50,012 is My Magic Number

I’m back after a month of hermithood. NaNoWriMo is over. I made it. Of the 310,000 participants that started the journey, I am one of the 40,000 who climbed all the way to the summit. It’s a great feeling.

There are so many positive things to take away from my NaNo experience. I learned a lot about myself. I discovered (or re-discovered) the perseverance to stick to a seemingly insurmountable task. I learned to let go of self-doubt and unhelpful self-criticism.

It interested me to see how my mood influenced not just what I was writing, but also my very ability to write. If I was in a good mood the words would flow easily. In bad moods I’d struggle to get going, and would even begin to look negatively on what I’d done before. Riding out the bad days helped me to step outside myself and distance the thinking and feeling parts of my brain when either of the two were creating doubt. Sometimes it’s hard to see the forest through the trees, but you should never let that stop you.

So where to next? At 50k, the first draft of my story isn’t anywhere near finished. It’s a scrappy, ugly skeleton of a story that needs a lot more work before it’s fit for another human’s eyes. But I’ll get there. The only thing I wanted out of NaNo was to get my act together and start writing regularly, and I’ve accomplished that. It’s a habit I plan to continue.

For now though, I’m relieved that it’s over and that I can have a break. resume a normal life, and figure out how to spend my free time like a normal person again.

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