Although NaNoWriMo still continues, I reached the word goal of 50,000 on the 19th. This was my first time participating in this event, which I learned about only last December. I was very excited about the opportunity to push myself in a way I never have before and am quite proud of myself that I was able to succeed my first time.
Having said that, I am not sure I will participate in NaNoWriMo again. This is because I found that I was focusing so much on the word count that the quality of writing is not even close to my usual first draft (which, to be honest, is not always that great to begin with). When I arrived at a difficult part in my story, I forced myself to continue through it without consideration to my characters or plot. I wrote just to get through it. This can be helpful sometimes but not when I do this at every somewhat difficult part just so I can reach a certain number of words. I found that it has made the story disjointed and confusing. The characters have contradicting emotions which do not follow their personalities as they have developed over the past four books. It has actually caused me to question why I am writing this book. And perhaps I am to blame by finishing in 19 days rather than 30 but I don’t really see that making much of a difference. But now that it is over (well the 50,000 word part) I am going to slow down and put more thought into the book.
Now I am not saying that NaNoWriMo was a waste, or bad, or whatever. I am glad I did it because I learned that I could. It also made me realize what does and does not work for me. However, I can see how it could work for others. If you are someone who has a great story idea but is too “busy” or procrastinates, it is definitely a way to push yourself. This is especially true if you tell people who are interested and will ask you about your progress. It keeps you accountable. And even if you don’t reach the 50,000 word goal, it can at least get you to find time to sit down and DO IT. I think that is the problem a lot of writers have and I recommend WriMo as a way to get you into the habit of writing regularly.
So will I do NaNoWriMo again? Probably not. For me, every month of my life is NaNoWriMo. I don’t need to force myself to write. For me, writing is a necessity and something I must do. I’m not a happy person if I’m not writing. However, it was a great experience and I wish all who are doing it, and will do it in the future, the best of luck!