Sunday, November 29, 2009

Day Twenty-Nine: Across the Finish Line!

Early this afternoon, I crossed the finish line a day and a half ahead of the deadline. After combining my individually saved chapters into a unified document, it was uploaded to the NaNoWriMo website for word count verification. To be considered a "Winner," the completed manuscript must be at least 50,000 words long. Mine came in at over 60,000, giving me a generous buffer to allow for any differences between the word counter on the website and the one in my word processor. Verification completed, the bar on my NaNo homepage turned purple with the word "WINNER" emblazoned on it, and I was informed of the rewards for having completed NaNoWriMo 2009, one of which is the little badge you will see if you scroll down on the right side of the page.

What are the feelings that are experienced upon completion of this challenge to write a 50,000 word novel in thirty days? Elation! Joy! A sense of accomplishment! The wonder of "I DID it! And, relief! Across the land and around the world, TGIO (Thank God It's Over) parties are being planned, not so much to celebrate a win as to celebrate the fact that we survived!

From a personal standpoint, I am also grateful for the support of my husband, who encouraged me throughout the month to stick with it, gave me the time and space the daily writing required, brought up infusions of coffee and sustenance when needed, and was there to celebrate when I reached "THE END." My children, too, were a source of encouragement and inspiration, as they have always been. They know just how many years I've held the dream of being a writer, and have supported my efforts by giving constructive criticism and, in the case of my son, motivating me to join Facebook and form relationships with others in the writing community.

I appreciate my friends, too, who were graciously understanding of my rare and brief communications throughout the month. And I am grateful to those in the writing community who encouraged me, shared bits of writing wisdom, and inspired me by their example. Their congratulatory comments are much appreciated, and an inspiration to continue to pursue my writing goals.

Finally, I am grateful to Chris Baty, who founded National Novel Writing Month a decade ago, and who labors each year to make it an incredible experience for all who participate in it; to his staff, who tirelessly work to keep the website up and running, and who are there to help when there are problems, or to answer our questions. And then there are the volunteer Municipal Leaders, who send out encouragement on a regular basis to NaNo participants in their regions, schedule meet-ups and write-ins, host forums, and give so much of their time and energy while trying to complete the writing challenge themselves.

Tomorrow at midnight, NaNoWriMo 2009 officially draws to a close. But for many of the participants, it will also be the beginning of a new phase of their NaNo experience--rewriting, revising, and polishing their novel, and, perhaps, eventually seeing it in print as a published novel.

No comments:

Post a Comment