I'm about a week late on this for various reasons. I went to a concert on Sunday so I didn't get to sleep till about 2:30AM, worked the next day for 9AM then couldn't concentrate on anything Monday night. The past week has been crap work wise, writing wise, and everything in between wise. Yes. But hey, better late than never, right?
Final Word Count: 251,956. My NaNo board count is 252K and change but I'm not entirely sure why there's such a difference. I'm fairly sure I beat last year's 250K WC by about 1000 words. This is with missing two weeknights, and a weekend. Yeah...
Novels: Mists of Time Book 1: Discovery, Mists of Time Book 2: Seeking, and Mists of Time Book 3: Finale. Book 3 still has four chapters left in it though so the series isn't over.
Plot so far: The Mist Watcher started going crazy on the worlds he wants to destroy which means Blair, the Ala'gan I mentioned in the last NaNo Blog, Tenkondin, and a few other characters end up world hoping. They visit 8 other planets, one of which happens to be Cara, the world that has a four book series about it. The other is Ambrosia which not only got two chapters but is about the characters and world I've been fiddling with for almost my entire writing career. For those that don't know: almost 20 years. Yeah.
Final Thoughts: The last week was pretty stressful and reminded me why I had originally decided NOT to go for 250,000 words. But I hit 200K by day 24 (or so) and decided "why the heck not? Let's go for 250K again!" The fun part was I ended up getting 10K every night on the 27, 28, and 29 which gave me the final push. I didn't write Sunday (the 30th), didn't even turn on my computer actually, and worked two Saturdays which I normally don't do. Basically even with the few days I missed I beat last year's WC by 1000 words. I didn't think I could do it. I'm glad I did.
I don't regret being less active in the forums. Last year I spent at least an hour a day in there and with my writing speeds I lost about 60K words. I didn't have to be as stressed as I was last year if I hadn't been in the forums so long. I learned it this year. I also learned no matter what, there will always be someone who's faster than you who you will (no matter what) be jealous of. There will also be A LOT of people (more so if you're an over-achiever) who are way behind you and are angry/jealous/hateful towards you.
There was a thread made in one of the forums where people accused those with high word counts of cheating, bragging, arrogance, disrespect, and a slew of other things that frankly, is what makes people like me so self-conscious about saying how far I am. One person even went as far as to say it was going to be their last NaNo in part to the over-achievers. Another implied that OA-ers implied to others those others didn't have the determination of over-achievers.
The hatred is the main reason I decided to say "screw it" to the forums this year. When the event isn't actually happening the forums are a great place but when November and the camps come around, so do all those negative people that have driven OA-ers out of their regions, and out of the forums. I SHOULD NOT be afraid to enter the "NaNo Ate My Soul" forum with a high word count because I'll be accused of cheating or lying or whatever.
People seem to forget NaNo is a PERSONAL challenge. If I can hit 250K words in a month and you can't, it doesn't make you any less of a writer. It just means I write faster and (maybe) have been doing this for much longer. And yes, sometimes it DOES mean I'm more motivated, self-disciplined, and determined to get the extreme word goal. It still doesn't make you less of a writer.
The problem is I (and everyone else) can say it doesn't make you any less of a writer all I want but humans are a naturally competitive bunch so when someone sees someone else succeeding so (seemingly) effortlessly they'll get jealous and angry. Occasionally the success will motivate a person but it's rare.
But writing (playing sports, working out, singing, playing an instrument, dance, etc. etc, etc) relies on practice and experience. The more you write the faster you'll write and the more you'll learn about you as a writer which means the quicker you'll come up with GOOD ideas and BETTER first drafts.
I didn't wake up 20-ish years ago with the ability to write like I do today. My first drafts are solid (minus grammar and spelling cuz I'm not a pro) enough they don't read like a first draft. Re-write isn't in my vocabulary but YES, it used to be before. In fact, everything I wrote prior to 2009 has to be re-written. Hell, even some of the things I wrote from 2010 till now have to be re-worked. Not fully scrapped-start-from-scratch, but re-worked.
But after writing on and off for 20 years, learning about myself as a writer, PRACTICING THE CRAFT, reading, and having the decades of experience: I feel confident in giving a FIRST DRAFT to someone to read. And those someone's usually come back with "I want to keep reading your writing," "THIS IS AWESOME!" "I can't wait for the rest!"
So yes, I can pump out 250K words of quality writing in a month. Maybe you can't but I'm not any better than you. Anyone, ANYONE who takes on the task of writing a NOVEL is a winner in my book. And even if you didn't get the 50K in a month: you're still a winner because YOU WROTE SOMETHING. Even if it was 1,000 words, it was 1,000 words more than what you had on Oct 31. The simple fact is YOU WROTE SOMETHING. Now all you have to do is keep writing something.
Until next time, rants, rage, questions and everything in between can be directed to the comments.