And so it ends for another year. I rolled past 50,000 words earlier this afternoon. It's the fourth time I've "won" NaNoWriMo. That means the stress that comes with trying to hit a word count goal everyday is gone. Unfortunately, that does not mean I finished telling my story. There's still a few chapters left to unspool.
I think this is the earliest I've won NaNo. Now comes the hard part: deciding whether or not to finish the story. By the time I hit 50k last year, I'd lost interest in my story completely. This year, that isn't the case. I've kinda developed a love for my protagonist and I wanna see what happens to him. I think it's important for me to wrap things up. This is the most excited I've been at this point in NaNo since the first year I did it.
As is customary, I usually thrown down with a list of things I learned over the course of November. I' am a creature of habit, so this year will be no different. This is the stuff I've learned from NaNoWriMo 2013:
- Glasses are optional: I've always had a thing where I need to wear glasses to be able to write. This year, though, I noticed that I was spending more and more time writing without glasses on. And I don't feel my writing suffered for it. Other things I did hurt my writing. But not writing without wearing glasses.
- Junk food is also optional: Junk food is also something that I felt I need to keep me going. This is the first year I've tried to keep my crap food consumption down. And you know what? I didn't affect me all that much.
- Friends are NOT optional: I write so much better when I have people around me that I can bounce ideas off of. For example: I had a message I wanted to get into my story but couldn't figure out how to do it until I was whining about it to a friend and she made a suggestion. It was an ingenious suggestion, and helped me find much-needed direction. That's why writer friends are my favorites.
- Netflix is the Devil: Holy time-suck, Batman! That's really all that needs to be said about this.
- Helping others helps yourself: Sometimes getting away from your story problems and helping someone else out of a jam re-aligns your thinking and helps you to work through your own story issues. Therefore, giving of yourself returns back to you, most of the times, many times over.
- Some problems are worth having: Writing can be a soul-crushing, dispiriting process, but when you get through your problem, it feels pretty damn cool.
- I'm through writing about heavy metal. Seriously: I love metal, but I feel like I'm painting myself into a corner. I need to branch out and write some other stuff. Stuff that isn't packed with pop culture references. Stuff that isn't about a single thirty-something dude who's lonely and drifting through life. And above all, I'm done writing about anything related to metal. For now...
Anyhow, that's it for NaNoWriMo 2013. It's been fun. Now, it's time to chase some other goals. Like fitting six dozen hot dogs in my mouth at the same time.