NaNoWriMo Wrap-Up

It’s over! And I won!

While I won Nanowrimo by writing 50,000 words, I am still a long way from finished with this novel… and that’s ok. I’m thrilled that I was able to get over 50k words down during November, but that’t not my biggest win for the month.

The big win for me is that I learned , or more like confirmed, some things about my writing this time around. What did I learn?

I can get words down at pretty much any time and in any setting. I can even get coherent, relevant words down pretty much any time. What I struggled with is that while those words might be coherent and even relevant to the story, I have a big problem when it comes to sticking to my outline. So while the 50,000+ words I wrote during Nano are not whole terrible and mostly relevant to my story, I took a hard left turn and strayed big time from my outline.

I’m not surprised by this because it happens with every single project and then I have hard time navigating back to it. Can someone create an app for that? Seriously though…

It annoys me because I spend at least two weeks on my outlines and they’re pretty thorough. Then I start drafting and I’m like, “Outline? What outline?” Once I start drafting, I don’t even look at that thing.

It comes down to this: Either I’m wasting my time outlining or I’m wasting my time drafting.

I love my outlines. I love the process of building them. Starting with the acts and filling in the main beats, then adding meat to those bones, covering them with skin, and then prettying them up with even more detail. It’s like creating a living being from the skeleton out to the clothes and makeup.

And then I crap all over it by not utilizing it when writing. Who does that?

Me. It’s me. I do that.

I’ve tried drafting without an outline before and it’s even a bigger heaping pile of stinky garbage than when I create an outline and ignore it.

So what does this tell me? I need to be more intentional when drafting. I may even need to outline my scenes or at least list my goal, motivation, conflict, and the emotion(s) I want to convey.

It tells me that, as with most things in my life, I need to slow the fuck down.

2023 is going to be the year of intentional writing.

You know what? I’m not waiting for 2023. I’m starting now. Today. I’m going to stop adding to my draft. I’m going to go back through my draft with my outline beside me and figure out how to get my story back on track.

And that’s my big win from Nanowrimo this year.

Holy crap, I think this might just level up my writing. At least, maybe a little…

If you participated in Nanowrimo, did you win? How did you win? Was it by hitting your word count goal? Learning something about yourself as a writer? Or both? Let me know in the comments or join the conversation on Instagram.

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