NaNoWriMo Wrap Up

It’s over. Finished. Done.

National Novel Writing Month has finally ended.

[sigh of relief]

It’s a weird experience, NaNoWriMo, not least of all because it forces you to think about writing as work, an obligation. Maybe that’s not the intent of the event, and it’s certainly possible that other participants don’t feel this way, but I think that for the vast majority of those who are able to complete NaNo (and I proudly count myself among them) this ‘writing = work’ transition is necessarily true.

And that’s a good thing.

If you want to be a professional writer, as I imagine most NaNo participants do, then you need to come to terms with the idea of writing as work and not necessarily something that will alway be fun and/or easy. Because being a professional writer? It is work.

When I finished my NaNo novel last year – a novelization of Pete Davis’ amazing The Pottsville Conglomerate – it was terrible. That’s fine, to be expected even. And this year’s novel, written with another year of experience under my belt? It’s probably even worse. But that’s okay, too. This year’s novel might be worse as a piece of prose, but the idea itself is functional – it just needs a lot of work.

Revising this year’s novel into anything remotely readable will probably take a long time and it’s possible that I’ll give up before I finish it, but I’m going to try. I’m going to keep working on this thing even though I know that the only way it will ever see the light of day is if it looks completely different than it does now.

So here’s to everyone who participated in NaNo this year. Whether or not you finished and no matter how far you made it, you’re a better writer now than you were before you started. And that’s worth working for.

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