NaNoWriMo has officially ended and now I have to answer the question; did I “finish” National Novel Writing Month?

If you aren’t competing and are just following the guidelines to work on your own material, then the goal of NaNoWriMo is to come out of it with a 50,000 word manuscript. That means you have to hit at least 1670 words a day if you break it down to a word goal per day, which is more manageable.

I did not hit 50,000, in fact I didn’t come close. I clocked in at 17,816 words. HOWEVER. I consider my Novel Writing Month a great success, and here is why:

  • I have a full time job AND a freelance job and spend 60-90 minutes commuting each way, so about 11 of my daily hours are spent on work.
  • After work every day of the week I do extra-curricular stuff; I practice Krav Maga and I take dance and drum lessons.
  • For the majority of the month of November, I worked on one of my two days off each week.
  • My laptop broke!

Given all of that, I have 17,816 of a novel I have been trying to get onto paper for about 10 years. I am very happy with this, and my story has changed for the better in the last couple of months than it has in the last decade.

Now that it’s over, I plan to continue with the same principle of writing every day and always keeping my story on my mind. I find that if I have a day where I am incredibly busy and can’t even think about my story, it starts to get hazy and I lose track of where I was heading. Because of this I’ve made it a habit of carrying my notebook around everywhere I go. You never know when inspiration will strike!

Speaking of inspiration, I am also going to be doing things that will peak my inspiration. The other day I went to The Metropolitan Museum of Art which I have always adored, and wandered around the exhibits about the Bronze Age, Byzantium, anything that had to do with Jesus Christ and religious art, and I spent a good long time in the rifle exhibit.

I love doing this because it inspires me to come up with the tiniest of details for buildings, items, jewelry, clothing, etc that help the story and characters come more alive! For instance, I saw this Architectural Model of King Solomon’s Temple in Jerusalem. I had been struggling to accurately describe the sheer scale and detail of a temple in my story dedicated to one of the main characters. Seeing this, the dome, how high the entry way is, how many steps the pyre in the middle had, how large the grounds were, it was just what I needed to see.

What do you do for inspiration? I’d love to know!

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