Winning starts with beginning.  — Robert H. Schuller

Well, it’s December! Currently I’m sitting next to a halfway decorated Christmas tree and a half-asleep husband, during halftime of the Giants-Redskins game. And guess what? I won at NaNoWriMo. Not only did I win, I over-won by 10,000 words.

So why am I only halfway excited?

First, let me do some bragging with a graphic from the NaNo site . . .

Yay, right?

I know I should be super proud and excited about this. Technically, I won, but I don’t feel like a winner. As I thought about drafting this post, I looked for some inspirational “winning” quotes and found none that really fit how I feel. I settled on the quote above:  Winning starts with beginning.

I definitely started, but there’s so much more work to do. I didn’t finish my story. I’ll probably finish by 70,000 words. I’m at 61,000 and change. So many of my already written words need to be improved. To me this is more daunting than banging out the 50K words for NaNo month. The word count was the easy part for me, because I enjoy writing. Like if someone told me I had to eat ice cream after dinner every day for a month. No problem. In that regard, I didn’t really understand some of the NaNoBitching that went on– the “I-can’t-wait-until-December” gripes.  Don’t we do NaNo because we love to write? It didn’t seem like a chore to me, even with my limited time and fried mommy brains.

Will I try National Novel Writing Month again? Definitely. Why not? I’m writing anyway. Having the month deadline forced me to organize and plan and gave me a valid reason to write besides my, “I like it,” reason.  How many times this past month have I said, “I’m trying to make my word count,” as if it’s a job, not a hobby? I liked that aspect of it. I also enjoyed the NaNo website, including the little charts and stats showing your progress, the forums and “pep talks,” etc.

Anyway, the best thing that came out of November was not my crappy 90% finished novel. The best thing is that I reconnected with one of my favorite people in the world, Shaunna. Shaunna and I lived together for a year or so about fifteen years ago. We’ve since drifted, due to families and life and physical distance, but she’s been a big supporter of my blog (she guest posted here) and when she found out I was doing NaNo, she decided to give it a go, too. During the month, we shared some of our words. In fact, she’s the only person I shared with, besides the first line I revealed in a previous post. Shaunna’s kind words about my stuff kept me going. We also used the month to catch up on our lives and I realized we still have similar thoughts and feelings and ideas on a bunch of things. Chatting with her this month, reading portions of her novel, reconnecting with her through NaNo, reminded me of all the reasons why I love her and why she’s so special. I’m not going to let her drift away again.

I also realized that I love and missed my blog here. My Reader and all your awesome posts tempted my procrastination tendencies. So many great Daily Prompts and writing challenges teased me this month, begging to distract me from my writing goal. I held strong through November, but now I’m back. Let the distractions begin!

Thanks for tolerating my first post-NaNo post. My blogging fingers are still warming up. I hope you all had a great November.

Have a nice night!

17 thoughts on “I’m Back from NaNoMehMo . . .

  1. Hey Jess, you rock! As I recall, you started with doubts and finished, it seems, with relative ease. The downside: now you’re a role model for me.


      1. Whether your a perfect role model or not, I see strong evidence of worthy traits. I’ll just not follow any bad example parts that emerge!


  2. Congratulations. I did win this time as well. This was the first time. Now I know for sure that what I wrote in a year is rushed in a month and not that I belong to category of people who can write in a couple of weekends and publish an e-book!!! This needs further editing, evaluation and re-imagination. But frankly it takes a lot of time and not a month. But what I loved about NANOWRIMO is that challenges you to sit with your butt glues and thats what is all about completing a book (which exists in mind…all the time). all the best.


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