I finished. I “won” Nanowrimo. At the start, I didn’t see how I’d ever reach 10,000 words, much less 50,000. I started out the first week well, trying for 2,000 words a day. Week two I didn’t have time to write at all. I tried to play catch up on week three, but only got to write a few days out of the seven. The final week, I wanted to write as much as I could, but I didn’t think I’d finish in time. I hit 30,000 words late the 28th, and decided to at least get as close as I could. I reached just under 37,000 on the 29th, although it was after midnight so some of those words counted toward the 30th. I was looking at having nearly 14,000 words to write on the last day before reaching 50,000. I also had a 2 1/2-year-old with a cold, and my son (age 14) got sick after dinner. My husband was working late, so by eight o’clock I would have all three kids home and depending on me. The older two were great though, they wanted to see me finish. I wrote all day long, and all evening long, with many interruptions. I write about 1000 words per half hour, so I knew I had a little over 6 1/2 hours of writing to do. I finished at 11:30 p.m.
The first thing both of my older kids did when they woke up in the morning was ask me if I finished. I was so happy that they cared so much, it was probably the best part of winning. My son got up early and knocked on my bedroom door to ask and gave me a high-five, then went back to bed since he was staying home from school. I woke my daughter up for school, and before she was even fully awake she sleepily asked me if I’d finished. I told her I had, and she cheered for me.
I have never done anything like this in my life. I’ve never stuck with anything long enough to do this much, especially in this short a time. I am proud of myself for doing it, and I don’t mind saying so.
I’ve set aside the entire thing until after the new year. I’m not going to look at it or think about it for a while. I know it needs A LOT of editing. I didn’t even try to keep track of things that needed fixing, and I noticed some serious errors in consistency. I’m not worried about it, and I’m excited to have time to work on some other things for a while.
The funniest thing for me was that after you finish and verify your word count on the Nanowrimo site, there is a congratulatory video which is basically the staff members cheering for you, as a winner. What was funny about it was how much it meant to me, as if it were something they had done personally for me instead of for everyone. Maybe it was the late hour, maybe it was the burnout from writing so many words in one day, but it really meant a lot.
My kids asked if I’d be doing it again next year, and I said that I didn’t know, it depended on if I had an idea again next year at that time. If I do, then I’d do it again in a heartbeat. I loved participating, and only wished I could have written more consistently.
If you have the opportunity to participate next November, don’t pass it up.