I did it! I’m very pleased to say that I completed NaNoWriMo this year. Here’s my nifty little banner to prove it! 🙂
Yeah, that’s right. *Happy Dance* I ended up writing an “exercise” piece. I never planned to publish what I set out to write with NaNoWriMo this time around. I’ve written very sparsely on my blog this year (and for that I am sorry), but I’ve written recently about my hellish 2013 writer’s block from hell (redundancy is intentional…). My goal for NaNoWriMo was to get myself back into the habit of writing even when I didn’t feel like it // had other things going on // felt sick // felt tired // felt grumpy // etc. And my verdict?
IT WORKED. I think I have *finally* put my writer’s block behind me (hopefully for a long, long time) or at least learned how to push through it to the other side. No, I don’t have a publishable product to show for my NaNoWriMo efforts, but that’s 100% okay with me. NaNoWriMo gave me other wonderful things:
>> The renewed discipline to write every day or nearly every day
>> The excitement to go back and work on WIPs
>> The drive to push through and finish my Niflheim trilogy.
>> Helped me to rethink my publishing goals
>> Given me the courage to know that my best writing days are ahead of me and not behind me
Writing in 2013 has been really tough. I’ve made significant progress on several novels, but the only thing I’ve published this year is The Dark Ship (a standalone novella). I’ve had to deal with envious thoughts towards other authors who are more prolific//talented//hardworking//whatever than I am. I’ve needed to deal with insecurities about my published and unpublished novels. I’ve had to crawl out of author angst about “not being good enough”, “my stories suck”, etc.
We’ve all been there. I finally realized that just because I’ve had a bad year with my writing doesn’t mean I’m a bad writer. It means I’m a normal writer. We all have bad days. Some of us have bad weeks, months, years. Sometimes, it takes a decade to crank out a single novel. But the fact is that we have to keep writing and never give up. Sure my book sales don’t pay the bills. I don’t care. I’ve got wonderful contracting work that I LOVE to keep me busy and to help keep my water and power turned on. 😉 Sure the books I’ve written so far aren’t the greatest treasures in American Literature. That doesn’t mean that I won’t someday write something that is truly fantastic (and my current novels aren’t half-bad either).
For everyone who finished NaNoWriMo this year, CONGRATULATIONS! Seriously, go drink a tall glass of wine or have some hot cocoa and pat yourself on the back. It’s hard work writing consistently and putting your ideas on the page. For those of you who wanted to participate, but didn’t, don’t wait until next November to get your story going! Just use the same guidelines and do your OWN NaNoWriMo. For those who started, but didn’t quite finish, don’t let your progress defeat you. It’s okay if you can’t finish. Just get to writing and never quit!
We writers gotta stick together. It’s a tough industry out there and if we don’t believe in our own work, no one will. 🙂