The Winner’s Circle – NaNoWriMo 2015

auto_racing_trophy_a_big_gold_cup_with_winner_stamped_over_it_0515-1104-2101-4458_SMUToday marks the last day of National Novel Writer’s Month for 2015.

If you participated and completed your goal of writing a 50,000–word novel for National Novel Writer’s Month—congratulations, you’re a winner!

Why is being a NaNoWriMo winner important?

1. Winning NaNoWriMo gives you fodder for your bio. I remember reading another writer’s ‘about’ page and noticed, “Winner, National Novel Writer’s Month”. I have to admit, when I read that little tidbit I had no idea what that meant other than he’d won a national writing award. Needless to say, like any curious writer, I Googled NaNoWriMo and learned about the NaNoWriMo challenge.

The rest, as they say, is history. I decided to take the challenge; I wanted to be a winner. I wanted to show I was a WINNER on my bio!

2. Small victories lead to big wins. Not only are you a winner with a notch in your resume, it works toward your writing success. To some it may seem a small victory, but isn’t that how we have big success? Aren’t wars won by winning smaller battles? Aren’t Oscars, Tonys, and Emmys won by small successes that lead to big parts?

And so it is with writing. We crawl, we walk, and then we run.

3. We practice our craft. Winning NaNoWriMo forces us to put fingers to keyboard or pen to paper. We write, we rewrite, then we rewrite again. We learn to cross out the words we don’t need; hat tip to Mark Twain. We write.

4. We learn that the first draft of anything is shi*; hat tip to Ernest Hemingway. NaNoWriMo novels are first drafts so we learn not to stress over spelling and punctuation—yet.

5. We learn, in the immortal words of Sir Winston Churchill to, “Never, never, never give up!”

This year my final word count will be over 52,000 words.

This was my first NaNoWriMo and I’m sure it won’t be my last, God willing! I’ve learned a lot, had a great time, and taken a big step toward writing my second novel. While I got a lot out of my first NaNoWriMo, I missed out on a few things.

Here are a couple of things I’d like to do in 2016 that I didn’t in 2015:

1. Attend a local write in. I wanted to go to several of the local events, but my schedule just didn’t allow me the freedom. Next year I WILL attend a local write in.

2. Encourage young writers to take part in NaNoWriMo. I’ll get an earlier start and find out what I can do locally to get young writers involved.

3. Find a writing buddy. It’s time to get back into the habit of meeting with other writers.

4. Write 100,000 words! Yep, that’s right, next year the plan is to double the number of words. I also plan to be a bit more prepared with at least a Foolscap page completed for my story.

It’s been an adventure this month with NaNoWriMo and I can’t wait for next year’s challenge.

For now, however, JUST WRITE!