So this month, like much of this year, did not go according to plan. And for once, this was a good thing.
I’ve been a Municipal Liaison (ML) for my local region of NaNoWriMo for six years now. This volunteer role is a lot of fun, lets me develop a rather surprising number of skills I can actually put on my resume, and helps me (and the rest of the team of four MLs in our region) make NaNoWriMo more fun for everyone. But it does take some time. My first several years of NaNoWriMo, I was an overachiever, reaching 1.5 or 2 times the goal each year. I was able to sustain that for the first few years as an ML, but as our region grew and the events we put on increased in number or complexity, I began spending more time on my ML duties and less time writing, so I was writing closer to the 50,000 word goal the past several years.
I was fine with this. I was still meeting the challenge and getting a lot of writing done in November every year and I was having a lot of fun with my region.
This year, I was planning to meet that 50k goal like usual. I was going to my own virtual write-ins and attending a few others and we had two big global online events full of extra writing time the first two weekends. And I crossed the 50,000 word mark on November 14. I hadn’t even been paying much attention. I was just suddenly there. It happened during a global write-in, so I had lots of folks (local and otherwise) to celebrate with. And then my coML (who was hosting at the time) asked what my record was. So I looked it up and from the stats on the site, it was the 13th.
And then I found my stats for the first year I ever did NaNoWriMo. Apparently, my record, is Day 11.
My very first year, I wrote a total of 123,671 words, restarted my story twice, and didn’t even know there was a community to engage with. I was also only working part time, and was probably spending sixty hours a week at my desk writing my novel.
My second year I discovered regions and write-ins and the community around NaNoWriMo. It’s been amazing. I’ve made so many friends, local and not, I’ve been inspired to self-publish my own book, been able to watch as other friends did the same, and generally had an amazing time every single November since that first year (there have been eleven in total counting this one).
It’s been amazing and I look forward to another decade of doing this zany challenge with all my friends around the world. Yesterday, I ended the day with 100,943 words for the month so far. And I wrote 44,045 words of planning and pre-novel scenes in October as my prep this year, so I’ve written 144,988 words on this project alone in the last two months.
It’s been an amazing ride and I’m looking forward to the last few days. Maybe I’ll be extra ridiculous and aim for a total of 200,000 words across the project before the end of the year. I’m certainly having enough fun with these characters to keep writing in December.
I hope everyone else is having a good NaNoWriMo this year regardless of your word count. Enjoy the challenge and the comradery and I’ll see you in December.