For the first time in a very long time, I did not win Camp NaNoWriMo. It’s actually not a big deal and here is why.
First, some background is necessary. While November is the main NaNoWriMo period, in April and July there are two smaller periods with self-defined goals. Instead of 50,000 you can choose to write more or less. There is far less rigidity about what you write. I believe I actually could have counted the blog posts for the month and been a winner on that alone.
So, I set a goal of 12,000 words. I originally set 10,000 words, but I felt like I could increase that based on how I did that first week. To reach this all I had to do was write 3,000 words a week for 4 weeks.
My planned project was to create a small collection of short stories. I want to be able to workshop these, make edits, and submit to literary magazines. I wanted to have 3-4 stories completed by the end of the month. This was my real goal, but it is difficult to put this into word count.
In the end I got about 3 and a half stories written. One is already being edited for publication in the next edition of Mill Pages. I have two more to edit over the next few months. I have one to finish. Plus, I am going to do this again in July.
I feel good about where things stand with my writing. Participating in NaNoWriMo no longer is a necessary thing to make me feel productive as a writer. Instead, it has been editing and discussing the stories with others. It is getting feedback on what would make something better that makes me feel like I am creating something.
Over all these years of doing NaNoWriMo, I actually have a number of novels and short stories that need me to work through them. There are the two Austen inspired stories, both of which are in the editing phase. One could be ready to publish in the next 2 months and the other in the next year. Two are ready to be re-written as second drafts, which is new for me. This may be what I do for NaNoWriMo over the next few years. Then there is an epic novel that went from mere fan fiction, to something original. It needs to be overhauled, but there are at least 3 more books there. Over 12 years of writing, I have a collection of 7 things (not including short stories) that are ready for the next phase.
To me that means I am ready for the next phase as well. I am done with merely worrying about word count. Instead I am thinking about re-writing, editing, and how this book would look in the world. It is a nice change