NaNoWriMo 2020 Reflections

As expected, this year’s challenge was more difficult than years past, but the words have been written and with them the first draft of this story has been set on the page.

Finishing a story, proving to oneself that they can complete a story start to finish and show up each and every day for their craft, is really the heart of the NaNoWriMo challenge. Knowing that there are hundreds of thousands of other writers taking on this challenge at the same time, and that a writer is not alone as they write, is also an incredibly powerful part of this process. As I went through the challenge this year, I found myself really reflecting on that truth and realizing that, at this point in my journey, I don’t need the challenge to show that I am capable of that anymore. I know I can complete a draft and I know I can show up each day for my craft. It’s something I’ve worked for years to know and now that I do, I need to figure out what NaNoWriMo means to me moving forward.

I loved writing the story I did for NaNoWriMo last month. The manuscript I wrote (MS:A- this post explains my manuscript key) is the third book in a trilogy I wound up completing over the last three years during the challenge. This last story, where all of the events of the first two books brought my characters to this point to work together and my villains were super villain-y and my heroes were forced to walk through some pretty dark darkest nights, was so freaking fulfilling to write. With that being said, the draft is super clunky and in need of a thorough revision and rewrite. That’s a reality I’ve been sitting with the past couple of weeks and really taking the time to examine. I have a thorough understanding of my writing process, and it works well for me, but I want to re-examine my outlining process. I’ve spoken about this extensively with a friend and it’s a piece of my process I’ve researched, changed up, and upgraded as I’ve grown as a writer. I can feel the growing pains of it coming on again though, and I know I’m on the verge of an update to that part of my system. Which, quite excitedly, will happen as I get ready to dive into a year full of revising and finishing manuscripts in 2021.

Last week, after spending a few days blissfully detached from my computer engaged in watching Dawson’s Creek and playing in my planners, I jumped into a revision project that I’d left on the back burner during NaNoWriMo. I’m also finishing full critiques on a few manuscripts I began to read for friends at the beginning of the year. This week I plan to continue working on both of those projects.

What projects are you working on right now or what projects are you excited to work on next? What is calling for your attention that you are looking forward to finding joy in? In case you haven’t been told today, you are more than enough.

Happy Writing!

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