As of midnight December 1st, the 2014 season of National Novel Writing Month came to an end. My word count was a measly 18,860, but those words would not have happened were it not for the support I received from my fellow Wrimos. I have yet to win a NaNo, but maybe 2015 will be my year.
In spite of my horrible word count, I had an amazing ride. I was an event and chat room moderator, which was an awesome experience that both thrilled and terrified me. I was suddenly responsible for hosting events and keeping chat safe. I think I was successful.
I also got to hang out with people I have come to love dearly, people who have encouraged me, supported me, picked me up when I've fallen. These are people who are just as insane as I am and who have influenced my life for the better. Many have been there since my first NaNo in 2012, and have been my pillers, my rocks, my source of laughter, and a source of inspiration.
As I rode the bus home from the last NaNo write-in of 2014 with my trusted mascot, Perry (aka my NaNoWrimOwl), I thought back on the crazy month that had just passed. I had become a leader of sorts, I barely saw much of my home as I ventured out to coffee shops to get the words out. I spent a night in a church kind enough to let us use their facilities for an overnight writing session. I received the opportunity to have my manuscript ready by publisher, Simon & Schuster. But, most importantly, I had been reunited with friends I hadn't seen in far too long, including one I wish didn't live so far away.
The one thing to remember about NaNo, regardless of whether you win it or not, is, you become part of an international community of writers. You instantly acquire the support of everyone else who is doing this at the same time. Should you make it out to write-in events within your local community, you are met with people who are striving to reach the same goal you are, the same people who will give you a pat on the back for finishing regardless of what your word count ends up being.
To those who won: CONGRATULATIONS!
To those who didn't reach 50k: CONGRATULATIONS!!! You have more words than you had in October! That's something to be proud of.
To EVERYONE: congratulations on everything you've written! You are awesome! Keep writing!