Thursday, 27 November 2014

Conquering NaNoWriMo 2014, And Moving On

On Tuesday, I conquered the NaNoWriMo 2014 challenge with Path of the Horseman, absolutely killing it by breaking two of my personal records: writing for almost 12 hours straight, creating a total of 14,082 words that day, making the novel's grand total a whopping 101,452. That's officially the most words I've ever completed in a day, and the longest story I've written so far. I didn't plan to do it that way, either. Oh, I'd hoped that I would be able to complete Path of the Horseman before the week's end, but I didn't expect to go through it the way I did. I was nearing the end, barely letting anything distract me, because I was so involved with what I was doing, I couldn't resist continuing. By the time it was over, I couldn't believe I had done it. The only way to describe it is to think of the thing you love doing the most. Letting it wrap around your mind and absorb you until you lose track of time and feel exhaustion kick in. But when your project is over, some people are left with that dreaded question:

What the hell do I do now?

For me, the answer is be obvious. While I'm truly proud of Path of the Horseman and would love to let it out into the world, there's still a lot of work to be done. As I was writing, I was nitpicking and seeing things that I need to go over and change before I even send it to my editor. I have to create the proper formatting, double-check then re-check all my mythology and research so I don't get pointed fingers and scoffs, and work with my cover artist so they can create a cover that will help sell the novel when I decide to publish it next year. Not to mention all the promos and marketing pushes I'm going to try and put together. So while the initial challenge is over, the hard part is about to begin.

But no matter how many drafts I create, how much I have to change, how long it will take for the dust to settle and the final piece is left standing, I'm ready for it. I want this story to be available for others to enjoy. I would encourage every other writer out there to do the same, or anyone working on a project that's time consuming and difficult. It's a time-old cliche, but it holds true: if you believe you can do something, then you can.

As for the months after December, don't worry about them yet. There are tons of ways to get your story out to the world. NaNoWriMo offers tons of sweet prizes and offers at the end of the challenge, and encourages you to take advantage of them. My biggest regret was not doing so last year. Now I want them all!

There are technically three days left until the official end of NaNoWriMo, but that's nothing to fear. Don't think about the time line. Think about your story. Don't force the words out just because you want the numbers. Think about what you want to say, and say it. We're all waiting for you to speak.

You know you want a banner of your own to share– go slay the Word Dragon!


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