It was hard. There were days I didn’t think I was going to make it. I freaked out, pigged out, stressed out and wrote like a mad woman. I yelled at my laptop, fussed at my characters that had the audacity to change on me. And now I can say I did it! I completed my first run of NaNoWriMo!!  

I finished last night and clocked in at 51,230. When I verified my word count, I calmly laid my laptop on the bed, went and announced my good news to my amazing husband and danced like Snoopy and Woodstock! No I didn’t record it for posterity. That’s one video I don’t need to see on Facebook.

It was touch and go for a few hours as the writing software that I used decided to pick a fight with me. After three rounds, I won with a full-fledged Knock Out! The book has been saved and backed up. The back up has been backed up.

Of course, I’ll be switching to a new writing software A.S.A.P! For those of you who are writers, and looking for something to try, I would suggest Scrivener from Literature and Latte. I’ve heard a ton of good reviews from other writers. You can download a free trial for 30 days. If you’re a NaNoWriMo Winner you will get a 50% discount if you decide to purchase. You will find the information on your Winners Page. Check it out!

I learned more about myself as a writer in one month than I have in the last eight. The story did better than just survive. It thrived and grew into a really descent story. So much surprised me as I worked through the outline. I’ve watched the characters come alive better than I had planned. I was totally amazed how my Main Character‘s flaws seemed to just come so naturally. I’ve even created new planets that I really hope are colorful and amazing to the reader.

As I stated last week, for the first time, in a few weeks I’ll have completed an entire first draft for a manuscript. I’ll take a month or two off while I work on short stories, another novel and the outline for book two of the series. Then, in February I’ll tackle the 1st revision. I’m so excited I can’t stand myself!

There are millions of people who talk about writing a novel and never get any further than talk. Many lack the true drive, talent or self-esteem to take the first steps necessary to create their stories. Writing a novel isn’t easy. But it is truly rewarding and well worth the blood, sweat and tears.

So, I’d like to take this time to send a huge shout out to all of my writing friends who participated in NaNoWriMo 2011. Whether you “won” or not you should be proud of yourself! Each of us kept plugging away and encouraging each other. Think of the new connections you’ve forged and the progress you’ve made with your W.I.P. (Work in progress).

For those of you that completed you should celebrate big time! Even if you still have more to write as I do, you’ve at least gotten the first 50-60k completed.

So onward and upward proud and intrepid writers. May we each continue to forge ahead through the forests, deserts, mountains and cosmos of our creative genius and compose the stories as only we can.

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