Writing a book is a adventure. To begin with it is a toy and amusement. Then it becomes a mistress, then it becomes a master, then it becomes a tyrant. The last phase is that just as you are about to be reconciled to your servitude, you kill the monster and fling him out to the public. — Winston Churchill
Welcome to Week Four. Winning has begun, with Friday being the first day overachievers could validate their word count and gain their winner banners. Many of folk are still struggling in the wastelands, but that 50,000 word mark is hopefully within sight, along with the knowledge that one week from tomorrow, NaNoWriMo will end for 2015.
(Full disclosure: I hit my 50,000 words yesterday, so I “officially” won. My goal for this year is 70,000 words, so I’ll still be doing sprints and checking in, trying to keep the word count ticking upward.)
Time to start thinking about what’s next. Even before November 1, as we prepped and prepared, NaNo has been the tyrant driving us forward, but freedom is almost at hand. No more check-ins, no more marking your progress against others or where the numbers say you “should” be. The question becomes are you going to keep writing and finish the draft? Are you going to take a breather? How long of a breather? And how long is too long?
Some folk dub December as National Novel Revision Month, while others decide December is for finishing the bulk of their draft. I agree with the latter, and the NaNoWriMo site itself waits until January to ask you to make a pledge to revise your book. I think that’s a wise idea. If you’re not all the way through by November 30, keep going and push toward the end, and start your revisions with the new year.
The point is that the process is on-going. NaNoWriMo isn’t an end unto itself but a step along the way. Let’s keep moving.