NaNoWriMo (Day 30)

I did it, people.  Believe it or not, we made it through, and with 34 minutes to spare.

For those of you tracking my NaNoWriMo progress, you’ll know this has been an interesting month.  I started out great, never missing a day.  By day 18 I had written just shy of 48,000 words, maintaining an average of almost 3,000 words a day, almost double the 1,667 required to complete the 50,000 words in 30 days.  I was on track to hit closer to 90,000 words during the month of November.  And thank goodness I was so far ahead.  Enter Thanksgiving week.

My family and I travelled to Washington to spend the week with my parents and sisters.  My eyes were bigger than my stomach, apparently, considering I had a goal to continue to write every single night during the trip.  In fact, I didn’t write a single night, or even a single word during that vacation.  Then, when I got back, I was sick and had a hard time getting back on the stick.  I knew I was close, and I wasn’t sweating it, but every day that went by without writing, my enormous lead shrank and dwindled until I reached today.

It’s kind of funny because when I didn’t write last night and committed to finish tonight, on the last possible night, I actually had the thought, what if you’re sick tomorrow.  LOL.  How right I was.  I got done with work today and had the worst headache I’ve had in long time.  It was so bad that I couldn’t even eat my dinner and had to go lay down.  As I lay there in my bed staring at the ceiling at the red projection clock, I watched the time growing closer and closer to my deadline.  7:30.  7:45.  8:00.  8:15.  Finally I had enough.  Even though my head was still pounding as it had been for the previous several hours, I forced myself into my office to start writing.  There was no way in the world I was going to NOT win NaNoWriMo.  So I started writing.  An hour and a half and 2228 words later, I passed the 50,000 word goal, ending with 50,122 words.  I stopped, validated my word count through and got my winner’s certificate (see below).

I can’t tell you the sense of accomplishment this gives me.  I’ve never, ever written so much in such a short amount of time.  Not only did I write 50,000 words during november, but I did it in 19 days.  I had 11 straight days with zero word count.  I’ve gotten into my story in a way I never thought possible.  I am well on the way to finishing it, and even though I’m not as close as I wanted to be, the end is in sight.  I will definitely finish this book!!!

I think I probably have another 35-50000 words left in the story to finish the first draft.  My goal is to finish that by the end of December.  If I can finish the first draft by the end of the year, I can spend January and February doing a series of edits and rewrites, getting the manuscript into a form ready for submission to publishers.  The thought is intoxicating….

CONGRATULATIONS to everyone who tried (whether you won or not) NaNoWriMo.  What a cool experience.