NaNoWriMo

How I "Won" NaNoWriMo

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From The Yellow Sofa

By: Carl Nickles


NaNoWriMo officially ended on Nov. 30.  While I didn’t “win” by completing the 50,000 word count by the deadline, I won in other ways.  This may seem like a petition for a participation trophy, but I think the lessons I learned along the way were as important as the number of words written.  

Winning for me was writing more in the last 30 days than I have since since college.  It was doing something that until recently I thought was reserved for people with years of experience and training or for people who’s entire life had always been a continuous flood of words and ideas.  I  won because I created people, scenes and a world from practically nothing.  

 I won because I have accepted the hard truth that I am, and will always be a planner.  I don’t know how people write 50,000 words of a novel without a detailed outline (I’m jealous), but I apparently need to plan.  Planning has helped me firm up how I want my novel to begin, evolve and end.  

Most importantly, I won because I have written.  Maybe not 50,000 words (not even close), but more than I would have had I not entered the NaNoWriMo contest.  As I alluded to in a previous post about writing, you (I) have to write.  It’s the only way a novel will be completed.  It’s the only way to become a better writer.  I plan on entering next year and I hope I participate every year.  The goal will always be to get the word count to 50,000 but the truly important part will always be the journey of belief, creation, discipline and inspiration.   It’s the little things you learn along the way that matter most.  Those experiences are the “wins”.

I can’t thank everyone enough both inside and outside of the writing community as well as the other participants of NaNoWriMo for their support and encouragement.  If you participated in NaNoWriMo this year but didn’t make it to 50,000 words, do you still feel like you have won (I hope you do)?  Let me know in the comments.