The First Finish Line

What’s the most wonderful time of the year? During NaNoWriMo when I cross that first finish line.

It’s the end of week 3 of NaNoWriMo and hey – look! I broke 50,000 words on Wednesday.

While I’m VERY proud of having done this for the second year in a row, I’m not done writing. My plan for this book was to get a good novel-length story told as quickly as possible in order to go back and edit it into something I could be even more proud of.

So I’m not done writing.

But because I finished early and there’s no one clamoring for this book (it’s a sequel to last year’s) I can slow down into a nice rhythm of writing about 2K per day. If I do that I will have written about 66,000 words for the month. And that would make me very, very proud indeed.

See, NaNo teaches you the mechanics of how to be a writer:

  1. Sit down. (Or stand up if you’re Ernest Hemingway.)
  2. Put your fingers on the keys.
  3. WRITE. Make your daily word count and don’t whine about it.

Everything else, EVERYthing else, is secondary. Just get in the habit of writing, of putting one word after another into a line while making some sort of sense.

I’ll get more into this in the post-game when that comes up, but my biggest headaches so far this month have been making sure I don’t head-hop and trying to put some variety in my sentences, structure-wise.

But see, that’s just whining.

I’m enjoying the fact that I wrote 50,000 words so quickly, just as quickly as last year. I’m very happy with my story and how it’s coming along. I like it and it’s getting exciting. Stuff is happening. My goal this year was to write more in the month than I did last year. At one point I was on track to write nearly 75,000 words. I don’t thing I’ll make that but I could conceivably hit 70K+.

So I want to reward myself. I’m allowing that I have some other work that needs to be done now that this major milestone has been reached:

  1. I have to revise last year’s novel for passivity and resubmit it.
  2. There are plans to be made for the coming calendar year in regards to writing.
  3. And yeah, some downtime.

It’s been a great NaNoWriMo so far, but it’s not over. I’ve got seven days left. A week is a long time. That’s at least 14,000 words.

Pretty sure I’m gonna make the goal I set for myself.

Jason Arnett is a storyteller living in Kansas and writing in the plains of the fantastic. Some of his work can be found at

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