The Word Is “Stunk”


I am sitting in  Boston classic, Legal Sea Food, sitting down to have celebratory dinner. Today, I reached my goal of writing 50,000 words in November as part of the National Novel Writing Month.  I did it, and even, with three days to go.  That was no small feat seeing as I averaged around 1800 word a day for the last 27 days on the same project housed in the same computer.  One that came with me to South Carolina on that massive 1800 mile week of work, and the annual run to Wisconsin for Thanksgiving.  Not to mention during this time I also quit my job, and dealt with all the upheaval that comes with that.  What it comes down to is just about 40 to 50 hours I dedicated for randomly pawing on a keyboard and craping out stuff that a computer counts as words.  

For the record, NaNoWriMo calls this achievement “winning”.  So they call me a “Winner” (along with the literarily tens of thousands of other winners).  It’s a poorly choice of words for a program about words – but the program is about words, poorly chosen or not.  All kidding aside, they don’t call us finishers because that is just fooling ourselves and this novel is a good example.  I am far from “finishing” it – not even fully set up the climax let alone running towards the end.  If I could guess, I have at least 25000 left to go to do that, something I am going to look at doing by New Years.  That then is just the first draft meaning I would want to revise it over and over again.  But the point of this process is to set up the revisions – a writer will always tell you that anyone can edit, getting words on paper is hard.  

As it so happens, I had my counter up as I needed the end … and as I hit 49,999 I saw the next word would be “the”.  No way I was going to let that happen.  I few rewrites later (that cost me a bar of soap in a word sprint), the best I could do was the word “stunk”.  But it still was number 50,000.

If you remember when I first posted about this before the month began I was pretty pessimistic. In fact, this month was a breeze.  I was so apprehensive going into day one, but I knocked out over 6000 words that day alone; and then broke 11k by the end of the second day.  I not only found writing easy, I couldn’t stop.  I had a good start last year too (the first year I “won”) but by the 10th I was already 8000 word ahead of last years pace.  At one point a week and a half ago I was 10k ahead of 2015 and would need to average less than 900 words a day to finish.  Now, this past week I puttered around, hitting a mid-month lull, and having a tough section of he story to write through, but found the rush again.  I went to a Write-In, an event intended to giv yourself scheduled time to crank some words out, and made it know I intended to push through the 3500 words I needed to “win”.  With the help of 30 minutes before the 2 hour event, I did 4600 words and no sit at 50,831 – validated and celebrated.

As for the Novel itself, who knows if anyone will ever see it.  It mixes something I knew better when I was in high school (Roman Mythology) and something I recently became an expert at (getting drunk in Boston).  It deals with our personal beliefs, dealing with addictions, and trying to find meaning in a world that makes no sense to us.  So … yeah … depressing stuff.  But I did get to retell all the stories when I got drunk and made a complete ass of myself … but changed the names to not make it appear like that it was me.  

Like I mentioned, I intend to keep writing on with this story; but tonight I celebrate.  I won … again.  And Even if I can’t find pretty words to describe how that feels I don’t need to.  I wrote enough words to win the month.


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