NaNoWriMo 2017 Reflections

Well, that didn’t go quite the way I expected.

As of 12:00 AM, National Novel Writing Month 2017 will be over.  The goal of NaNoWriMo, of course, is to end the month with 50,000 words toward a new novel.  In that pursuit, one might say I failed.  However, looking back on my work over the past month, this hardly feels like a defeat.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned over the past several years of putting words to paper, it’s that the path of a writer is seldom a straight line.  Heading into NaNoWriMo17, I was suffering from a serious case of writer’s block.  But, as I’ve mentioned before, the only true cure for writer’s block is to just sit down and write.  Write something.  Write anything.  If something spurs your creativity, run with it and see where it takes you.  And oh, the places I’ve been.

While the month began with me slogging through my chosen NaNoWriMo project, Breaker, things quickly took an unexpected turn.  I found myself all but overflowing with new ideas, and allowed myself to follow them wherever they’d take me.  In the end, this translated to fresh ideas for my work in progress, Pathfinder, and more importantly, a breakthrough in my editing of Wide Horizon.

While I may not have made much progress on Breaker, I am now well on my way to putting the finishing touches on my debut novel.  At last, I feel I can make my self-imposed deadline of seeking publication by the end of the year.  And, I believe that when I do, I will be shopping around a finished product that I can be proud of, one that truly captures my vision for the story.

So yes, I failed to meet my stated goal.  But it bears noting that the purpose of NaNoWriMo, first and foremost, is to encourage writers to sit down and write their story.  In that regard, I dare say I succeeded.  And so did NaNoWriMo.

Thanks for the memories, NaNoWriMo17.  Until next year…


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