Well, I did it. I took part in National Novel Writing Month and didn’t quit. I finished the first draft of my third novel, Molly Miranda: Book 3.
For this, I am very proud.
Buuuuuuuut I didn’t reach 50,000 words which is kind of the whole point of it.
(Just so you’re aware, the above gif is from a British sitcom called Black Books. It’s bizarre and quite charming, especially for book nerds. I think it’s on Netflix. Highly recommend it.)
FINAL WORD COUNT: 40,006 words
WORDS LEFT: 9,994
AVERAGE PER DAY: 1,333 (instead of the recommended 1,667)
DAYS I TOOK OFF FROM WRITING: 5
Even with taking a week off from work to focus on it, I still didn’t reach my 50k. But I feel okay about this. My books aren’t even 60,000 words anyway and I moved the plot along really quickly so I don’t expect many issues to arise when I go back to edit.
I learned a few things about myself as a writer:
- I really don’t like ignoring spelling mistakes. I have a hard time just continuing on.
- Evening writing is my jam. Morning writing is basically impossible.
- Stardew Valley is a terrific game and a terrible distraction.
- I hate feeling like writing is a chore. It definitely felt like a chore for me all month.
- When I spend the month pouring my brain out into a Google Doc, I ignore other things in my life. It’s now December 2 and I feel like I just spent the month in a cave. It’s the weirdest thing.
At this point, I don’t know if I’ll do it again. Ask me again next year. But I’m definitely glad I did it.
Jillianne Hamilton is the author of Molly Miranda: Thief for Hire, its two action/comedy sequels, and The Lazy Historian's Guide to the Wives of Henry VIII. She is also a graphic designer, a history enthusiast, and a dog mom. Learn more.