Crossing the NaNoWriMo Finish Line

On November 1, 2011, I stood at a starting line where hundreds of thousands of authors have stood before me. I had spontaneously decided to participate in National Novel Writing Month or NaNoWriMo for short. I'll be honest; like any other self-loathing writer, I had dark plans of starting a novel, having real life interfere, going through a downward spiral of anger and junk food, tossing out the book idea and coming out with a story about how hard it is to write a novel in a month. Instead, I managed my regular writing schedule -- which is more than 40 hours of work a week -- and gave up most of my sleep to crank out a novel in 19 days. Who says you need a month to write a book?

Okay, so I did not come out of NaNoWriMo with a masterpiece. In fact, if I were to write a Cracked Spines review of my book right now, I would warn you to never even so much as borrow it from the library. Such is the state of my first draft, but I am still proud of it. I crossed the finish line ahead of the pack and can now get back to my regularly scheduled work. Will I ever do it again? Well, I already have an outline for next month's first draft of horrors.

Now that I am done with the book, I will be back to reading regularly. Right now, I am working on "Atonement" by Ian McEwan. You can expect a review within a few days. I hope you are looking forward to it, wherever you are, whoever you are, if there is anyone even listening. For those of you out there still chugging along on your novels, best of luck. The trick is to think like that annoying Ellen fish from Finding Nemo, but instead of swimming, you want to write. You may also want to switch the cutesy cartoon voice for something more like a personal trainer on steroids.

Shelly Barclay

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