Being a Winner #NaNoWriMo #amwriting

NaNo-2015-Participant-BannerLeechblock is pretty much my best friend this week.  This is my third day of using it to block the distraction known as Facebook.  Seriously, if you find your day slipping away while you goof off on social media sites, give it a try.

While I am praising techie stuff, I am going to give a shout out to the creator of the wonderful script that helps to bypass the still awful new WordPress editor.  The editor was updated again this week and is just as awful as it was before. But here is the saviour for those who prefer the old editor.

Without the script, this blog post may not even have been written today because with a novel to write and goals to meet, messing about with trying to get the new editor to work is not something I have the time or the patience for.

Anyway, back to my post for the day, which is about story lengths and what makes a winner.

As you probably know, NaNoWriMo is a challenge to write a 50,000 novel in 30 days.  But what about when your story isn’t 50,000 words? It may be longer, it may be shorter.

In the case of my current project, the target is a minimum of 70,000 words, which is my publisher’s requirement for the length of this story.  I am hoping to get it around 75,000 to 80,000, but it is going to be a close call.  I am currently at 57,000 and intend to get to 60,000 today.  Hopefully by the weekend I will have a better idea of whether I can meet my personal target or not.

For me, even though I have hit the 50,000 mark, I don’t feel like a winner.  To me, writing a full novel and typing the words “The End” (even though I know they will be deleted by my publisher) is what makes me believe that I have won NaNoWriMo.

A half finished story doesn’t make me a winner – goodness knows I have enough of those on my hard drive, all gathering dust.

So what about shorter stories, and those who don’t think they will reach the 50,000 word mark at all.  For some it will be a case of life and other commitments getting in the way, or the story falling apart completely.  For others it may simply be that the story they want to tell isn’t quite long enough to reach that milestone.  But you know what, it doesn’t matter if The End comes at 50,000 words, 100,000 words or 30,000 words.

What matters is that you have written your story.   It might not be a novel, but a finished story, whatever the length is an achievement, and there are plenty of publishers out there who take shorter works.

If you have finished your story you are a winner, no matter what that progress bar on the site says, and next year, who knows, you may be a published writer and aiming for double the NaNoWriMo target.

So keep writing and good luck everyone!

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