Well, as of a few hours ago, NaNoWriMo officially came to a close. Before you ask,No, I did not make my 50,000 word goal, but I did make 28,000, which is 10,000 more than what I finished with last year. As the year prior, this year's adventure was full of happiness and frustration, laughter and terror. The first few seconds of NaNo are always daunting because that blank page (or the beginning of that new chapter of your work in progress) seems to sneer and jeer at you; it believes you cannot do this mission you have commited yourself to. But, you get over this hurdle the only way you know how: you write the first word, and then the next, and the next... until you have a whole 300 word scene written. You've just proven that blank page wrong. You have just written 300 words it told you you couldn't. But now, you have to keep writing.
If you're anything like me, you had days when you were lucky if you wrote maybe 400 words. It may not seem like a lot, but you were awesome because that's 400 more words than you had the day before. You are allowed to celebrate these victories, regardless of how small they are.
If you're anything like me, you relied on the support of others to spur you on to write the next 100, 500, 1,000 words. And because you relied (perhaps heavily) on that support, you tried to give it back in spades. To all of you; my fellow WriMos, as well as anyone who asked me how my writing was going, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. To those who said I was crazy, I thank you, too because you are part of the reason I partook. I may not have hit my 50,000 word goal, but I have 28,000 more words (spread out over 3 stories; my Trilogy and two fanfics) than I did on October 31st.
If you're anything like me, you went to a few events over the course of the month. I went to 8 write-ins (including one final one on the last day), the Kick-off party and the Overnighter. I will be going to the Thank God It's Over (TGIO) for one last shindig with the awesome like-minded people I have come to know over the last two years of NaNo. Many of these people I continue to talk with and occasionally meet with when the shenanigans of November are no longer going.
And, if you are anything like me, you are both grateful and sad to see NaNo end. I am happy because there is no longer the pressure there was to write (though, I will never stop writing). But, I am sad because NaNo is such an awesome experience, one that, I think, every writer should go through at least once. It is daunting, exhillerating, constricting and liberating all at the same time.
To those who made their 50,000 mark, congratulations!
To those who wrote more than the 50,000 mark, congratulations.
To those who fell short, congratulations!
Whatever you finished with is more words than you had when you started this thing a month ago.
YOU ARE ALL WINNERS!
You have all done something amazing. You have written something. It may need some heavy editing later, but you have written something, and that is an amazing feat in itself. For me, just writing is an amazing feeling in itself. I get to say what I need to say, I get to tell the story I need to tell. That is the most important part about all of it. I am doing what all of my favourite authors are doing. I am telling a story. Nothing more, nothing less. No one can ask any more or less of me. Or of you.