A few weeks ago, I mentioned I was doing NaNoWriMo. I kept up with it, making my daily word counts, getting those cookies, until last week. I hit around 34-35k words and then, well, I had some other things come up that meant no writing for a few days. Needless to say, I got behind. And while I had plans to grandly catch up this week, pulling 3k days, another thought crossed my mind. Why am I going to make myself miserable trying to reach a word count goal when it’s the holidays? Which lead to, I really want to work on my revisions now.
So I did.
I’ve been working on revisions this week instead of writing another NaNo word. And I don’t regret a thing. I’m thankful for the entire experience, of writing with abandon on a new story. I now have the beginnings of a new novel to work with once I do finish these revisions, and I’m refreshed and ready to work on said revisions. A chapter I spent weeks agonizing over, I knocked it out in a day and a half. Taking a real break from my WIP, where I wasn’t even thinking about it, that was the best thing I could have done.
So I lost NaNoWriMo. So what? I won where it was important to me. I achieved my goal, which was to be able to go back to revising energized and ready. And I got a new novel start out of it! I don’t feel like a loser at all.
I do commend those people who won NaNo this year, especially those who did so for the first time, and those who tried and succeeded in their private goals. I think that it’s an awesome way to get writing. I think the community it provides, when writing is such a lonely occupation, is one of its greatest strengths.
But with NaNoWriMo now over, I hope those communities stay in some form. I hope those who didn’t “win” by the rulebook keep writing on their novels. I hope the ones who win are wise enough to revise and know this is only the first step of a much longer journey. To me, there’s no win or lose, it’s what you make out of it that matters.