This post should’ve gone up last week, but as I was spending time with my family for the holiday, it completely slipped my mind. I hope you all can forgive me.
I’ve done a lot of thinking since I hit 50k. Mostly, I thought a lot about how I was completely burnt out after writing nearly 20k in a week. I’ve also put a lot of thought into what comes next.
I haven’t finished my manuscript. Right now, it seems unlikely that I’ll do so. All I can think about is how I have, once again, written a ton of words of a story that aren’t usable. I’ve failed to write the story I want to write, for the second time. While I’m closer to figuring out what the main story is I want to write, I haven’t even written a zero draft of it yet.
I keep thinking about what I would have done differently if I wasn’t so focused on the word count. If I had instead been focused on the story I was telling. At what point would I have stopped, deleted a section, and rewrote it? Or would I have started over completely? Would I be happier then than I am now? I think I would be.
I love NaNo. I love the community I’ve found because of it. I love the deadlines and the daily goals. I love that it jump-started my writing again this year. I love that it’s the reason I’ve written three complete novels. It would have taken me years to finish a novel without it.
However, I don’t love NaNo enough to do it again.
I don’t want to come around for a fifth year and end up with the same result: a story that I’ll need to rewrite completely.
Of course, I’ll still come to write-ins. I’ll still cheer my fellow Wrimos on every step of the way. But when they sit down to do word sprints, I won’t be joining them.
Thank you, National Novel Writing Month, for everything you have taught me. I will be forever grateful for everything you’ve given me. Now it’s time for me to learn from a new challenge.