Archive for December, 2010


The month of November was big for me.

As you can see from the widget over on the right-hand side of my blog, I successfully began and finished my very first novel during National Novel Writing Month. It is 20 chapters and 55,502 words. As with almost any novel that was written during only 30 days, the characters are inconsistent, the pacing is a little wacky, and there are a thousand other things wrong with it. But I wrote every word of it.

The really surprising thing about writing my novel was how easy it actually was. I was helped by the fact that I had two 12-hour days which I spent at the dermatologist’s office. I estimate I wrote close to 15,000 words during just those two long days. But so long as I forced myself not to worry about quality, writing the novel was easy and fun. I really did feel like the story was just sitting there, waiting for me to tell it. I’m proud to say I didn’t have writer’s block once, which I’m sure was just beginner’s luck.

I do think that there are some little nuggets of okay writing in there, too. When I got to the end of the novel, I realized that some of my characters had experienced growth without my really planning for it, and some consistent themes had developed without my trying too hard.

At the moment, I am still entertaining the idea that I will come back to the novel and try editing it, come January or so. Writing a novel was certainly a good and worthwhile exercise. I think editing a novel might be a similarly worthwhile experience. But we’ll see. I’m still experiencing the high of actually writing 50,000 words in a month, so things might be different once that dissipates. January is a very cold month.

The other major thing that happened in the month of November is that I accepted a job offer at a new organization. For a lot of reasons, this feels like the right move for me to make, and I’m very excited about my new job. I start at the end of December, so I will be kicking off 2011 with a bang.

A novel and a new job. It was a big month. I actually can’t remember the last time I had a month this big.


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