I had a good year in 2010. That sentence is true all on its own, but I mean it here particularly as a comment on NaNoWriMo. I had a good November.
The month started with distractions for me. I spent the whole month fielding questions and getting feedback on my newly-released novel, and it was a real challenge for me to step away from that and just let it run.
It did well for me: with virtually no promotion on my part, I had 40 sales in November. That’s not enough to retire on, but it’s an impressive start for a book with such limited advertising. I plan to hit that aspect hard in the next two months, culminating in the publication of the sequel late in February which should generate some serious additional sales.
Ahem. I…didn’t really mean to go into all that, but it’s an excellent example of the situation I was facing. I’ve been thinking about these things, and answering questions, and signing copies, and all of that takes focus away from the current project.
At the same time, the most common question I got was, “When’s the sequel coming out?” Everyone’s excited to read more in the Katie Pratt saga, and that constant reminder motivated me to keep working on it.
Over the course of the month, I mentioned schoolwork distractions. I had four books to read and review for my Category Fiction class, including one that needed a fifteen-page paper. I also had to finish writing a feature-length screenplay for my other course, which required over 40 pages of script during November alone.
Then there were my own distractions: Seatac and The Girl Who Stayed the Same — both of them books that I’d started and set aside because I ran out of steam, but suddenly they were all I wanted to work on.
And let’s not forget Unstressed Syllables! I had a commitment here, too, and that was a real challenge even after paring down my posting schedule back in October. Ever the dedicated guide, I led by example and put all other commitments behind my NaNoWriMo project throughout the month of November. You saw some posts late, you saw some posts half-edited, and at every step of the way, you knew I was working.
I was working. I hit 50,000 words and officially “won” NaNoWriMo on November 20. I kept working, hoping to get the book finished before heading to my parents’ place in Arkansas for Thanksgiving. I took a break to finish the adaptation of Dad’s novel, though, so I could share it with him while we were there.
So I finished that on Wednesday the 24th, and then finished my book (at 70,314 words) on Thanksgiving morning. I took 30 hours or so off to hang out with family, then we drove home and I dove right back in.
I wrote another ten pages on Seatac, and I’m ready to keep right on rolling with that one. I also completed my first full review of the novel over the weekend, reworking some minor scenes, adding in critical info I’d forgotten, and tweaking character names for clarity. I caught a couple typos, too, but I’m sure there are still hundreds waiting to be found.
It was, as always, a grand adventure. And, like always, it’s just the beginning.