November is about focus on writing. Producing words, the more the better. Ignore the quality, focus on quantity. And that's good, because if you don't write, you have nothing to edit.
But then one November day, you look up and realize you've written 50,000 words. Cool! Now I can get a T-Shirt, post a banner on my blog, and sleep late tomorrow. I'm done.
See, what no one tells you as a newbie is that getting 50,000 words written is only half the battle. It's the toughest half, but still only half.
For one thing, 50,000 words edits down to maybe—if you're lucky—40,000. And that's definitely novella-sized, not novel-length. Still, having a completed novella under your belt is more than most wanna-be writers achieve.
For another, if you've been fair with your writing, you are probably one-half to two-thirds finished telling your story. I've got my people in Indigo in all kinds of hot water (actually, cold water: snow and ice), and now I have to rescue them and solve the mystery. That's at least 40,000 more words, more likely 50,000.
So I won, but like many other WriMos, I have to keep writing. I have a whole 'nother NaNoWriMo's-worth of writing ahead before I finish Indigo Redemption.
Before I return to the keyboard, I have a shout-out for my writing buddies: LightOnSnow and traceyo whose mutual support made such a difference to me, and gelilynn and Leo Schrant, two teens who tried NaNoWriMo for the first time this year. Thanks also to WriMos Paul Krater (paganpaul) and Victor Powell, whose community The Next Step Writer's Workshop has been so helpful in the months outside November.
Also, a recommendation if you are across or nearly across the "finish line": read Chuck Wwndig's blog Why It's Important To Finish... (Warning: NSFW language, but true stuff nonetheless. Read it at home.)
Onward to 100K!
Total: 50,339 words.