On day 8 of Nanowrimo, I had 13623 words, just above the 13328 words needed for the day. I had been much further ahead but had sputtered out in those last few days as I contemplated my priorities. As you might already be aware, I am sending out query letters for the novel I have written and submitting short stories for publication. Deciding to take November to do Nano had been an attempt to increase productivity and keep the writing process going.
It didn’t work out that way. I’ve stopped writing that novel.
I saw only two reasons to keep going. 1) To keep my friends who were also doing Nano motivated to finally finish a novel. 2) The simple goal of completing Nano.
The reasons not to keep going were greater. I found out I’m not nearly as interested in writing in the real world as I used to be, even in a magical realism genre. I’m much more interested in world building. I’ve created some great characters and some interesting plot, but it wasn’t enough to keep me going. Retooling the query process and focusing on short stories to increase my publishing resume were both a higher priority and, quite frankly, more interesting to me.
I found the process of Nano, however, to be quite interesting. It was quite freeing just to type words without worrying about editing as I go. I spend a lot of my time editing instead of writing, as I’m sure many authors do, so it was a nice break from that process. It also worked well with my organic, unplanned approach to writing. I try to write interesting plot and then come back in later and layer it with a cohesive narrative. I may use the technique of writing without thought to editing in the future to try and generate new text. We shall see.
In the end, I failed Nano walked away with much more than I walked in with. I couldn’t ask for more.