Kelly Maher

Nano Winner!

I crossed the 50,000 words mark on my novel yesterday! Woohoo!! I’m very pleased with myself in that I confirmed that I can write the first draft of a short novel in a 3-week period without killing myself. I did manage this same feat earlier this summer, but doing it again is proof the first time wasn’t a fluke.

I do have mixed feelings about this novel, however. Most of my writing yesterday was done just to cross the story over the 50K mark. The ending is beyond rushed, and some might say it doesn’t even exist. The story itself is wibbly-wobbly and is in dire need of revision. If I wanted to do anything with the story in its current state. And I’m pretty sure I don’t. As I said to a friend on Twitter yesterday, not only did the story go off the rails, but it went over the cliff. But do I regret spending my precious writing time on this novel? No.

I’m choosing to look at it as a palate cleanser. Last week, I was pondering some things I discussed with a writing friend at a recent convention. The main point was to write what excited you. Every project I tackle excites me to some extent. There’s something drawing me in. However, not every story is able to hold my attention through the first draft. Let alone all of the revision drafts that are necessary. As I was pondering the conversation, I had the spark of an idea. That idea grew, is still growing, and it’s getting me *very* excited. To the point that I’ve already plopped this new story on my writing schedule for January and February. Without working on the Nano novel and clearing the dreck from my mind, I would not have been able to sow the field for this new idea.

In my non-writing life, I’ve never regretted any job I’ve ever worked even though a few made me *supremely* unhappy for the time I was there. The reason I don’t regret them is because I learned something from each and every one of them. Whether it was a skill set I was able to take forward into the next job, or something about myself, I learned. This is the same with writing. If you learn something from every project you spend time on, your time is being well-spent.

For those still Nano-ing, good luck! Press on! Even if you do not get the winner’s badge, you are still a winner for ending the month with more words on paper or screen than you started the month with!

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