Well, the biggest writing event of the year ends today. My final word count was 72,290 and that is by far the highest word count I’ve had so far, since I first did NaNo in 2008. I did not expect my word count to be this high. As a matter of fact, I didn’t even think I’d have the time, incentive, or energy to write the novel at all – what with work, revision projects, reading, volunteering, family matters, and some semblance of a social life. But the story dragged me along and wouldn’t let me go – and that’s the important thing.
Whether you won NaNoWriMo or not, you have hopefully learned something from the experience: what your writing weaknesses and strengths are, what types of stories and characters you like writing, your preferred writing routine… etc. And whether you have the full 50k words, 100k words, or even just 10k words or less, you’ve got something to work with for the future. You can now call yourself a writer.
But I have to end with a word of warning: DO NOT send your novel to any publishers – and don’t even self-publish yet! Even though your novel may be “finished,” it’s still a rough draft. And no rough draft is good enough to send out. Most novels take years of hard work and revision before they’re ready to go out into the world. So take a break from your novel, put it in a drawer or on a flash drive for a few weeks, ignore it, then later on, take it out and see if you’d like to revise it, work with it, and get it ready for publication someday.
Even though you’ve finished your novel, finishing a rough draft is just the beginning of the adventure. 🙂 Congratulations to all the NaNoWriMo winners!