Well, I didn’t make it to 50,000 words. At the end of November, I crossed the NaNoWriMo finish line with only 19,565.
What happened? To be honest, the ideas ran out, and I made the decision to stop a few days before Thanksgiving. In hindsight, I didn’t allow myself the proper amount of time to flesh out my outline before NaNo began, and as a result, I got to the point where I felt that I was writing just for the sake of adding to my word count.
When I wrote Empty Arms, a big portion of my first draft ended up on the cutting room floor because I didn’t stick to an outline and I got carried away with some crazy sub-plots. Ultimately, that was a waste of time and energy, and I didn’t want that to happen again with this book. So rather than trudging forward and writing aimlessly, I decided to stop and regroup.
Naturally, I was disappointed not to be declared a NaNoWriMo “winner” but eventually I came around to the realization that, thanks to this challenge, I’m 19,565 words closer to finishing my next book. And in my book, that’s a win.
19K+ is a healthy amount of words. I finished with 54,000+ this year, but the story isn’t done. I’ve actually pretty much taken this whole month off from writing with plans to go head-on come January 1.