The culmination of my writing goals for this year has now come full circle: After a six year hiatus, I'm a NaNoWriMo Winner for 2015!
In my most ambitious and painstaking writing project this year, I can now claim the coveted title of NaNoWriMo Winner for 2015!
When I first set out to become a NaNoWriMo Winner after a six year NaNoWriMo hiatus, I was a little anxious at first, especially with my previous experience of winning NaNoWriMo in 2009: I left the winning novel incomplete for five years before finally completing it in June of this year (see my story in the Link Sauce section below).
To become a NaNoWriMo Winner, the goal is to write 50,000 words or more. As you can see from the image below, I crossed that threshold on November 30th—the final day of the competition. My total word count when the event ended was actually 50,501 words.
Not For the Faint of Fingers
It had been so long since I participated in NaNoWriMo that I'd forgotten how intense the experience was. Trying to squeeze writing into every spare moment of your day isn't an easy feat, by any means.
Between deer hunting, singings, church events, and all the other important aspects of my daily life, adding one more thing to my daily routine is nearly impossible.
So how did I do it? How did I become a NaNoWriMo Winner after five years of not writing any fiction whatsoever?
I believe one of the most important things that has pushed my writing over the threshold for this year's NaNoWriMo event was the preparation I did, which, in large part, involved setting the goal of writing as much as possible at the beginning of 2015.
The Importance of Setting Goals
I've talked a lot about goals and goal setting over the course of this blog. (As a result of my writing goals during 2015, I've managed to write around 30 blog posts this year!) Setting goals is something I've found that's so important in getting things done.
I won't go over all the details about goal setting in this post, but you can go to my blog's homepage and do a search for "goals" in the sidebar to read lots of great content on helping you achieve your goals for the coming years.
In addition to writing lots of short stories, working on several books at once, and maintaining content on my blog—among various other writing projects—I had to make writing a priority in order to achieve my goal of becoming a NaNoWriMo Winner for the second time in six years.
Also, the support of other fellow writers from the two writing groups I attend was invaluable in motivating me to trudge forward toward the finish line.
Participating in anything as intense as NaNoWriMo isn't for the faint of heart...nor the faint of fingers. There were a few nights where I stayed up late in order to complete the day's word count because everyday life got in the way. Everyday life goes on regardless of your plans, so you must commit to seeing your passions through.
But after having become a NaNoWriMo Winner again, I wouldn't go back and change a thing. There were so many valuable lessons I learned about writing fiction, discipline, commitment, motivation...the list goes on. I wouldn't trade what I've learned for all the hours of sleep I lost; there's so much more I gained as a result!
Life After NaNoWriMo
Now that NaNoWriMo is over, I can't be lazy in finishing what I started. I have to stay focused and learn from my past mistakes (leaving my last NaNoWriMo novel incomplete until five years later) and keep on going until I finally reach the words coveted by writers everywhere: THE END.
Knowing that I've gotten this far is motivation and momentum enough to see it through all the way. My latest goal is to finish writing Kitty Hero Chronicles before 2015 is over so I can begin working on edits for this and the other works that I've managed to complete over the course of the year. (Even though I crossed the 50K word threshold, it doesn't mean I finished the novel; there's still a few more chapters to go before I can claim that prize.)
Everyday life goes on regardless of your plans, so you must commit to seeing your passions through. -Eric Beaty
One of the great things about NaNoWriMo as an organization is the fact that they don't leave you high and dry to figure out everything on your own after November has ended. During the months of January and February—entitled the "Now What?" months—their website is entirely dedicated to helping writers and NaNoWriMo participants revise and edit the manuscripts they poured so much of themselves into during November.
Not only that, but in April and July Camp NaNoWriMo arrives. Camp NaNoWriMo is another great opportunity to hone your writing chops by setting your own word count goals and forging through to the end. It's also a good writing "fix" for when you're impatiently waiting for the next official NaNoWriMo event to begin in November.
It's currently December 2015 as of this blog post, but you can bet, come January 2016, I'll be checking out their resources to keep me motivated and stay accountable to completing what I began back in November in order to claim the title of NaNoWriMo Winner.
Below are some of the links to the stats, tips, tricks, and insights I learned on my journey toward becoming a 2015 NaNoWriMo Winner.
My Ongoing NaNoWriMo Journey
You can see my initial journey toward becoming a first-time NaNoWriMo Winner back in 2009—as well as the results of this year's NaNoWriMo results, tips, and tricks—by clicking the section below and scrolling down to click on the button labeled "Continue Reading on Wattpad."
NaNoWriMo Winner Stats
You can see the actual stats (as recorded by NaNoWriMo) of this year's winning novel, Kitty Hero Chronicles, by clicking here.
Read My Winning NaNoWriMo Novel
Read the actual winning novel (unedited; new chapters added weekly until complete) by clicking below:
NaNoWriMo 2015 Writing Records
To see the highly detailed writing records—as well as the amazing writing software I used—that I kept throughout the month of November, fill out the form below. This was such an invaluable resource in hindsight to my writing that I plan on doing it again the next time I decide to participate in NaNoWriMo.
FREE NaNoWriMo Stats Sheet!
Fill out the form below to receive my NaNoWriMo 2015 Stats Sheet!
This tool has proven invaluable to my own writing,
and I'm sure it will for yours as well!
As a special BONUS, you'll receive two of my short stories
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