skill building. Meeting with a group for a shared purpose helps me get through the dark months and the dark nights of the soul, which is why my writing group, the Page Turners, will continue to be a vital part of my writing practice.

That’s the plan. I’ll report back in a few weeks.

But wait, there’s more…

Last night, as I was getting ready for bed, I had an epiphany, if epiphany means ‘why didn’t I see that before’. I’ve been writing 2k words per day. If I can pump out two thousand words a day and the typical short story is 3-4 thousand words long, I can fit some short story work into the rotation. My thinking is that I can work on shorts as a part of the self-paced study.

I know one of the short stories I want to work on is a sequel to the Sandbox story. Stay tuned.

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