The end of NaNoWriMo is drawing near, under a week left of this hectic dash to the finish line. Some have already felt the sweet taste of victory and will celebrate tomorrow by validating officially for the first time. Others are struggling to share in the glory that is a winner’s icon. Still others are wallowing with defeat nipping at their heels, wondering why they ever thought they could write 50,000 words in 30 days.
For those in the last category, my condolences, there is always next year. Keep in mind, in each NaNo year, only about one third of the participants who begin ever reach the magic number. It is a challenge. It is supposed to be challenging. It takes dedication and effort to reach the finish line. Practice year round for the marathon, it helps to develop the habit of daily writing.
For those already in the winner’s circle, or those who will be, GREAT JOB! You now have fifty thousand, or more, words that you didn’t have written pre-NaNo. That is a huge accomplishment, even if you think they are crappy words. You have that manuscript staring at you accusingly, telling you what crap it really is, but you still wrote it. Maybe, just maybe, you even finished it.
Once you are done celebrating your achievement as the fabulousness that it is, another challenge creeps up. What now?
What are you going to do with that jumbled mess of words?
Will you hide it in the deepest recesses of your computer, to never see the light of day? Will you let people read the bleedings of your fingertips? Will you finish the beast, whip it into shape, and ride it proudly for everyone to see?
I cannot answer those questions for you, no one can, but you.
I can, however, tell you what I am going to do. I am going to ride this out to the bitter end. I am going to face my demons, traipse through Revisions Hell with bells on, and turn this load of horse crap into something I can be proud of.
I haven’t yet tackled the novel editing challenge. I don’t know if it will defeat me or if I will come out the victor. I know I have to try, and I will keep you updated on my progress, as well as my personal challenges.
For me, NaNoWriMo doesn’t end until I have a completed novel. That means eighty thousand to one hundred thousand words that I would be proud to put my name on. I don’t want to just be “another NaNoer.” I want to be an author, more than just a writer.
Writers write, it is true. There fore, I am a writer. Authors are read. I want to be read. Even if it’s only my family who reads it.
I want to be an author.
A few links I’ve found that are helpful, since I have yet to attack the editing challenge. Hope you enjoy them.
What Next? – A blog post by Kat Richardson on how to whip your manuscript into shape.
Beginning After NaNoWriMo – A post by Beth Cato with some excellent resources.
Edit Your Novel In Three Steps – A short, nitty gritty way to look at editing.