About ten minutes ago, I officially broke 50k. I am now a NaNoWriMo winner and author of my own novel. :) And it feels... AMAZING.
I won NaNoWriMo 2008 with 50,061... though in reality I haven't even gotten to the half way point of my novel. It's been a long journey getting to that 50k. There was a point where I didn't think I'd make it at all. (It was excruciatingly difficult to shush my inner editor and also to find the time to write.)
But, I did it! I quieted my inner editor and focused on the "quantity rather than quality" goal of NaNoWriMo. I wrote and wrote and wrote... with or without my muse looking over my shoulder. I bribed myself with chocolate, a brand new issue of Cosmopolitan, and other various rewards. I went an entire month without watching "Gone with the Wind" once. I didn't allow myself to read any novel during November...as my time would be better spent with my fingers on the keyboard rather than my nose in a book.
NaNaWriMo was such a cool thing to be a part of. It still amazes me to think that all over the world, writers were going through the same things as me on their way to writing a 50,000 word novel. And the NaNo forums are most definitely the nicest place to communicate in the entire internet. It's such a fantastic place to give and receive encouragement, share ideas, get feedback, and relate to each other during such a hectic, sometimes emotional, social-life sucking project.
For me, NaNo helped me battle the writer's block I've been dealing with for so long now. I used to be the type of writer that only wrote when my muse visited me. But with school, work, and a social life...my muse seemed to be visiting less often. Leaving me with a brilliant story in my head, tons of eagers characters, lots of research...but no inspiration to sit down at the keyboard and write the novel. With a wordcount goal in mind, I became independent of my muse. I simply wrote whether I was inspired or not. (Of course, the words came out more beautiful and the story more captivating when I was inspired...)
I turned off my inner editor. I used to go back over what I'd written and tweak it. I'd change character names and physical appearances. I'd convert from first person to third and then back to first again. I'd read over old stuff just to re-experience what I'd written. But by being involved with NaNo and having my heart set on 50k words, I had to postpone such activities until December. And now I have a huge chunk of stone to chisel away at during the upcoming winter months...and probably plenty of the spring and summer ones.
Back when I first began this challenge, I didn't think I'd make it to fifty thousand in just thirty days. I thought maybe my story would finish itself at around thirty thousand or forty thousand and the most. It amazes me that I'm just a few words over fifty thousand and yet my story has only just begun. It's a huge incentive to keep writing in the upcoming months so that my story cna really unfold and eventually be finished. If I'm not even half way through at just over fifty thousand... imagine how many words I'll have by the time I actually get to the end of my novel. The end is in my head. I can't wait to get there. :)
I feel really proud of myself for this endeavor. I remember stumbling upon NaNoWriMo last year about half way through the month. I was so upset and wished I'd found it sooner so that I could have attempted it then, but I promised myself I'd do it in 2008. Well, I almost forgot. In fact, I remembered in the final hours of October 31. But I signed up during the peak hours of busy server time. And I made it to ten thousand. Then to twenty. Then struggled my way through the thirties toward forty. And that last little ten thousand to the goal was such a breeze.
I think I already have my story idea for next year! ...But I'm not getting too ahead of myself. I have a beautiful chunk of novel to keep me plenty busy for the next year. Writing, writing, writing, and editing, editing, editing... here I come!
I made it! I accomplished 50k.
Now I'm off to order my t-shirt and print off my winner's certificate. Yay!