I did it! After a series of twists and turns (in both my novel and life in general) and after seriously doubting my ability to reach the magical 50,000 word goal of NaNoWriMo, today I wrote my way past the finish line. I spent two hours this afternoon at the Queensland Writers Centre at a Writing Race and managed to add 4,440 words to my tally. Then, I called into a comfy McDonald’s on the way home and wrote the remaining 3,500 words over a hazelnut mocha and a tomato and cheese sandwich.
Last year I was delighted to win my very first NaNo, and this year – to my delight – the victory is no less sweet. November has a way of being busier than normal and full of all sorts of surprises that seem destined to derail my writing project, no matter how well prepared I am. To win NaNoWriMo is to overcome the seemingly insurmountable obstacles and write on, in spite of all the other pressures and priorities in my life.
I couldn’t have done it, however, without the ongoing support of my gorgeous husband, Mike. He’s rallied around me this month and has been my number one supporter. He’s picked up the slack that I have inevitably left in the wake of spending as much time as possible writing. He’s looked after the boys on a number of occasions so I could go somewhere quiet to write. And although he doesn’t understand my inclination to write like a possessed woman, he is still supportive. Thank you, honey. I simply could not have done this without you.
And thanks too, to all my online and real life friends who have been cheering from the sidelines and/or writing with me. NaNoWriMo is a wonderful reminder of the awesome community of writers of which I am privileged to be a part.
The Thirteenth Disciple is far from complete as a first draft. In fact, I’ve really only written 20,000 words that could be classed as the real deal. The first 7,500 words were for my original idea, Emma Delaney which was sadly abandoned on about Day 3 when I discovered I simply didn’t connect with my story or character. The next 22,500 words were the beginning of The Thirteenth Disciple but then I decided it needed to be written in first person rather than third, so I started again! The last 20,000 words are the essence of my story and I must say I’m thrilled with them, as much as anyone can be thrilled with a first draft. I’m very engrossed in my story and it has led me on all sorts of unexpected adventures. Matthias is becoming more real and the conflict is developing nicely. I’ve also managed to throw in just a hint of a love story. The future of the story looks promising indeed.
So where to from here? I intend to take my foot off the accelerator and finish The Thirteenth Disciple at a much more sustainable pace. I would like to finish the first draft by the end of January but I’m not going to push myself. In fact, I feel like I need a holiday. In spite of my busy ‘other’ life as a mum and minister’s wife, I’ve managed to write a lot this year and I think I deserve a break. Over Christmas I plan to take a 10-day holiday from all things technological. This means I won’t be blogging, won’t be on Facebook and won’t be on Twitter from just before Christmas to New Year. Instead, I plan to immerse myself in the greatest pleasure in my life – my real life, flesh and blood family. I will be back in the New Year, but a holiday will be good for me to rest my creative self and return ready and refreshed for all the exciting challenges and opportunities that 2010 will bring.
Congratulations to everyone else who has taken on the Mt Everest challenge that is NaNoWriMo and has either climbed part of the way or reached the summit. For those of you after an insane challenge, maybe you could plan to join me next year?? I must warn you, it is kind of addictive. There’s nothing like a good challenge to push you to your limits. I wonder what I’ll write next year…