Sunday, December 4, 2011

The End of November

November is over, and another National Novel Writing Month is in the rearview mirror.

If you participated, I hope you won, by whatever standards you're using to determine that. If your novel isn't finished, don't let the end of November mean the end of your progress. Everyone's schedule gets more crowded this time of year, but use the time you have to finish what you started in November.

I'll share my own story of NaNo amidst a crowded November. On November 11th, I married the love of my life in a fabulous ceremony in Baltimore. We spent the weeks leading up to the wedding planning, preparing, purchasing, and pulling our hair out (these are The Four P's of wedding planning, in case you didn't know). Admittedly, she did more than I did because she had a clear vision for the ceremony. Even so, my free time got seriously curbed in October and November. I used NaNo to try and finish my current work in progress (the fourth in my series of mystery novels) with a goal of 30,000 words. My secondary goal was not to get the hairy eyeball from my then-fiancee too often.

The hairy eyeball goal ended up as a mixed bag, but I hit the other one, finishing November at just over 30K words. Some more work early this month allowed me to finish the novel. Now I'll set it aside for a few weeks, work on some edits, then go back and slash it apart.

I'm not writing this to brag about what I was able to accomplish in November (OK, maybe a little), but to show you that you CAN hit your writing goals even when the rest of your life is crowded. Just make them realistic and work every day. Writing is the important thing. A number is nice, but a realistic goal is better.

NaNoWriMo is over. Your writing and editing shouldn't be. Mine isn't.