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National Novel Writing Month is over and I have survived. This was my first year to participate in NaNoWriMo and what an experience it was. The challenge is to write 50,000 words of a novel during the month of November. If a novelist were to write every single day in November, they would have to write 1,667 words each day in order to make to 50,000 word goal. Not always an easy task.

To get ready for this challenge, I had a rough outline of a novel that I wanted to write. I wrote each scene on an index card to keep me on track as I have a tendency to wander off at times. This is not to say that I didn’t wander off because I did. I then had to adjust the affected remaining scenes to incorporate my ‘wanderings.’ I kept a detailed list of edits that I knew would be needed when the month was over. My list has 46 points that need to be corrected, adjusted, added and/or deleted as a result.

On the NaNoWriMo website we entered a daily word counts to keep track of our progress through out the month. There were discussion forums to keep in touch with fellow novelists or to seek support and guidance. It was a gruelling month especially if you had the added responsibility of a job, kids, Thanksgiving, and Black Friday shopping.

So how did I do? Well, I had difficult time switching between real life and writing. I had to force myself to start writing because there were other things I should be doing. I had to force myself to stop writing because those others things needed done NOW. It was hard to not go back and correct something. It was hard all the way around. I had times where I doubted that I would ever make it, times when I thought the story I was writing was a piece of crap, and times when I thought it was a waste of time. But I kept writing and plugging away. It was worth every minute that I spent working on this novel.

On November 21st I hit 50,000 words. I could not validate my word count until the 25th with the NaNoWriMo website. The first thing I did when I woke up on the 25th was to validate my novel’s word count. The official NaNoWriMo word count is 50,166. I finished the novel and actually worried that I would not make the goal with the outline I had drafted in the beginning. I just barely made it.

My novel tentatively titled “Love’s Journey” is actually a novella right now. It needs a lot, and I mean a lot, of work and I am confident that it will reach novel length eventually. I was exhilarated when I reached the 50,000 word mark. I was elated when I typed the words, “The End” at the end of the novel, and I am looking forward to doing it again next year.

Have you participated in NaNoWriMo? What was it like for you? Please leave me a comment with your experiences and thoughts. I love hearing from you.