Winning or Is That What It’s About…

I reached the 50,000 word minimum to so-to-speak win NaNoWriMo. But I did not finish my novel.

Let me repeat, I did not complete my novel. In my opinion, and estimation according to the blueprint I laid out for my story, I came nowhere close to completing the first draft of my novel, Lotus Blooming.

One part of me holds a little shame in having boasted so much about the great experience I had as a participant of NaNoWriMo. And yet this other part of me wonders if I have not actually gained the greatest gift NaNoWriMo can provide anyone who participates regardless of whether they reached the 50,000-word mark.

While the rules of NaNoWriMo may consider me a winner of sorts, I do not feel that I won anything, or deserved to. Then again, I did not seek to reach the 50,000-word minimum to win.

My goal from the outset was to have as wonderful an experience as possible writing the first draft of my novel, Lotus Blooming.

This desire for a joyful experience comes out of having written novels during the fall of the last three years since earning my MFA, and hating every minute of writing those first drafts. I can say that now having written in the four weeks of NaNoWriMo, and with joy, what I struggled to type/write during the 15 weeks of the last three autumns.

Did you participate in NaNoWriMo?

If so, what was your goal?

Did you reach it?

How might you reach it next year?

Are you interested in participating in NaNoWriMo next year?

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~ by Anjuelle Floyd on December 8, 2009.

2 Responses to “Winning or Is That What It’s About…”

  1. I didn’t participate but that is because setting a 50000 word goal in November would be setting myself up to fail. Meanwhile, when January comes round I’ll probably fly through about 70 – 80 thousand words without worrying about it.
    I think NaNo is a really good idea for people and it does help them focus and get writing regularly and gives motivation and all of the other wonderful things they say on the site – but I also think it is unrealistic to assume if you hit the magic mark you have finished.
    Thanks for sharing your nano experience. It is good to see what others have gained from this.

    • You are so right. As I said, I am not even close to finishing my first draft. And I don’t know that I will finish it by the year’s end. What is great is that having reached the 50,000 word mark, and to my surprise, I and others who reached the mark, can get a free bound copy of my rough draft. And I do mean rough draft.

      Create Space offers this to all who participate in NaNoWriMo, and who reach the 50,000 word mark. But even Create Space doesn’t expect these 50,000 words or more to constitute a novel. Recipients of the offer have until July 2010 to submit our mss. Seven months is enough time to at least finish the rough draft,and quite possible revise it one time over. The bound copy serves as a commemoration of the effort, a creation that will need much working over and re-working.

      The date of July 2010 provides an incentive to reach the goal regardless of whether I finish the rough draft of my novel and carry it through one revision prior to that time.
      We writers need all the incentives possible.

      The 50,000 word minimum of NaNoWriMo is best viewed as a goal, one that we strive towards, and that if missed does not represent failure. Neither does achieving the mark define winning. It is but a mark; one that reflects our effort.
      And all effort in writing deserves commendation and acknowledgment.

      Thanks so much for stopping by, and taking the time to comment.

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