This morning, at approximately 7:05 am, I wrote the 50,000th word of my Nanowrimo project.

It was “and.”

Not a very inspiring or interesting word, but that’s okay. It was the winning word.

To win at Nanowrimo is a simple thing. It just takes 50,000 words. 50,000 words of anything, any story, as long as they were written in the month of November of the current year. That’s all. It doesn’t matter what you write: romance, historical, mainstream, science fiction, mystery, whatever. I’ve known people who wrote 50,000 words of poetry or fan-fiction or memoir. The idea is to write, to write every day, to develop daily writing habits.

For a couple of years, I did write daily. In 2010, I slacked off, a lot. I went whole weeks without writing more than a thousand words. Call it a slump.

I think I’ve broken through that. I hope I have. I intend to at least attempt to make sure that I have. I wrote every day this November. I didn’t always meet the daily goal (1667 words), but I did at least sit down and try to write.

And it felt good. Even though I don’t really like what I’ve got written. I sat down with an idea, and I did a lot of writing this month without knowing what direction I was going. But that’s okay. I think I figured it out along the way. But this story needs a lot more plotting work, a lot more development along the lines of what’s happening when. It’s all a mash right now, a jumble. But at least now I have a murderer for my murder mystery. And other suspects. I’m still not one hundred percent sure on how (accidental homicide? intentional?) but at least I know the why. And I learned a whole lot about my main character, my sleuth. For one thing, she’s several years older than I originally thought, closer to 40 than 30. She’s also got a more interesting history than I had expected. She can be a very complicated woman. I’ve come to like her more this month.

Even so, I’m going to shelve this book for now and go back to its predecessor from my 2009 Nanowrimo project. The first murder mystery featuring this sleuth of mine. A story that now has about 90,000 words to it, not all of them good. It’s got some promise, though, and I’d like to see it make something of itself.

So, I’m going to take a break for the weekend and do some Christmas preparation and maybe get the house a little organized. And then, come Monday, I’ll sit down with that 2009 project and get to editing. It needs a good bout of editing. It also needs a lot more writing done – there are big breaks in the narrative that need to be filled in, and other parts that need a little more research to make them fleshier. The ultimate goal, of course, is to mold it into a workable draft and maybe then into a manuscript, something with real promise to it.

I’ve got a lot of work ahead of me, I know. But I rediscovered just how much I love writing this month. I intend to keep it up.

Happy writing, folks! Keep the words flowing.

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