Only eleven minutes remained on the day, the final day. She thought couldn’t make it, that it was impossible to craft the ending this story deserved, the ending that the readers waited so long to sink their teeth into… Eyes drooped, body rebelled, heart palpitated…
But then it came, the final line, the perfect final line. The world seemed to crash to a halt, the month ending just seven minutes early as the last word tapped onto the screen and the last word count update was submitted…
Are you ready for the very last 2018 Nanowrimo season update? Because it is finally here.
Nanowrimo Projected Daily Projection: 1,667 words
My Actual 2018 Daily Average Writing Pace: 2,229 words
My Actual 2017 Daily Average Writing Pace: 2,036 words
Nanowrimo Projected Day 30 Final Count: 50,010 words
My Actual 2018 Day 30 Final Count: 66,882 words
My Actual 2017 Day 30 Final Count: 61,081 words
Nanowrimo Lifetime Total Word Count: 127,963 words
Week Five Hopes Recap: Going into the final week of Nanowrimo I had a lot of things I was hoping to do, and I think I’d rather just quickly recap those things in a list – so, here’s that list: finish my novel, hit 65,000 words, and have a plan for what comes next. I’m going to touch base on these things so that I can sort of transition into the ‘less planned out’ section of this blog update.
So – I finished the novel. I don’t know how because I really didn’t want to do anything this week. I hit my 50,000 words and I am ashamed to say that I definitely was like “Yes, there’s the finish line, and also cool, there’s my bed.” Every time I tried to write I swear that I was falling apart. The last day I was really excited about writing was November 25, on which day I enacted my “selfish” side’s deepest desires, which was asking my husband to grocery shop on his own and cook half of a dinner I planned because I cook it better. It is a miracle that I actually made it to and surpassed 65,000 somewhat substantially. Most likely, my resolve to get the badge for updating 30 days in a row is the only reason that happened. I’m going throw some fun stats at the end of this post, making it a personal stats sandwich post, and I’ll say that this week is the week I saw my LOWEST word count on a day.
Oops, I accidentally did two birds with one stone there. Oh well! Moving on to that third thing… That third thing… (Please imagine that I growled the second repetition of that phrase, please, please).
I guess second-thirdly, let’s discuss the “have a plan for after” thing that I was supposed to do???? I don’t even know what I was trying to do with the construction of that sentence. The idea was to have a plan specifically for this blog to keep me posting every single week. However, the only idea for “after” Nanowrimo that I’ve come up with is this children’s book idea that I want to put together with my good bud Ouranose. I’m excited about that project but I’ve left myself on the shitter with the blog’s future.
When I post regularly here, despite the lack of readership participation on the blog, I get a solid number of views – and those views are what I need to get revenue from this venture – which is my ultimate goal: to turn my writing in a career with a sustainable income. I wish I knew why I fell so short on this. I had this idea for a new section of the blog called “suicide watch” where I would chronicle my struggle with depression and the frequency at which suicide crosses my mind. It’s normal to me but upon further discussion, I realized that it could be seen as in poor taste to some and too real to others. If I am going to address mental health, I want to do it in a powerful way that is also empowering, if that makes any sense to anyone else.
As far as this goal is concerned, I’m going to have to mark myself for failure. I still have absolutely no clue what I want to do here with the life I’m living right now. Working two jobs leaves me exhausted most days, and even in my son’s slow season of the year, I feel like there’s no time to do anything due to holidays and birthdays (I’m not kidding, everyone keeps having kids during the same half of the year and it’s birthdays upon birthdays plus Christmas – too much gift giving for my broke bank in the same four months). Finding a way to keep my blog active after Nanowrimo is going to require serious planning in December.
I did a weekly story, my Writing the World project took me through several months, and I actually stopped working on it abruptly because I didn’t have anything else planned after it. Honestly, panic set into my heart because it kept going and going and I didn’t have a real end in mind, so I think I just ignored that it was unfinished. One possibility is for me to come back and finish the series. It’s been so long now that I can’t be sure that anyone would actually read it, but I would have a sense of accomplishment just wrapping it up finally.
Doing a weekly story is probably the best option I have, but I don’t know what to write about specifically. Adventures? Mysteries? A mental health diary? Romance? Retelling fairy tales in a more realistic and modern fashion? Horror? Should I continue rewriting and sharing old pieces? I have a teenage romance I wrote many, many years ago titled “Healed by Christmas” in which I had tried to post a section of the story every day leading up to Christmas – to make the vibe of the story more impactful and for the reader to be “on” the journey with the characters.
There are so many options and I really need a brainstorm session with someone. Getting these ideas out of my mouth somehow always helps me get a “mouth feel” for what I’m working on. If I can’t talk about it then what makes me think I’m ready to commit to it? I’ll figure something out.
Nanowrimo 2018 Recap: The plan is for this to be really short, I think. You’ve been reading about my brain stuff all month and I’m sure that you’re over it. But, I do think it’s important to reflect a bit on what this month has given me as a person.
Confidence: I have never been surer of what I wanted to do that I have been this month. There was a distinct lack of self-doubt this year. Other than one day where I completely broke because I couldn’t let go of the fact that one of my other friends participating was so far ahead of me that I would never be able to catch up. It was stupid to feel that way, of course, because writing means something different to us. I’m not writing to prove something to someone or to myself. My years of experience, my publications, my ghostwriting work, it’s work that I do – it’s a thing that I do because I don’t have anything left to prove. I don’t know why I wanted to prove to that person or myself that I’m just as good. That’s so childish and beneath me, and once I stopped having a mental breakdown about it, I was ready to get back into that good place I’m always living in with my relationship to this thing that I do.
Companionship: The first year I did this, I did it with someone I thought was a friend. That’s the dangerous thing about the Internet, though, is you can have this good friendship with someone – but it’s not “real” good. It’s just a friendship that is good because it is convenient. I put too much effort into that person who ultimately was friends with me because she thought she was better than me – and complained about me to everyone who would listen to her. Today, I can’t believe I ever fell into that trap of thinking that just because we both liked to write that we could really be friends with nothing else in common.
In comparison to that terrible experience (and triumphant one, she ended up quitting after she got so far ahead of me, thinking, probably, that I couldn’t catch up), this year has given me friends that love writing as much as I do, even if differently. It has given me camaraderie that I cannot deny has made writing more FUN. Being able to soundboard with people who care about my work and care about me is delightful. How did I go 27 years without having healthy friendships? I’m thankful for the two women who have shared in this adventure with me, and I’m proud of them for joining me in the winner’s circle where they belong.
Joy: When you fight yourself daily about whether you’re making the right choices for your family, for the kids you take care of, for the family you’re a part of – finding joy in the thing you actually love is a task so hard that people who aren’t mentally ill could never understand. Depression is a war that wins no matter which side takes the victory because you’re sad and disappointed regardless. Being happy and looking forward to writing days, even when I would have rathered to commit some form of graphic suicide because I was drowning in my own lack of serotonin (imagine drowning in something that doesn’t exist for the majority of your life – suffocating on nothing, but suffocating nonetheless). No matter how awful I felt, I was excited for the three days I dedicated to writing with my best friend.
Resolve: I’ve always been a very dedicated woman. I have this weird defect in my brain where I hate being told I can’t do something. Realistically, it is probably a form of ODD (Oppositional Defiance Disorder), but it’s always propelled me into my customized sense of success. Knowing that there are people who remember high school freshman me talking about being a published author are somewhere out there, wondering if I ever did it, is something that pushes me forward a lot. This year, one thing that kept coming back to me was the quiet reminder that there are also people out there who are thinking that I never could do it, that I’m not good enough. Fuck those people, really.
This year I finished the duology I first imagined in 2014 – finally finished. Yes, I need to edit; yes, I need to query agents; yes, I need to get it on the market before I can really tally my win here; but also – YES, it is written.
Let’s just abruptly stop there because I could write for years about writing. What a nesting doll syndrome we have here. I am going to post these ending stats that I think will be really fun to see because it’ll give you a glimpse into my Nanowrimo 2018 journey. So – here’s that stuff? I guess?
Week One Total Written Words:
November 1 – November 3
Week Two Total Written Words:
November 4 – November 10
Week Three Total Written Words:
November 11 – November 17
Week Four Total Written Words:
November 18 – November 24
Week Five Total Written Words:
November 25 – November 30
Highest Daily Word Count: 7,868 words on November 16th
Not only did this make a new personal high day for word count for me, but ironically the 2017 High for me was 7,457 on November 17th – so there was something very poetic about making a new personal high day one day earlier than last year.
Lowest Daily Word Count: 233 words on November 28th
There’s no special to actually say about this because I had a few 0 days in Nanowrimo 2017’s season. Before this day, however, my low had been just ten words higher at 243 on November 9th.
Number of Days Over 1,667 Words: 14 Days
The total number of words written in those 14 days is 53,391.
Number of Days Under 1,667 Words: 16 Days
The total number of words written in those 16 days is 13,491.
Number of Days Over 5,000 Words: 3 Days
The total number of words written in those 3 days is 20,347.
Number of Days Under 1,000 Words: 11 Days
The total number of words written in those 11 days is 5,527.
Looking at those stats, I think it reflects my life pretty well. I technically won Nanowrimo in just 14 days. Two weeks! But working those two jobs really put me at a disadvantage. However, it also shows that those days where I wrote next to nothing really added up. It helped me every day get closer to my goal of winning – and closer to finishing this novel. Numbers have a scary way of being just as powerful as words – and numbers about words?
Be still my beating heart.
Anyway, this is the end of this massive post. I just want to say thank you to anyone and everyone who has been reading these updates. My appreciation of you goes beyond numbers and words, and I hope that you stick around for whatever next looks like for this blog. This year has given me invaluable and intangible things that I needed to become even more as a writer.
Drop a comment, click the like/heart button – if you have time and if you want. I know that we don’t all want to show how much we enjoy something with words. I’m just glad that you’re here at all.
And on that very final note: you are loved.